ROCK ISLAND -- It will be a "Lord's labor" day weekend for potential new sisters at St. Mary's Monastery.
Women interested in possibly joining a religious community of sisters will get the chance to learn more about it at a discernment weekend hosted by Benedictine sisters at the monastery, at 2200 88th Ave. W.
The Friday through Monday event is designed for single women ages 22 to 45 who want to learn more about the variety of communities available in the Upper Mississippi River Valley, stretching from LaCrosse, Wis., to the Quad-Cities, vocation director Sister Bobbi Bussan said.
"It's the first time we've included other communities at one of our discernment retreats," she said. "We will have a panel of sisters representing other communities participating in a discussion that will help interested women get the chance to see a variety of options, and basically do some one-stop shopping for the community that fits them best."
Representatives from the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, Davenport; the Presentation and Blessed Virgin of Mary sisters, both from Dubuque, as well as the hosting Benedictines, plan to participate, she said. Other regional communities include the Sinsinawa, Wis., Dominicans, Cedar Rapids Mercies, Eldridge Carmelites, and Dubuque Trappistines, according to a news release
"The differences among communities are significant," the release said.
"The Benedictines, for example, are monastic and part-contemplative, part-active. Translation: They live together in a monastery, they pray together every day, they dine and enjoy leisure together.
"They have pooled all their resources, as any family, owning such things as cars in common. They go out for their ministries, as teachers, campus ministers, pastoral associates, etc.
"The Humilities, by comparison, are apostolic and active," the release stated. "They do not live together. They might live in twos or threes, in their own homes or apartments. They own their own cars, etc.
"The Eldridge Carmelites are cloistered, meaning they do not go out for ministries, but attend to their corporate ministry of prayer in the enclosure of their monastery," according to the release.
"The Trappistines, near Dubuque, are habited and cloistered and their main ministry is prayer."
In addition to the panel discussion, women attending the event will take a tour of the "Women in Spirit" exhibit on display at Christ the King Catholic Church, Moline, and will see a screening of the movie "A Question of Habit."
The exhibit highlightsthe key role "women religious" have played in the region, Sister Bussan said."We've staffed hospitals, schools and are still active there and elsewhere in the communities."
The movie, produced by Loyola filmmaker Bren Ortega Murphy, looks at how the media has treated "women religious." Ms. Ortega Murphy also will lead a question-and-answer period after the movie.
A handful of women have registered for the event so far, and Sister Bussan hopes for eight to 10 attendees, "but I'm happy with any amount."
Women who previously contacted the monastery for information have been invited. Invitations also have been sent to area college campuses and is posted on an electronic newsletter Sister Bussan distributes.
For information, call her at 309-283-2300.
Since it's Labor Day, women will have an extra day to make travel plans, and Sister Bussan hopes that makes it easier for them to attend the event and learn more about how to labor for, and with, the Lord.
Today is Thursday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2013. There are 26 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A new passenger car has been placed on the Coal Valley railroad, and R.R. Cable is running the trains at present. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. G.W. Gue preached a convincing sermon on the need of a new First Methodist Church in Rock Island 1913 -- 100 years ago: Dr. W.S. Marquis preached his farewell sermon at Broadway Presbyterian Church to the combined congregations from First Methodist, First Baptist, United Presbyterian and South Park Presbyterian churches. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's mayor is seeking to enforce the rules governing PWA projects in the city which state that local men are to be hired for the work. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Argus Santa Claus requests that the names of needy Rock Island boys and girls through 12 years of age be registered by parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11or Dec. 14. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Alcoa and its employee union have reached tentative agreement on a 43-month labor contract covering about 7,500 workers at six plants, including 1,900 employees at Alcoa's Davenport Works, company and union officials said today.