The Benedictine Sisters of Florida have served for over 127 years as messengers of the Gospel and as followers of Jesus’ example in responding to the needs of others through our prayers, works of education, mercy, spiritual guidance and stewardship. The Rule of Saint Benedict is the source of the living spiritual tradition that informs the lives of Benedictine women and men across the world. Within the Rule lie the Gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. The primary ideas that permeate the Rule are love and wisdom. The love of God and love of others impel us to look outside ourselves. It calls us not only to see Christ in others, but also to treat others as Christ and to act for others with love in the place of God.
Changing the World through our Corporate Commitment
In an effort to address contemporary local needs, we, the Benedictine Sisters of Florida, commit ourselves and our resources to respond with the compassion of Christ to the physical, spiritual, social, and emotional hungers of the people of God. Corporate Commitment statement of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida adopted 6/15/1995 and reaffirmed each year during our Community Days. Our ministries and programs grow out of our Corporate Commitment and reflect Jesus’ call to us all to be the presence of God’s love to all people. Our Partners and Volunteers are instrumental in the execution of our Corporate Commitment.
Each Thanksgiving for the past 20 years, the Benedictine Sisters of Florida have served a home-cooked dinner for those who are alone or just can’t serve such a meal themselves. The Annual Dinner is hosted with St. Anthony Catholic Church and made possible with the help of committed volunteers. Typically we serve over 200 meals and deliver to those who are home bound and the women and children at Sunrise Domestic Violence Shelter. Our volunteers love being a part of this ministry too! “People want to be together to celebrate God’s gifts of family and food. Some don’t have the chance because they are elderly, along or their family is having a difficult time and just can’t afford a big meal. That’s why we give not only a meal, but the opportunity to be together and share with others.” – Sister Mary David Hydro, OSB
Considered best practice in producing healthy food, Aquaponics is the integration of animal and plant cultures in an aquatic media. The system produces healthier food rich in natural nutrients (no pesticides or chemicals are used). Volunteer in the garden and learn more about this fascinating program. Contact S. Miriam Cosgrove at (352) 588-8320 for a tour and for information on helping her feed the fish, plant seeds, harvesting – one activity or more!
We have a training coming-up (go to “What’s New” tab) for those who would like to start their own such farming.
Lenten Soup Supper
Lenten Soup Supper During Lent, the Benedictine Sisters of Florida sponsor a soup supper to benefit the DayStar Hope Food Pantry. The event has been held at Holy Name Monastery since 1996 and includes prayer, soup supper, family games, and almsgiving to help alleviate hunger. The food and financial assistance provided to the poor by DayStar Hope often means the difference in families having shelter and food on the table. DayStar Hope operates a thrift shop which sells household items, furniture, clothing, and other donated items. Sister Jean Abbott manages DayStar Hope, and the Sisters volunteer. You’re welcome to be a part of this ministry by helping at the DayStar Hope Food Pantry and Thrift Shop or by attending the Soup Supper. You can also support this ministry through your financial contributions or donation of goods. Donations, either monetary or food, given to DayStar Hope during the month of March are applied toward a matching grant which is given annually.
Christmas Adopt a Senior
It would be heartbreaking for any one not to have the means to provide a warm, holiday meal or presents under the tree. At this most blessed time of year, the Sisters adopt nursing home clients and provide gifts. We have also provided gifts to the elderly at Heritage Park and for Catholic Charitites. We treasure the smiles of surprise on their faces when we present them with a gift. Please join us in these projects so that we can do more.
Food Angels for Habitat
Several times a year, the Sisters prepare and serve lunch for the volunteers at Habitat for Humanity. Food donations and preparation make it possible for us to help Habitat workers more often. When university students from other states participate in the Habitat Collegiate Challenge to build houses in neighboring cities, the Sisters feed and house those students as they help build houses for families in need.
Domestic Violence and Abuse Victims
Your financial assistance and donations of food items and baskets help us help the poor. Each year the local abuse shelter holds a Candlelight Vigil for Domestic Violence and Abuse Victims. Nationally a woman is battered every 15 seconds in the United States and four women are murdered by their partners each day. As Benedictine Sisters, our role is to increase awareness of domestic violence as we reach out to heal and soothe those that are hurting in the world – especially women and children. Please join us! With each candle we light, we pray that God will watch over and heal victims and their families. Our prayers are that they will survive the aftermath of domestic violence so that they can move toward safe and productive lives.
Peace and Justice
As an organization, we are committed to prayer and action for peace. The Benedictine charism of peace challenges us to witness to gospel values. We invite your prayers for peace and compassion in our world.
Offering of Letters to Congress
Imagine a world where no one goes hungry! To move the world closer to ending hunger, each year the Benedictine Sisters in conjunction with Bread for the World host a prayer service and invite those attending to turn their prayers into action through scripture, song and personal letters to representatives in Congress. This outpouring of concern sends a powerful message to our political leaders and helps us move closer to the goal of ending hunger. And the message is far more powerful when our leaders hear from all of us. Can we count on you to write a letter or two?
Alliance for International Monasticism
As part of our Sisters’ commitment to feed the hungers of the people of God, during Lent, we along with our Oblates, pray and give alms to the Alliance for International Monasticism (AIM). For the past 12 years, the Benedictine Sisters of Florida has raised funds to help meet the needs of Benedictine communities in third-world countries. Through AIM’s Monastery to Monastery Program, we have special ties to international graduate students attending Saint Leo University.
Advent Penance Service and Other Advent Activities
During Advent we host an annual Advent Penance Service for the Sisters of the dioceses and members of local parishes. We also join with other choirs to offer an evening Advent service at a neighboring church and visit the Hospice House and a local nursing home where one of our Sisters is in residence. Our Sisters in the Recorder Ensemble also play locally and as a prelude to the 10:30 am Mass.
You Can Help
The Benedictine Sisters of Florida’s institutional outreach is made possible with the help of our Partners. We are eternally grateful for our donors, oblates and families for all the faith you hold in us through your support.
Together we are touching lives through prayer and service…
that in all things God may be glorified.
Contact us to learn more about how you can help and be involved. Spiritual Guidance/Vocations/Retreats – S.Mary David Hydro, OSB at Phone: (352) 588-8320 or Email: [email protected]
Other Assistance – Advancement Office – Faith Pridmore at Phone (352) 588-8443 or Email: [email protected]