Random Nun Clips

The Rule of Benedict

Podcast Recorded: August 22, 2022
glass of red wine

Don’t be deceived! There is great humor – and much joy – in the Rule of Benedict. Benedictine Sister Pat Crowley explains.

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Show Notes

Listen to the full episode of In Good Faith podcast here: https://anunslife.org/podcasts/in-good-faith/igf057-pat-crowley

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Transcript (Click for More)+

Sister Rejane  
This Random Nun Clip is brought to you by A Nun's Life Ministry. I'm Sister Rejane of A Nun's Life Ministry. Our guest today is Sister Pat Crowley, a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Chicago, Illinois. Following in her parents' footsteps, Pat herself has a heart for social justice and the Benedictine rule. Living through the changes of Vatican II Pat found she has a gift for being an administrator, leading her into 42 years of meaningful ministry, especially in the realm of homelessness. How did your parents respond when you said "Yes, I want to enter with the Benedictines of Chicago"?

Sister Pat  
Well, their initial response was wait a couple of years and finish college and then go. But I said no, you know, I wanted to go. They were fine with it. But they were Benedictine Oblates. That's why I went to school to the Benedictines, they had become Oblates at some point with St. John's Abbey and Collegeville. My father loved to tell us about the Rule. He'd like to pretend he was the abbot. [laughter] And he liked the humor in the Rule, and he liked just the idea of consulting everybody about decisions, you know. And so, they were very happy that if I were going to enter, I were going to enter a Benedictine community, because they knew that spirit.

Sister Rejane  
Wow. Do you remember any of the quotes that your father would often repeat?

Sister Pat  
Well, sure. I don't know if it's a quote, but the idea anyway. Yeah. Well, the funny one was, you know, Benedict says that, you know, monks could have wine to drink. Of course, they were in Italy, and that a hemina of wine was enough for any monk. And my father loved that. He said, "But nobody knows" -- but they do now, but nobody knew at that time, I guess, or he didn't know, what a hemina was. And so, you know, you could drink as much as you think you can handle. You know, he thought that was good. He liked that. And as I said, he liked -- one of the chapters in the rule is about bringing the monks to chapter, to Council, and he liked that. So we had a round table, kind of oval table. And we were a lot because they took foster children, we had foreign students, and their own kids. And so he would ask, if they were going to make a decision, like about maybe going on a trip to visit other CFM groups, he would ask around the table, "What do you think of that? Where else do you think we should go?" And everybody would contribute. So everybody felt important.

Sister Rejane  
That is special, that your input mattered.

Sister Pat  

Yeah, yeah, it did.

Sister Rejane  

Okay, so what is a hemina? How much is that?

Sister Pat  

You know, I forget! [laughter] I should look it up. I don't know what it was.  

Sister Rejane  

Yeah, I'll have to look it up afterwards. I've never heard that word. Oh my gosh. To hear full episodes of A Nun's Life podcasts, visit the podcast page at anunslife.org/podcasts.

This transcript has been lightly edited for readability.

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