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 Monday, April 21, the 111th day of 2014. There are 254 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: The female sex seems to have gone crazy on the subject of dry goods. When high prices keep them from increasing their wardrobes, they turn to stealing. Yard goods, hats, shoes and other items are being picked up and carried home. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Members of Everts Commandery No. 18, Knights Templar, under Commander H.C. Cleaveland, marched from the Masonic Temple to Trinity Episcopal Church for their annual Easter services. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Nate Hultgren pitched the Augustana College baseball team to a 10-3 victory over Carthage, striking out 11 men and allowing only four hits. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Marvel Leonhardi, a Rock Island High School senior, was the winner of an essay contest on advertising sponsored by The Argus and Advertising Age, a national advertising publication. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Augustana College band drew a crowd of 1,200 people for its annual home concert in Centennial Hall. The size of the crowd was indicative of the fact the band is rapidly approaching the stature of the Augustana Choir. 1989 -- 25 years ago: A benefit to raise money for extracurricular activities in the Rock Island Milan School District will be April 27 at the Quad City Downs harness race track. People buying $17.50 tickets to the second annual "Night at the Quad City Downs" will be entitled to an evening of harness racing and dinner.