Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict install Sister Karen Rose as 18th prioress

The new leadership team of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict includes, clockwise from top left, Benedictine Sisters Jeanne Marie Lust, treasurer; Colleen Quinlivan, community secretary; Sharon Nohner, subprioress; and Karen Rose, prioress. (Photo submitted)

Benedictine Sister Karen Rose was installed as the 18th prioress of the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict in a private Rite of Installation ceremony on June 4.

Other members of the new leadership team are: Benedictine Sisters Sharon Nohner, subprioress; Jeanne Marie Lust, treasurer; and Colleen Quinlivan, community secretary. The leadership team is responsible for guiding the community in all operational, fiscal and spiritual matters. They will each serve a six-year term from 2023 to 2029.

Benedictine Sister Nicole Kunze, vice president of the Monastic Congregation of Saint Benedict and a member of Annunciation Monastery in Bismarck, North Dakota, officially installed Sister Karen. The morning’s rite was attended by the St. Joseph sisters, members of the Monastic Congregation of Saint Benedict and a few special guests.

Later that afternoon, Mass was held at Sacred Heart Chapel, where Bishop Patrick Neary gave a blessing of the universal Church to Sister Karen. After Mass, guests greeted Sister Karen and enjoyed hospitality during a public reception held in the Gathering Place.

“It’s been an amazing day, and I just feel overwhelmed by the love and support that so many people from so many different walks of life have been showing. I feel very hopeful and confident for the future,” Sister Karen said.

Bishop Patrick Neary, C.S.C., gives a blessing to Sister Karen Rose June 4 at Sacred Heart Chapel. (Photo by Benedictine Sister Nancy Bauer)

Sister Karen Rose grew up in Manchester, England, the only child of Leslie and Joan Rose. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in philosophy and theology from Oxford University, a master’s degree in medical social anthropology from Keele University and a doctorate in nursing from the University of Manchester.

But it was “an insatiable thirst for knowledge and discovery” that led Sister Karen to Studium, a scholars’ program through Saint Benedict’s Monastery, in 2005. Though she did not plan to enter religious life, Sister Karen felt called back, and she made her first monastic profession on July 11, 2009, and her perpetual profession on July 11, 2012.

Benedictine Sister Michaela Hedican, a former prioress who served the community from 2011-2017, said the June 4 installation was “very tender and very rich in meaning.”

“Sister Karen is our gift from England,” Sister Michaela said. “She will bring much depth of spirituality, great wisdom and a wonderful sense of humor.”

Guests congratulate Benedictine Sister Karen Rose at a reception June 4 following her installation as the monastery’s 18th prioress. (Photo by Gianna Bonello)

Lana Faber, a Benedictine oblate who sings in the schola with the Benedictine sisters, attended the Eucharist and reception. She noted Sister Karen’s energy.

“She’s vibrant. She sings in the schola and she is always upbeat and ready to go,” Faber said.

Sister Karen will take over as prioress from Benedictine Sister Susan Rudolph, who served in that position from 2017-2023.

“It’s a great thing to be called to this monastic community,” Sister Karen said.

Author: Gianna Bonello

Gianna Bonello is a multimedia reporter for The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine.

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