Sister Mary Colleen Schwarz, OSB

"One life will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last."

Get to know Sister Mary Colleen Schwarz, OSB

Birthday: July 28

My journey to Benet Hill Monastery was a path of many twists and turns. As I became more spiritual awakening the call to religious life became a prayerful discernment. The passion to serve Christ as a Benedictine sister was my hope.

My professional life was as a critical nurse manager and educator. Nursing was a gift from God. To witness the Divine present within the suffering that led to healing created within me a more compassionate heart. This conversion made me realize that nursing was a ministry not a job. 

It was at the end of the summer of 2001 that I wrote the Prioress at Benet Hill Monastery, to humbly ask for direction towards a permanent commitment. On October 2001 I entered the first formation phase with the community. 

On July 13, 2008, I celebrated with Community my perpetual monastic profession which means I received the Benedictine ring indicating my life commitment to living the Benedictine vows (Obedience, Stability, and Fidelity to the monastic way of life) with Benet Hill Monastery Community of Sisters.

Work, in Benedictine spirituality calls for labor—manual labor, spiritual labor, and intellectual labor-that continues the co-creation of the world. The community ministries that I have participated in is health care supervisor, initial formation team, liturgical team, leadership team, vocational director, and technology director.

Our founding prioress, Sister Liguori Sullivan, OSB, was once asked “What is your greatest hope for the future?” She replied, “My greatest hope for the future is identical with the hope I had in 1963 when seventy of us said yes to creating the community of Benet Hill. God is our ‘strength and our song’ then and now. By remaining true to the charism of the past, but living in the present, we make changes which have the life of the future embedded in them.” Her wisdom inspired me to birth our spiritual formation program into an interactive online experience expanding our Benedictine values within the US and around the world. Benet Hill’s Spiritual Formation Program began over 40 years ago and has continued to evolve and adapt to retain quality programming and attract qualified students. We continue to build on the quality and value of the program. This interactive online experience is now called the Global Online Benedictine Spiritual Direction Program. 

My mother, Aletha, anointed me with the scripture above before I left home many years ago, “One life will soon be past. Only what is done for Christ will last.” (Philippians 1:21) All aspects of my life have been living into this scripture. All things glorify God!

Programs & Services

- Global online ministry (Benedictine Spiritual Director Training)
- Healthcare service
- Monastic Council
- Prayer ministry
- Social media ministry
- Spiritual direction ministry
- Worship ministry

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