Ask Sister

AS185 Ask Sister - Motherhouse Road Trip with the Sisters of St. Benedict, in Yankton, S. Dakota

Podcast Recorded: May 26, 2016

AS185 Ask Sister podcast recorded live on May 26, 2016. Our guests: Sister Bonita Gacnik and Sister Carol Jean Van Den Hemel of the Sisters of Saint Benedict.

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Show Notes

​(3:16) What is a “monastic” community

(4:16) Call to religious life as a call to family

(7:40) Journey from the National Center for Atmospheric Research to the Benedictines

(12:05) Teaching in an all-boys high school: “helping students become the best men of God that they can be”

(15:00) Teaching in college: helping students overcome math phobia

(17:34) The vow of Stability

(18:38) An OSB Core Value: “learning the daily arts of forgiveness and peacemaking”

(24:16) Benedictine oblates online and in person

(27:15) The Rule of Benedict    

(29:16) Listener question: What to do when Dad disses idea of religious life for daughter

(37:40) Listener question: How radically will life change if you start following God’s calling

(42:38) Excerpt from Julian of Norwich about finding strength in God

Links and Resources:, including Sister Carol Jean’s blog

Revelation of Love, by Julian of Norwich, translated by John Skinner

About our Guest

Sister Carol Jean Van Den Hemel made her perpetual profession as a Benedictine sister in 2003. She  ministers as an educator at Mount Michael Benedictine High School in Omaha, Nebraska, where she teaches theology and sacraments/morality. She has also taught English, speech, and debate at the high school level, and religion at the junior high level. Sister Carol Jean is a member of the Yankton Benedictine's Monastic Council and the Monastery Formation Advisory Committee. Sister Carol Jean has a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

Sister Bonita Gacnik has been a Benedictine sister for over 30 years. She currently ministers at Mount Marty College in Yankton, where she has served as professor of mathematics for over 25 years. Sister Bonita is president of the North American Association of Benedictine Oblate Directors. She is also director of the Yankton Benedictine’s Residential Volunteer Program and of the Benedictine Online Oblate Chapter, the only online chapter of its kind. Sister Bonita has master’s degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science, and a Ph.D. in Computing Technology in Education. 

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