In every age monastic men and women have offered their gifts to the Church in loving service.
In the beginning of our community, most sisters were teachers. That was the great need of the Catholic Church in America: educating Catholic children in the morals and tenets of their faith. Through the years, other needs were realized. Nursing and health care from a Catholic values foundation, social services such as counseling and child care, and elder care all were addressed by religious sisters as society evolved.
As the needs of the local Church and the surrounding community have changed, we too have changed. The essential gift of monasticism is our witness to the kingdom of God made real in community life. Our purpose in this world is realized in any ministry in which we engage, because it is our presence and our example of living Gospel values that give witness to the reality of God in our world.
Our efforts in meeting the changing needs of modern society have yielded much fruit through the grace of the Spirit and the generosity of so many people of faith. Wherever there is a need, we will strive to respond.
In 1988, Benedictine Counseling Services (BCS) began in response to the local community’s need for counseling and consultative services that would be available to people in the area on a sliding scale. BCS expanded over the years to provide school counseling for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington until (1992-2013), and specific counseling and case management services, particularly for women and children who were homeless within Prince William County (1995-2012).
Today, Sister Kathy Persson, O.S.B., LCSW continues this ministry. She is available for individual, couple, or group counseling, and offers workshops and consultations for organizations of all sizes. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the fall of 1922, Linton Hall Schoolbegan as an all-male military school; however, the military program was discontinued for a few years with the temporary absence of a Commandant. In 1932, the military program was firmly re-established, and the school became known as Linton Hall Military School. In the 1950s, the school expanded its international student body by accepting male students from Cuba and Mexico. A new building was erected in the 1960s to house the steadily growing population of all-male boarders. The school remained a residential military academy until 1974 when it introduced a day-student program for the boys. In the 1980s, the Sisters again adapted to the community’s needs and transitioned Linton Hall Military School to Linton Hall School, an independent Catholic school for boys and girls, serving grades K-8. A full-day Pre-K program was added in 2010 and expanded in 2013/2014 to a pre-school program, Little Sprouts.
TheBenedictine Pastoral Center (BPC), established in 1983, seeks to embody those ideals and qualities that are at the heart of the Benedictine tradition: reverence for God and all creation, respect for learning, and the shared experience of prayer, community, and hospitality. Devoted to building the Kingdom of God, BPC passes on the Benedictine spirituality practiced by the Sisters’ community. The Monastery conference rooms and chapel are the setting for prayer and learning, days of recollection, spiritual direction, and retreat programs for individuals and groups. In addition, our Saint Cecilia Guest House is available for individuals or groups desiring a day or longer place of retreat.
Benedictine Educational Assistance Community Outreach to Neighbors (BEACON), a literacy program for adults, began in 1992. BEACON works primarily to meet the educational needs of adults in Prince William County, e.g. English as a second language (ESL) and high school equivalency (GED). Trained volunteers work with individuals and small groups at our partners’ sites throughout Prince William County, Virginia. BEACON also provides life-skills workshops on topics such as health and safety, nutrition, financial literacy, parenting skills, and community resources.
In 1922, Saint Edith Academy, a boarding school for girls in Bristow, Virginia was closed and the high school department was transferred to Richmond, Virginia. Sister Gertrude Head, OSB, served as the first principal, and with a three-member faculty began the educational program that is now known asSaint Gertrude High School. It is an award-winning, highly esteemed all-girls Catholic high school, and has served the educational needs of young women for almost 100 years. During this time the school has grown from having a 26 member student body to educating over 250 students each year. In 2019, Saint Gertrude High School and Benedictine College Preparatory (a Benedictine, all-boys high school), collaborated to form The Benedictine Schools of Richmond. The two schools retain their distinct identities, sharing resources on a beautiful campus in Goochland.