“BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.” – PSALM 46
Besides the above scripture passage, Sister Naomi Rosenberger experiences God’s voice as “a whisper” in her heart (l Kings 19), leading her to live out the Gospel. These two passages have challenged her throughout her faith journey to go deeper within and listen to the quiet voice of the Creator speaking to her. She believes that all the unnecessary chatter and distraction (noise) keep us from really listening to the quiet voice of God.
Sister Naomi is a charter member of Benet Hill Monastery. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, she grew up with two younger sisters, Patricia Vaughn and Saundra Mitchell, who she considers a great gift in her life. She says that her “two younger siblings arrived after I thought I was an only child!” Her parents and grandparents had a great influence on her faith development. Sister Naomi’s mother was devoted to prayer and trusting in the Divine Presence. Her love of horses and riding was given to her by her father who gifted her with a Shetland pony when she was old enough to ride. She is grateful to her grandfather who fostered and encouraged her vocation in early childhood through the traditions of the Catholic Church in Eucharist, devotions and prayer. The only question Sister Naomi had was where she would serve God in her calling. She seemed to be leaning toward the Carmelites because of her study of the writings of St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Teresa of Avila, but her lived experience of the Benedictine Sisters in high school won her over.
The qualities that attracted her to the Benedictine sisters were their compassionate outreach toward students, sensitivity, strength and recognition of each person as unique. The sisters were living examples of how to honor others for their abilities in academia, art, music, liturgy, and other gifts. She had the knowledge of a call deep within her heart to become a sister in high school, but she did not respond to the call until two years after graduation. She was attending Mass and listening to a homily when the priest talked about “when?” When will you respond-she knew that God was saying ”the time is now-what are you waiting for?”
Sister Naomi’s vocation has led her to opportunities in education, travel and a life filled with challenging and enriching experiences. She enjoys nurturing the interior experience of prayer and closeness to God she feels in community. Her greatest and most enriching experience as a sister has been while on mission in Jamaica.”I worked with the gifted and talented Bishop, Paul Michael Boyle, C.P., in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica. Serving as his Chancellor provided me with countless opportunities to use my talents and gifts. I assisted him
with establishing a diocese and building an infrastructure to sustain it. We, the Sisters, invited homeless and orphaned children into our convent home. These people of faith live in hope and trust and exhibit the Gospel values in their daily journey. We served numerous women and children (many of whom suffered intense personal and physical hardships) which brought about the deep awareness of global oneness within me. It was a profound experience and daily reminder that we must all respond to the cry of the poor.”
Sister Naomi loved her mission work because it made a difference in the lives of women and children. Opal is one special child, discovered at age seven, in a dire situation. She weighed only 14 pounds and was suffering from severe malnutrition. Airlifted to Boston Children’s Hospital, Opal was beloved by all who came into her presence. “It matters not what kind of house you live in, how much money you may have made, what kind of car you drive, or how important you may be … what is important is to have made a difference in the life of one child.”
Sister Naomi enjoys reading, listening to classical music and playing games. Her favorite board game is backgammon, and she loves solving Sudoku. She is an avid sports fan of the Broncos, Notre Dame and the Yankees. Her cherished memory is being a missionary in Jamaica.