The Benedictine life is both ordinary and human, extraordinary and divine. It is ordinary and human because St. Benedict in his Rule encourages us to get on with the business of monastic life; it is extraordinary and divine because it is a response to a call from God and it is a life lived for others. Welcome to St. Scholastica Priory, a community of sisters located in Petersham, Massachusetts.




In 2014 St. Scholastica Priory will host two Monastic Experience Weekends for young women interesting in discerning their vocation by living with the community for a few days to see their life at close hand: from August 8-10 and from October 10-12. For information on the weekends please click here.

If you are a single Catholic woman between the age of 18-40, and would like to discuss and discern a monastic vocation, dates can be arranged outside of the Monastic Weekends.


On April 20, 2013, two public conferences for the Year of Faith were hosted by St. Mary’s Monastery and St. Scholastica Priory. To listen to them click here:

Giving a Reason for the Hope that Is in Us

by Fr.  Robert Imbelli

Does What I Believe In Affect My Life?

by Mother Mary Elizabeth Kloss, OSB


July 27, 2014 —


The last week of July! How in the world did that happen? On Tuesday July 29th we celebrate along with the whole Church the feast of St Martha, the dear saint who cooked and prepared for Jesus when he came to spend a day at their home. Her brother was Lazarus and her sister, Mary. Poor Martha was tired and wanted Jesus to tell her sister to give her a hand. I’m sure you remember his response to her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42). There have been volumes written on this passage of the Gospel. Still, Jesus spoke to her directly and again after their brother Lazarus had died and been dead for three days. Mary was beside herself but again Martha was caring for the situation. And the Gospel there records: “Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5). And a little further in that same story, “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 1:25-26). She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world” (John 11:27). Jesus loved the whole family and would go to their home and would be welcomed and refreshed by their love and care. That is why Benedictines take them as their patrons of hospitality for welcoming guests. We celebrate all three members of the family on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we celebrate three Doctors of the Church in succession. The 30th of July is the memorial of St. Peter Chrysologus, meaning Peter the “golden-worded” (c. 380 – c. 450.) He was Bishop of Ravenna from about 433 until his death. He is called the Doctor of Homilies, for his short but inspired talks; he supposedly feared boring his audience. His piety and zeal won universal admiration. Maybe we should ask him to intercede for priests on Saturday and Sunday mornings!

Thursday, July 31st is another Doctor of the Church and a great founder of religious life: St. Ignatius of Loyola (October 23, 1491– July 31, 1556), a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family. He was characteristic of his time: chivalrous, brave, and he was vain. In a battle he was hit but a canon ball and his leg was broken. This was a great distress to him because he wore long leather boots. When his leg healed crooked, he had them re-break it and make it straight the second time. God had other plans though, and used the long recovery time to force him, out of sheer boredom, to read the books that were on hand. He quickly finished the novels and had only lives of the saints left. He was changed from that moment on. Eventually he founded the Jesuit Order that still exists. In fact, our dear Pope Francis is a Jesuit. Here is a link to learn more about this great saint: St. ignatius of Loyola .

And finally on Saturday is the feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori (27 September 1696–1 August 1787.) He was born in a town near Naples and was of the nobility. He studied law, became a lawyer and was highly successful until one day he lost a case. He quit law and eventually became a priest, bishop and prolific writer. He wrote of many philosophical and religious works, but is best known for his writings about Mary, the Mother of God. Here is a link to know more about him: St. Alphonsus Ligouri.

Have a blessed week and know you are in our prayers here every day.

Love and prayers from us all,

Mother Mary Elizabeth, OSB