Sister Stefanie Published in Vision Magazine

Sister Stefanie Published in Vision Magazine

This lovely reflection was published in the 2019 edition of Vision Vocation Magazine. We are grateful that Sr. Stefanie was able to share her feelings with such a wide range of women discerning religious life!

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Throughout my life, I've found God in nature.  
Before I entered the Rock Island Benedictine community, I often sought prayerful solace alongside the Cedar River where I lived in Iowa.

I'd take my camping chair to sit there, watching the river flow as wildlife swam and scampered past.  
It helped me focus and find inner peace.  
I felt one with God.
I experienced the same thing when I first visited what would become my new home at St. Mary Monastery.  
I was invited into the chapel for Vespers on a beautiful summer evening. Nature was in full bloom all around! Three of the chapel walls are floor-to-ceiling windows, looking out on woods and lake.  
The Sisters designed the chapel that way, in order to experience God's creation during prayers. It's the best chapel artwork I've ever seen.
I've been a Benedictine Sister for 10 years now, and have never tired of the beauty of this prayerful space.  
Once, an eagle flew past the windows just beyond the altar.

Often, deer can be seen through the trees, and geese and ducks paddle around the pond. Fireflies light up the grasses in the summer.

The sunsets are breathtaking any time of year.
This chapel is where my heart is, always. It reminds me of God's love and presence, and calls me to be God's love and presence for others.  
If you are a single Catholic woman between 20 and 50 years old, come see the chapel for yourself during our next discernment retreat the weekend of Sept. 8-9. 

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