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 Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.