Pray and work “That in all things God may be glorified.” The Benedictine Sisters of Ridgely, Md., strive to fulfill this directive of their founder, St. Benedict. On Nov. 16, 2011, the feast of their patroness, St. Gertrude the Great, the sisters rejoiced to receive a new novice, Jo-El McLaughlin, who joined them in their seeking of God.
Though they are involved in various active ministries, the primary ministries of Benedictines are communal prayer — “The Work of God” — and the formation of Christian community. From these core ministries flow the external ones.
For 52 years, the Benedictine School and related services and facilities have been serving mentally challenged children and adults in Ridgely, in the Tri-State area and beyond. In 1983, the sisters’ commitment to justice and concern for the poor led to the founding of St. Martin’s Ministries to meet the needs of the rural poor. Ten years later, St. Martin’s House opened for homeless women and children as a transitional residence.
In addition to these ministries, individual sisters minister in such areas as social work and nursing. The monastery also offers facilities for meetings and retreats.
The sisters are aided in their work by a large group of Benedictine Oblates – lay men and women who strive to keep the Rule of Benedict as well as they can in their walk of life and who join the Sisters monthly for morning praise, Eucharist, and a talk on Benedictine spirituality.
Another great source of assistance is the Volunteer Program. Each year this program brings groups of high school students and their moderators to the monastery to learn more about monastic life as they offer valuable service to the school, the monastery, and St. Martin’s Ministries. These teachers and students are also instrumental in organizing drives for food and providing helpful and beautiful gifts for St. Martin’s Ministries and the Benedictine School.
Contact the Benedictine Sisters of Ridgely at 410-634-2497.