“I saw a large tree growing up, covered all over with beautiful white blossoms. I believe that the dream is an image of the beautiful life of unity and love shared by all the members (of the new foundation in America).”
Adapted (by Owen Lindblad, OSB) from the words of Mother Augustina Weihermuller, OSB, of Eichstätt, on February 11, 1957.
Mother Benedicta (Sybilla) Riepp
Benedicta Riepp, at the age of 27, was sent with two other Sisters from Saint Walburg Abbey, Eichstätt, Bavaria (Germany), to Saint Marys Penn., to help educate German immigrants and to spread the Benedictine way of life. At the time of her death, after only 10 years in the United States, six independent communities of Benedictine women were established and thriving. One hundred fifty years later, 46 monasteries in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Taiwan and Japan trace their roots to Mother Benedicta Riepp.
A survey of these 46 monasteries revealed that a minimum of two million people have been influenced and continue to be served in institutions of education, health care, social service and spirituality instituted or administered by Benedicta Riepp’s daughter houses. The Benedictine Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn., founded on July 4, 1857, are part of that heritage. Over the past 149 years, the Benedictines of St. Joseph, Minn., have served thousands of people in the Diocese of St. Cloud, other dioceses across the United States and abroad.
The Sisters of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn., grew to be the largest community of Benedictine women in the world within their first 90 years, with a roster of 1,278. At the crest of their numbers, they were ministering in over 83 schools and health care organizations. Today, the monastic community numbers 315, still the largest Benedictine community in the United States.
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