Blessed with a "Riepper"

After spending a month as an observer Katlyn Ward, a 24 year old college graduate and former AmeriCorps Vista volunteer from Lowville, NY, who has participated in mission trips to Nicaragua and spent some time in Morocco, was initiated into the Benedicta Riepp program on May 1. During the ritual Katlyn, a serious seeker interested in intergenerational living, expressed her desire: “I seek to journey with this community and live monastic life with [the Benedictine Sisters of Erie] for the next five months.” With the assurance of the community’s support she pronounced and signed a statement of promise in the presence of Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, and the community. After being presented with the Rule of Benedict Katlyn was welcomed into the monastic experience program with a special blessing from the community and became, what the community has affectionately dubbed, a “Riepper.”

Katlyn’s program will be directed by Sister Stephanie Schmidt, Monastic Formation Director; her mentor will be Sister Miriam Mashank. During the next five months Katlyn will be working in various ministries including the Emmaus Food Pantry, Benedictines for Peace and Health Services in the monastery.

“This is a special time for Katlyn and for the community,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “It is a blessing for us to welcome women who wish to live with us for a period of time in order to immerse themselves in a daily rhythm of prayer, ministry, community life, hospitality, peace and nonviolence.”

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