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By Benedictine Oblate, Emilie Rogers, ObOSB

conference logoRecently I was given the honor and pleasure to attend, virtually, the first Being Benedictine in the 21st Century Conference and Conversation, along with Sr. Susan Mika, OSB, Sr. Chon Nguyen, OSB, Sr. Ursula Herrera, OSB, Sr. Antoinette Van Galen, OSB and others, as well as Oblates Nan Neff, Bill Howden, and Jan Davis.

The virtual conference was held from Friday evening, May 28th to Sunday afternoon, May 30th. Its purpose was to bring together spiritual seekers in conversation to address how we can expand the way we live the Benedictine tradition now and into the future. The 200 plus participants came from broad and diverse backgrounds that included professed members, Oblates, and other seekers that are committed to Benedictine spirituality.

Speakers included Sister Joan Chittister (best-selling author, international lecturer, religious and social leader, and Benedictine Sister of Erie, PA), Judith Valente, Oblate (award-winning author and journalist who has written several books on Benedictine spirituality), and a panel of Sisters, Oblates, and seekers. Collectively, they led a discussion about the future of the Benedictine tradition.

During this weekend of conversation, we discussed the current climate of the Benedictine tradition, the many ways people live out their Benedictine spirituality, and our vision for the future of the Benediction tradition. As the weekend progressed, we found ourselves sharing our own spirituality by sharing our journeys that brought us to the conference and our future dreams for the Benedictine tradition. As the conversation ended on Sunday afternoon, I found myself wanting more. More interaction and more time with this group of seekers.

The conversation will continue as participants take what they learned and integrate their experience into their own lives and Benedictine communities. For more information about this journey, please visit the Being Benedictine website (

I look forward to seeing where we go from here with the Sisters and Oblates in Boerne. Until then, may Peace reign in your heart.

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