Spiritual renewal at Lake Superior

School is officially out for the summer, bringing new opportunities for travel. For the NCSW staff in Minneapolis, a favorite travel spot is majestic Lake Superior, known here simply as “the North Shore.”

Lake Superior is not only the largest of the Great Lakes but the largest body of fresh water on Earth. It spans 160 miles wide and 350 miles long, offering nearly 3,000 miles of beautiful shoreline.

Every summer I feel its tug, the yearning to cool off up north, to rest on its shores and absorb its vastness.   

We have a special connection in Duluth, Minn., a group that has supported National Catholic Sisters Week since its inception: the Benedictine Sisters, who live and pray in St. Scholastica Monastery overlooking Lake Superior. They follow the Rule of St. Benedict, based on Gospel values, and are called to creatively and collaboratively respond to the needs of the Church and the world today.

They practice a quiet spirituality that reflects their great lake, nurturing the beauty in their midst and sharing it with others.

“Listen for God in the in-between spaces,” they advise in an outdoor retreat they host that includes meditation and journaling on the North Shore. “There are many ways to pray: with nature, art and music.”

“Be open to the surprises that God might have in store for you,” adds Sister Lois in a gentle, unassuming video posted on YouTube. 

 Other videos on their YouTube channel showcase Sister Teri, who adorns the monastery with her vibrant flower arrangements and likes to "putz in the garden," a hobby she describes as "renewing." 

The Benedictine Sisters of Duluth host a youth arts program called Collaborative Creativity and two children’s programs, called Contagious Creativity and Celebrating Creativity – all three of which will be offered this summer. Past participants have made birch-bark creations, rock creations, fern art and “saran wrap stained glass” with the sisters.

Those who are seeking a restorative summer vacation should consider the North Shore! Join the Benedictine Sisters for morning prayer in their lakeside monastery at 7 am on weekdays and 10 am on weekends. Call ahead, the sisters suggest, to confirm the prayer time for the following day: 218-723-6555.

Or sign up for one of the retreats the sisters are hosting in Duluth this summer, including the "Spirituality of Gardening Retreat" led by Sister Mary Josephine Torborg on July 31 and "Tackling Life with Joy" led by Sister Lisa Maurer on Aug. 25.

If you're able to attend, we'd love to see a photo and hear about your experience! Drop us a line at: contact@nationalcatholicsistersweek.org

About Christina Capecchi

Christina Capecchi is an award-winning journalist from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Twenty Something,” which appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, America, The Chicago Tribune, The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press. She also provides contracted editing and writing services. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from Mount Mercy University.