Jacqueline Small enters the Postulancy

Jacqueline Small, 26 years old, is an oblate and a staff member of Monasteries of the Heart and Benetvision and now a postulant. "When I first encountered this community as an intern with Sister Joan Chittister in the summer of 2015, I was a graduate student, working toward degrees in divinity and social work, hoping that these would prepare me for a life of seeking God and serving others. The sisters of this community showed me what such a life could look like: grounded, humble, simple, joyful, challenging, committed to peace and justice, interdependent, ancient, innovative …. After much discernment, I now feel drawn to deepen my relationship to this community, and to root my search for God more fully in the monastic life and practice . . ."

The Entrance Ritual began at the front door of the monastery. Accompanied by Sister Marilyn Schauble, Vocation Director, Jacqueline knocked on the door as a sign of her desire to enter the monastery. "I accompanied Jacqueline in her discernment process," said Sister Marilyn, "and it was an honor to walk with her into the monastery." The community greeted Jacqueline and Sister Anne Wambach, prioress asked: "What is it you seek?" To which Jackie replied: "I wish to seek God by following the monastic way of life, encouraged and accompanied by the women of this community."

Sister Stephanie Schmidt, Director of Postulants, who will guide Jacqueline in this first phase of initial monastic formation explained: "As a postulant Jacqueline will participate fully in the life of the community and live the communal life of prayer and ministry. She will learn community history, vision and values and have classes on Benedictine spirituality as she continues to discern her vocation."

Sister Anne spoke for the community when she said, "We are grateful to welcome another seeker in our midst. We thank Jacqueline for responding to God’s call and pray that she will continue to serve God with the gifts she has been given so that in all things God may be glorified."

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The postulancy is a time to become more familiar with Benedictine spirituality as it is lived daily. It is also a time to discern the authenticity of the call to be a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. For information about becoming a Benedictine Sister of Erie click here or contact Sister Marilyn Schauble.