1987 / 1993


The first international Symposium of Benedictine Women took place in the Generalate of the Missionary Benedictine Sisters of Tutzing in Rome in October 1987 with 40 representatives of Benedictine nuns and sisters.  There is a very great variety of Benedictine women's communities, not just in terms of cultural differences. In addition - as a consequence of historical and canonical factors - their way of life developed in different directions each with a different emphasis, becoming communities of either nuns or sisters. There is no central government for them all. They are each autonomous.  However, as the network around our globe has become increasingly closer spun, Benedictine women have come to realise that it is necessary to find new ways of working together.  A process ensued, thanks to the courage and confidence of many individual women. Each of them, supported by the Abbot Primate of their time, knew that,  if we are willing to accept the challenge as well as the enrichment inherent in a true meeting with each other, the Kingdom of God would indeed win ground amongst us. This was the road that the Benedictine women 1987 chose.


The 2nd international Symposium took place from September 14 - 23, for the first time a meeting of women in S.Anselmo/Rome.   The theme was monastic profession inculturated. Each of the papers given, covering the monastic vows and the evangelical councils, were accompanied by two responses: e.g. the paper on poverty, given by a sister from Brazil, was accompanied by two responses, one from Germany and one from South Africa, and the paper on obedience by a German was accompanied by responses from USA and Korea.  Through this way of sharing, the perspective became broader, making a deeper understanding possible. God taught us through the reality we experienced.  As the American, Joan Chittister OSB, said in a closing word: Nothing of what we do can change the past, but everything we do can change the future." God leads us into the future and together we move forward into that future.

Reference: Maire Hickey OSB / Johanna Domek OSB (Editors), Frauen in Bewegung. Vertiefung des monastischen Lebens und Glaubens. Vier-Türme-Verlag, Münsterschwarzach 1995, ISBN 3-87868-519-X  An English publication of the talks is available at ...................

Visit in Subiaco

Participants from the USA

African delegates