Sr. Paula Schmidt was re-elected prioress for a second three-year term on January 27. On January 28, Sr. Moira Quinn was re-elected as vicar or sub-prioress for a second term. Sr. Hildegard Pleva was elected secretary, her first opportunity to serve the community in this way.
Since monasteries of contemplative religious orders within the Church are autonomous and do not have general governments (mother generals, etc.), the prioress or abbess has great responsibility and authority as a superior. Sr. Paula will soon celebrate the 57th anniversary of her profession as a Redemptoristine nun. She has given generous service to our community in a variety of offices and has served as prioress many times. Sr. Moira, professed for eighteen years has also served as prioress in the past. In comparison, Sr. Hildegard is, in spite of her gray hair, the baby of the team having only six years in vowed religious life. Since Sr. Paula was one of nuns who came to Esopus in 1957 to found this monastery and Sr. Hildegard is newest in the community, this leadership team represents the entire history of this house. It is, in miniature, our history, our development and our view to the future. It is also, in combination and representation, testimony to many years of faithful witness by sisters past and present to the Redemptoristine charism, to their commitment to the search for God, and to personal and communal transformation into the "living memory" of Jesus Christ. Ours is a life of "union of hearts and mutual charity" lived within the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
In myriad ways these are challenging times in the world, in the Church, within our Order, for our friends and families, and for our benefactors and our Redemptorist brothers. We are well aware of all that is before us and the 'love' Jesus asks us to be in each circumstance and for each person. For us, this awareness underscores time and time again the necessity of our unceasing prayer. In these days, our community of contemplative nuns, women of the Church, spouses of Christ, has renewed our commitment to that apostolic work, the call to unceasing prayer.