Sister Margaret Meaney, OSB

“God manifests God’s self to humankind in all wise, good, humble, generous, great and magnanimous people.”

Get to know Sister Margaret Meaney, OSB

I was born in Washington State and am the youngest of 5 children. My mother developed early onset Alzheimer’s when I was in the 3rd grade. Prior to this my parents divorced. As a result of this illness, I went to live with my eldest sister in the eastern United States. Both of my parents died when I was 20. For most of my life, I lived in Virginia.

In my 20’s I worked for a Fortune 500 residential property management company in Crystal City, Arlington Virginia about 3 miles from Reagan/National Airport. There were over 900 units and I had varied duties, which included apartment rental, inspections, the turnover of apartments at months end, etc. I met my two best friends there, one now deceased, and the other now retired to a different state.

While in Virginia, I lived and worked in an area of Arlington called Pentagon City, 5 minutes by foot to the Pentagon. There I witnessed one of the events of 911- the destruction of the southwest side of the Pentagon and the chaos that ensued as 30,000 Pentagon workers evacuated on foot, by car and public transportation. Interstate 395 was deadlocked and had foot traffic. The Pentagon is/was a major public transportation hub for Northern Virginia by bus to the Metro system. The Metro system closed that morning, stranding workers in Washington DC; 300,000 people had to return home to Virginia and Maryland under crippling conditions. Getting home on foot was quicker than by car or bus. Every place and thing felt like a potential target that day.

A year after 911 and until I moved to Benet Hill in 2011, I worked one block from The White House at a satellite office of a global law firm. The DC office was comprised of 56 lawyers and a few dozen support staff of which I was one. I was one of the receptionists with the primary duty of operating the phone system, scheduling conference rooms and arranging the attendant logistical support for those meetings.

During the New York blackout of 2003, I was the only operator on duty in the Washington office. I handled what feels like hundreds of calls that would normally be handled by a bank of operators in the New York office – the calls were all transferred to the DC office from NY – and I worked into the night. At that time there were potentially 600 NY lawyers with support staff and no electricity in a skyscraper in Manhattan. Family members were trying to locate loved ones and lawyers were seeking information. I thank God for the support of the word processing department in Washington for catching the overflow of phone calls and my immediate supervisor who stood at my desk and acted as my ‘gopher’. Paradoxically, it was a very positive experience for me and more importantly I’m not aware of anyone in the firm being hurt by the blackout. The law firm was my last and favorite job and I still use the word ‘we’ when talking about working there.

During the mid-2000’s I began serious discernment about religious life. I was volunteering in a skilled nursing facility visiting on Saturdays and I can see how it dovetailed with my discernment. It was a very private and exciting time that took 6 years before my arrival at Benet Hill and a further 7 years, normal progression, through initial formation into full monastic profession in 2018.
I have done a little of everything in the monastic life. Receptionist, library, retreat house cleaner, healthcare worker, Sisters’ Boutique, and occasional minister of the altar. I’m currently the archivist, I keep the dining room orderly and beautiful, and do special event preparation. During the holidays I decorate many of the non-liturgical spaces. I’m currently on the liturgy team and on the monastic council. Most importantly, I pray the Liturgy of The Hours with my sisters.

Programs & Services

- Archivist
- Prayer ministry
- Social media ministry
- Worship ministry

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