Sister Rita’s Advice: Say Yes to the Holy Spirit!

Let clothing be given to the brethren according to the circumstances of the place and the nature of the climate in which they live…  Rule of Benedict

Sr. Rita Cain entered the Benedictine Sisters in 1950. Although she has enjoyed a variety of ministries, her main call – as with all Benedictines – has been to seek God together with her Sisters. We asked Sr. Rita to offer some wisdom from her own vocation experience.

When did you first consider religious life?

My family was very religious, and I really attribute my vocation to that. God was always an integral part of our life. We had catechism after Sunday Mass, which was where I first met the Benedictine Sisters. I met them again in 6th grade at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Ivesdale, Ill. Then, it was off to St. Mary’s Academy in Nauvoo for boarding school.

I loved the Benedictine Sisters. They were always pleasant. They obviously loved their students and the students’ families. They developed relationships.

So you really got to know them as a student?

They helped me understand how important following your call is. I got up early to go to Mass with them. I went to Holy Hour. It gradually dawned on me that if this is so important, it would be best to make it my life.

I remember one of my first visits home to my family was when my sister’s baby was sick. I took a Benedictine medal with me and pinned it onto his sleeper. I told my sister, “This will be my first miracle.” She looked at me and said, “Your first? I have them every day!”

That’s the kind of family I grew up in. We were dependent upon God for everything always.

You’ve been a Benedictine Sister for 61 years. That’s a long time!

It sure is! I’m firmly convinced it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that I’m here and others aren’t. These are acts of God. God called me. What I did was say Yes.

Can you help others understand the difference between Benedictine monasticism and apostolic orders?

A priest said to me, “You Benedictines are different. You seem very satisfied with your simple, prayerful lives together.”

He’s right. We are satisfied. We go out into the world, but come home to our own community. We pray together, take our meals together, enjoy time together.

What would you say to an inquirer?

Please come see for yourself! Enjoy a weekend with us. Pray with us. Immerse yourself in the life for a while. Stay open to the Holy Spirit … and say Yes to the nudge to find out more!