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Kate: From the moment Sean
came home in the 2nd grade with
his career day project and said "I
want to talk to Fr. Mike because
I'm going to be a priest!" I
encouraged him. I sent him to
Catholic schools, including
seminary high school. As a
family we prayed that if it were a
true vocation he would hear the
voice of God in a loud and clear
manner. I admit the idea that he
would give me no "little Sean's"
was tough but a life serving God
is certainly worth some sacrifice.
My Daughter or Son Has a Vocation!
‘Now What’?
Sister Irma Twenter:
‘Handy Little Helper Called by God’
The Gatekeeper
Being a parent has to be one of
the most difficult, exhilarating
and life encompassing jobs
known to humanity.
Being a parent is never ending
but ever-changing and no matter
what, when or where as a parent,
your child will always be your
There is no denying that parents
want to see their children happy,
and this continued well past the
teen years to young adulthood.
What if ones child chooses to live
a life that is not seen as the ac-
cepted norm of society, such as
the path less chosen? Here are
some thoughts from parents who
have children seriously consider-
ing the vowed life.
As a parent who has a son/
daughter who is discerning their
call how do you feel about this
Kate: I am concerned about my
son's call. The priesthood is no
longer a totally respected
vocation. I am praying alone and
with my son that he chooses an
order that will fully support him
in both his personal and
professional life. I am praying
for the strength to know that God
will help him when things get
tough and that he is mentored in
a loving and safe environment
How have you supported your
son/daughter in their vocation
Father told my mother that “God
is calling your daughter to be a
sister just as he called me to the
priesthood.” Then she understood
that you cannot go against the
will of God. Father told her that
God was calling me to serve the
Lord in a special way.
(Continued on page 3)
My first idea of being a sister
was when I was in the second
grade. But that came and went. I
was taught by the Benedictine
Sisters of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
They taught for many years in
my home town of Clear Creek,
MO. I received my education
from them as far as the eighth
grade. I never did want to get
married because I was a handy
helper at home. When I told my
mother I wanted to be a sister she
didn’t want me to leave home. I
had four sisters and five brothers
and there was a lot of work to be
done. I was a handy helper with
all the work. My mother took me
to see the pastor to get his advice
about my desire to be a sister.
Inside this issue:
Daughter or Son has a Vo-
cation : Now What?
Handy Little Helper
Sister Irma Twenter
Benedictine Bookends
The Shack
Vocation Ministry
Sister Alice O’Brien
Welcome to Formation
Sr. Dolores Vincent Bauer
Vocation Ministry Retreats
& Prayer Calendar Insert
Special points of interest:
• My Daughter has a vocation,
Now what?
Parents share insights about their
discerning kids.
Welcome & meet the Forma-
tion Director of St. Scholas-
Monastic Word
What a Monastic Reads:
The Shack!
St. Scholastica Monastery Fort Smith, Arkansas
June 2009
Volume 2, Issue 2

Page 2
The Life of a Vocation Director: Sister Alice O’ Brien
Mack soon discovers God in a
world not much like the one he
has known. Finding God in the
pain of life is no easy journey,
and this book leads Mack where
he is unsure he wants to go.
Mack meets Papa, Jesus, and
Sarayu, as his friend Willie at-
tests to all that Mack feels and
faces, Why? Because ‘faith
never knows where it is being
led, but it knows and loves the
One who is leading’ (Oswald
Chambers). And because God is
especially fond of us all…
Sister Kimberly Rose Prohaska
We first encountered The Shack by making a
trip to Tucson, Arizona. A few of the sisters
were reading the text, and both Sister Pat
Bolling, OSB and I were rather excited to have
The Shack on audio. The subtitle states aptly,
“Where tragedy confronts Eternity”. I found
myself so engrossed in hearing the words
written by Mr. William P. Young that I did not
want it to end. Miles went by with every twist
and turn of each sentence the reader breathed.
As Sister Pat drove, we listened as the words
resounded into our Benedictine hearts. When
one CD finished we quickly put in the coun-
terpart and we shared a word or phrase that
struck us. I could not help but note we were
sharing in what seemed like lectio. It felt
deeper than a book club experience. It was
mobile, living, acting, as we came to under-
stand the message the author
was trying to convey in a new
sacred holy way. This book, I
believe helped us to truly bond
as sisters.
We journeyed with the lead
the book,
Mackenzie Allen Philips, as he
strives to learn and deal with
the tragic loss of his youngest
daughter Missy.
The Shack
becomes more than just a
structure in the frozen woods.
It is here that Mackenzie learns
about God and those he loves
while facing the truth of his
great sadness.
S ister
Alic e
O’Brien is a native
mother and grand-
joining the monas-
tery here at St.
nursing field and
later joined the
Benedictine Sis-
ters, Our Lady of Peace Monastery, and our
daughter house in Columbia, MO.
It was here that she served in a variety of min-
istries, still as a nurse and as vocation director
for the Sisters in Columbia.
Sister Alice has been with us here at St. Scho-
lastica Monastery for a little over a year and
hopes to make final profession with us in the
next two years. We are happy to have Sister
Alice with us in vocation ministry!
Benedictine Bookends: What a Monastic Reads
Sister Dolores Vincent Bauer Begins Formation Ministry
How do you feel about being Formation direc-
When we elected a new prioress, I knew I
would be getting a new assignment. However, I
was quite surprised when I was asked to be
formation director. I feel that it is going to be a
great challenge. With my openness to the guid-
ance of the Holy Spirit and the support of the
community, I feel I can grow, in this position
entrusted to me. Deep down its exciting and a
bit intimidating, but I am willing to help the
women who come to us as we learn together to
live as God has called us to.
What are some of the things you are doing now
for your ministry as Formation Director?
Computer skills are now a part of my agenda! I
am taking classes for computers and as a new
formation director I will be attending St. John’s
in Collegeville, MN, taking classes on monastic
formation, monastic spirituality and theology.
What do you think will be life giving for you as
you serve the community in this capacity? For
me, meeting and getting to know the new pros-
pects is something I look forward to. Having
the time with the women who come to join us
as members of the community will be quite
enriching for me. Getting to know them will
allow me to have a deeper relationship with
God and with the community. This ministry
will be a broadening experience for me. I know
this time will allow me to be the Benedictine I
am meant to be and I am grateful.
—Sister Dolores Vincent Bauer, OSB
Sister Dolores Vincent takes some
time to visit with Sister Kimberly
about her new role in Formation
How long have you been a mem-
ber of St. Scholastica? 28 years.
What might a potential candidate/
want to know about you?
I am a native of Nebraska; I went
to a country school, in a grade all
by myself for 8 years. I attended
Catholic school for five years.
I have a degree in elementary
education and I taught nine in
Nebraska public schools and later taught nine
years in Aransas Catholic schools. I am easy
going and embrace a sense of humor. I hope
they find that I am open and strive to listen. To
know more come and check it out!
What are some of the things you
enjoy doing?
I enjoy doing Sudoku, working jig-
saw puzzles with the sisters, walk-
ing outside, and I love nature.
I like yard-work, just being outside
is enjoyable to me. While in my
former ministry I really found it
life-giving to visit the elderly and
the house-bound. Bringing com-
munion to those who cannot attend
mass is a gift to me. I like to
watch British comedies, on
PBS such as, ‘Keeping Up Appearances’.
Visiting with the sisters and talking with the
community members is invaluable to me.
Have you been formation director before? No.
Page 2
The Gatekeeper
Sister Dolores Vincent Bauer, OSB
Sister Alice O’Brien, OSB

Page 3
Sister Irma Twenter: ‘Handy Little Helper Called by God’
My Daughter or Son Has Vocation! Now What?
taken with faith and the intention to live it. I
would like to believe that the church would
support my child if he chose to spend his life
serving the church and himself as one. I
would want to feel part of my son's life in the
religious just like if he were married. I would
want to be welcome in his new home and
loved by those he loves. I would want to
know those people that were close to him in a
way that would make us all family.
Please address any thoughts or concerns about
the role of parents and children and the
vocational life.
Kate: It is tough to watch your children leave
regardless of their life choices but the religious
life is a little more threatening because you
feel as though you lose your child to a set of
rules rather than to a loving partner. I'm not
sure how you would get around this.
diocesan priest can go home at holidays and
has more freedom than, perhaps, an order
priest or a sister. It would be tough for me to
not have my child home for holidays,
etc. This is selfish but really true.
(Kate is from IL and proud mother of five.)
The next issue will present views from Lisa.
(Continued from page 1)
What fears/hopes do you have for your daugh-
ter/son as they seek to join a community or live
the vowed life ?
Kate: My fears, bluntly, are that he will be
judged to be a different kind of man than what
he is. Unfortunately, the priesthood is viewed
as being generally gay or to have something to
do with child endangerment. I know this is not
true but it will take strength to fight for what he
wants in this time of turbulence in the church.
My hopes would be that he serve God with
every ounce of love in his body! I would be
very proud of "my son the priest" and would do
everything I could do help him to have a happy
life. Some things I would want to know about
before my child considers answering the call of
religious life, or vowed life are
Kate: As with any other life choice, I would
want him to look carefully at being in an order
or a diocesan priest. I would want him to make
himself completely aware of all that he was
gaining and all that he was giving up. I would
want him to join men who are like minded....he
is heavily into social justice, particularly
working with children and I would want to
make sure that whoever he joined would
support him, educate him and give him the
opportunities to grow in his chosen mission.
How do I see myself as a parent, supporting my
child after they answer their vocation call?
Kate: First and forever in whatever they choose
I would pray for them (and do) daily. I would
let him know how proud I was of his
accomplishments and choices and support him
financially, emotionally and physically by being
there for him whenever possible. I do believe,
however, that when one leaves the family unit
for marriage or religious vocation I have a duty
to try and "let go and let God" as much as
How do I see myself as a parent
hindering my child after they answer their
vocation call?
Kate: Is there any reason that you would
attempt to persuade your daughter not to answer
her call?
I would never, ever do anything to
stop them....I would be proud and supportive of
their choice...to serve God is a wonderful
What could we do to help you as a parent of one
who is thinking about the call?
Kate: I'm not sure I understand the term
"vowed religious"? I simply know that any
vow we take before God is serious and must be
would be terrific if you come and ask me ques-
tions of what it is like to be a nun. I do want to
tell those who are thinking about religious life
to try to live a balance of work and prayer.
Listen to what way of service God is calling,
pay attention to the little things. It is good to
meditate and read the lives of the Saints. Per-
sonally, I love to pray the Rosary. If you keep
your mind busy you can remember more
things and accomplish more for
the love of God. God will al-
ways be there to help you.
After many years of dedicated
service Sister Irma lives in the
monastery infirmary and says
she has lived a happy life at St.
“Whenever God wants me,
sooner or later, I will go where
chooses—and I prefer the
(continued from page 1)
When I told my family about
going to the convent my
brother told me that when
you make up your mind you
stick to it. When I was sev-
enteen years old I took a job
in Kansas City, MO. I stayed
with a family and took care
of their two children while
they went to work. I helped
around the house doing vari-
ous tasks.
One summer Sisters Bernice
Kraus and Theresa Marie
Twenter came home to see
family in Clear Creek. The
parish gave them a picnic. It was at this time I
was sure I wanted to be a sister, and I told my
mom I wanted to go to the convent with them.
It was hard for my mom to see me leave home.
I told her, if I get married, I leave home. If I
become a sister, I leave home.
You cannot stay in the nest all
the time, you have to go one
way or another. I asked the
sisters if I could go with them
to the convent, they put a veil
on my head and said they
thought I would make a good
So in August, 1934, I went
with the sisters to St. Scholas-
tica on the train. In those days
you were not supposed to enter
until September, so they asked
me if I would work around the
convent until the scheduled
time of entry. This allowed me
to pay for my profession ring,
I worked hard and did what I was asked to do.
If you feel like you have a call from God just
make up your mind that you want to be of
some service to God. Actually, I think it
Page 3
Volume 2, Issue 2
Sister Irma Twenter, OSB

Page 4
1301 S. Albert Pike
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903
Phone: 479-783-4147
Fax: 479-782-4352
Cell: 903-283-3132
E-mail: [email protected]
St. Scholastica Monastery
For t Smith, Arkansas
Check out our website!
The Gatekeeper
Vol. 2
No. 2
Gatekeeper is published quarterly by the vocation office of St. Scholas-
tica Monastery PO Box 3489 Fort Smith, Arkansas 72913. Vocation
Department Email: [email protected] Telephone:
Anyone is welcome to be on our mailing list at no charge.
Sr. Kimberly Rose Prohaska…Editor, Design, Photos, Circulation
Sr. Elise Forst………………..Advisor, Copy Editor
Sr. Alice O’Brien………..…...Contributor
Sr. Irma Twenter.…………….Contributor
Sr. Dolores Vincent Bauer…...Contributor
Come and See Monastic Experience
For Women and Men ages 18-45
St. Scholastica Monastery
1301 S. Albert Pike Ave.
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72903
To attend this annual summer retreat con-
Sister Kimberly R. Prohaska at 479-783-
Do you know a woman we’d like to know?
Does she have listening heart-like ours?
A Heart filled with passion for being a God seeker?
Please share with women
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Write, or Call today!
We are Benedictine Sisters:
Committed to seeking God, rooted in a rich monastic tradition. Women who seek to be a voice for
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We join together in prayer, community life and service to help create a loving world! Come live out
our 20/20 vision by sharing in our dream of being a prophetic and contemplative community!
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‘A vow taken by a Benedictine monk, binding to resi-
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is made’