Any female looking for a mix of the contemplative and active life as a religious sister may wish to consider a vocation to the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters of Holy Angels Convent in Jonesboro, AR.
Ora et Labora Pray and Work is the motto of the Benedictine Order, so prayer is uppermost in the life of the religious. The life of prayer finds its highest expression in the Eucharistic Celebration and in the daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours.
The daily schedule includes the Mass, Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina and Meditation. As a member of the Olivetan Benedictine community, the Sister is encouraged to recite the Rosary of the Blessed Mother and to cultivate a devotion to the Passion of Christ by making the Way of the Cross.
Community living expresses a personal union in a common purpose and a way of life existing among persons who belong to the same group. St. Benedict’s ideal is a school of the Lord’s service, lived according to the Gospel in Benedictine family life, in a contemplative-active lifestyle. Through their respect for one another, their sincere and generous service of each other, their support in crisis and their forgiveness of failure, the Sisters solidify their bond of unity and maintain the reality of their common life.
From the earliest foundations of the Olivetan Benedictine community, the service of the Church in the active Apostolate has been a major component in the life of its members. The chief works to which the community has been dedicated have been Catholic education, Christlike care of the sick, and other apostolic works.
In keeping with this heritage, the apostolic works of the community are adapted to the needs of the Church and to the needs of the times, subject always to the approval of Church authorities and the authority of the community. Each Sister’s interests and talents play a major role in her ministry assignment.
The Sister faithfully and conscientiously performs the work entrusted to her in a spirit of joy and creativity. Regardless of what the Sister is assigned to do in community, she strives to pattern her life according to the admonition expressed in the Rule of St. Benedict, that in all things God be glorified.
Visiting the Sick
Ministering to Black Catholics
Sacred Arts Ministry
How do I know if I am called to be a sister?
There are many paths that lead one to the decision to join a monastic community. For some it is the deep impression made on them by Sisters – perhaps in real life, or maybe in the lives of the saints. For others it is the ideals of religious life: prayer, filial love, honest work and a unity of life that comes from faith and generosity, centered on Christ. Each person is unique and each call will be just as unique.
• Am I happy, yet find that deep within me there is an unfulfilled longing? Is there a sense that my present life is not enough?
• Do I want to serve others for Christ?
• Do I feel drawn to daily Mass and more prayer than my present schedule permits?
• Do I find that I possess a great love for the Church and her teachings?
• When I have contact with priests and religious, is there a sense of connection, an attraction to the joy and conviction they possess?
• Can I live with a variety of people in joy and happiness?
• Why am I considering a Benedictine community?
• Do I feel called to give myself exclusively to seeking God?
• Am I willing to be challenged to grow?
• Am I healthy in mind and body?
• Do I have a High School diploma or GED?
• Am I a Baptized and Confirmed practicing Roman Catholic for at least two years?
A candidate needs sufficient good health to enter fully into our active/contemplative way of life. People with serious psychological or physical problems should not think of entering. Reasonably good mental and physical health is a requirement so as to under go the daily challenges of our monastic prayer and work.
A candidate needs common sense and generosity. She must be able to get along with other people, and be at ease with silence (or at least, desire to embrace it). She needs to be adaptable enough to do promptly and graciously what others ask of her, and have the strength of mind to make a commitment and persevere in it. None of these qualities are extraordinary, but the combination is perhaps not so common. Certainly not everyone is suited to the Olivetan Benedictine way of life, and no one can live it well and persevere in it unless God has called her to it. “Today, if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps 94:8).