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, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.