In the daily celebration of life, everywhere and in all things, joyfully sing praise and give thanks to God.
I was born in New Almelo, Kansas, population 70. My parents Marie and Alva (affectionately known as Carp) owned and operated a general store and U.S. Post Office for 35 years. I have happy memories from my childhood. Going on trips to my grandparent’s house, I would pack a little suitcase (a cardboard cookie box.) When they came into town to buy groceries for the week, they would take me back with them. I remember swimming in the river, ice skating on cow ponds, sledding down the big hill on Main Street, getting my first bicycle at age five, helping in the store and Sunday afternoon ball games.
When I was just nine months old my family was in Atchison, Kansas, visiting friends who took my parents to see Mount Saint Scholastica. My dad said, “This is where Marilyn will one day go to school.” After high school there, I entered Mount Saint Scholastica Convent in 1955. I understand my Benedictine vowed life as a fulfillment of my baptismal call: to live as Jesus lived, to reach out, to touch others and draw them into the already worshipping community.
I spent ten years in formation and ministry before transferring my vows to Benet Hill Monastery. After teaching junior and senior high school for 20 years, ten of them at Benet Hill Academy, I became certified and served another 20 years as a hospital chaplain. I hold graduate degrees in Pastoral Theology and Psychology. I have served my community and many parishes in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo Dioceses with my unique gift of healing prayer, creative liturgical rituals, bereavement ministry, education and adult formation programs. I help others understand what it means to be in a post Vatican II and 21st century Church.
I have served my 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. I served as coordinator and teacher in the Benedictine Spiritual Formation Program, and am a mentor for groups of Benedictine Oblates in the Denver area.
My favorite monastic value is gospel and baptismal hospitality. I always keep before me 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. I know that one day my 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.”