“FROM THE RISING OF THE SUN TO ITS SETTING, PRAISED BE THE NAME OF OUR GOD.” – PSALM 50
In the daily celebration of life, everywhere and in all things, joyfully sing praise and give thanks to God.
Sister Marilyn was born in New Almelo, Kansas, population 70. Her parents Marie and Alva (affectionately known as Carp) owned and operated a general store and U.S. Post Office for 35 years. Sister Marilyn has happy memories from her childhood. Going on trips to her grandparent’s house, she would pack her little suitcase (a cardboard cookie box.) When they came into town to buy groceries for the week, they would take Marilyn back with them. She remembers swimming in the river, ice skating on cow ponds, sledding down the big hill on Main Street, getting her first bicycle at age five, helping in the store and Sunday afternoon ball games.
When she was just nine months old her family was in Atchison, Kansas, visiting friends who took her parents to see Mount Saint Scholastica. Her dad said, “This is where Marilyn will one day go to school.” After high school there, Sister Marilyn entered Mount Saint Scholastica Convent in 1955. Sister Marilyn understands her Benedictine vowed life as a fulfillment of her baptismal call: to live as Jesus lived, to reach out, to touch others and draw them into the already worshipping community.
Sister Marilyn spent a total of ten years in formation and ministry before transferring her vows to Benet Hill Monastery. Having taught junior and senior high school for 20 years (ten of them at Benet Hill Academy) she became certified and served another 20 years as a hospital chaplain. Holding graduate degrees in Pastoral Theology and Psychology, Sister Marilyn has blessed her community and many parishes in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo Dioceses with her unique gift of healing prayer, creative liturgical rituals, bereavement ministry, education and adult formation programs that help others understand what it means to be in a post Vatican II and 21st century Church.
Sister Marilyn has served her community in a number of ways: as a member of the Monastic Council and worship team, as Assistant Prioress, mentor for women in formation, as Federation Delegate and member of the Federation Council. She was also on Benet Hill Academy faculty and recently served as coordinator and teacher in the Benedictine Spiritual Formation Program, and as mentor for groups of Benedictine Oblates in the Denver area.
Sister Marilyn’s favorite monastic value is gospel and baptismal hospitality. She keeps always before her the image of Jesus who never pushed people out, but who reached out and invited people in – into the group – the circle – the already worshiping community. She knows that one day her Maker will say. “Come Marilyn, the table is set, the bread is ready, the wine is poured, come, preside at this banquet which has been prepared for you from the beginning of time.”
In planning for the Fall & Spring, 2015-2016 Sister Marilyn hopes to lead retreats in Midlife & Aging Spirituality as well as to resume grief counseling and education, dream workshops and to companion a friend through her journey with Alzheimer’s disease.