Sister Barbara Helder

September 2014 will mark 40 years since I made Saint Benedict Monastery my home and the Benedictine Sisters of Pittsburgh my family … those years went fast and those years were good:  growth-producing, faith-deepening and fulfilling. Throughout the years, my Sisters showed me what it means to love and serve others in the simple, everyday tasks of caring that life puts before us. They showed me what it means to go beyond myself to live with prayerful dedication and thankfulness. Because of them I became a better person, expanded my world view and matured in self and God awareness.

The encouragement and affirmation of my Benedictine Sisters enabled me to accept greater responsibility in ministering within the community … first as Liturgy Director, which allows me to use and further develop my creative musical and literary talents … then as Community Secretary, which calls me to be organized and conscientious in keeping Community records. Most recently, in addition to these two task-oriented positions, I have been given a new “hat to wear” – that of Sub-prioress. In this position, I will be privileged to develop my Benedictine heart more fully as I engage with my Sisters in new ways, attending to their needs and helping the every-day workings of the house to run smoothly and peacefully as I serve them.

I love the values that are part of the Benedictine way of life: simplicity, stewardship, prayer, community, service, peace, reverence … these values never grow old, never become outdated. One of things I like most about Benedictine spirituality is its truth that God is found in the everyday happenings of life. God is not distant, but as close as the smiling faces I see as Sisters go about their day, as close as the faithfulness of the Sisters to communal prayer several times a day, as close as the heart of the Sisters who willingly give the extra mile in service.

I can truthfully say, after all these years of Benedictine living, I cannot imagine myself doing anything else that would be as fulfilling and right for me.   I have grown into my  place here and I cannot think of any place I would rather be.



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