The 137-year history of the Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery is the story of a journey....
It began when four young Benedictine Sisters moved Forward In Faith from Indiana to the Arkansas Frontier where they began their teaching ministry in a log cabin in Shoal Creek.
In 1925, they again followed God's call to a new home in the population center of Fort Smith where they opened St. Scholastica Academy.
In the Benedictine tradition, the Sisters' ministerial journey grew deep roots in Fort Smith and allowed them to move Forward In Faith, as teachers at St. Scholastica Academy and parish schools in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, and Oklahoma, and as nurses, staffing five hospitals in Arkansas and Missouri.
In the 1970's, needs of the Church drew the Sisters into parish and retreat ministry, social work, and pastoral care in hospitals as they celebrated and fostered the increased role of the laity as partners in ministry. The Oblate program, established in 1979, has attracted over 225 adults who live out the Benedictine charism in their daily lives. In the past several years the Sisters developed a formation program for spiritual directors to respond to another need in local faith communities.
Today, the Sisters remain committed not only to living a community life of prayer and simplicity but also to responding to the needs of God's people. Their 90 year-old, six-story monastery has served them well but does not meet the needs of their smaller and increasingly elderly community. Its operational expenses, upkeep, and high energy costs have made it an obstable to their mission. The proposed new monastery will allow the Sisters to use their energy and resources for life and mission as they follow God's call once again to move Forward In Faith.