Benedictine Sister’s reelection rooted in service to those in need

During the Discernment Days we welcomed our Facilitator, Sister Mary Catherine Wenstrup, OSB (left) from St. Walburg Monastery and President of the Federation of St. Scholastica Sister Lynn McKenzie, OSB from Sacred Heart Monastery (right) with Prioress Sister Judith Murphy, OSB (center).
The president of the federation, Sister Lynn McKenzie, OSB (left) is the presiding officer of the election with our very own Sister Jane Smith, OSB (second from left) and Sister Belinda Monahan, OSB (second from right) and Sister Rita Nowak, OSB (right) the officers of the election. Sisters Rita and Belinda were the tellers and Sister Jane was the secretary. Reelected Prioress Sister Judith Murphy, OSB is pictured center.

On April 27, 2019, the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago reelected Sister Judith Murphy, OSB to serve a second term as the monastery’s 16th prioress for the next four years.

Sister Judith is an example of servant leadership, while being rooted in principles of collaboration and diversity.

Born and raised in Chicago, Sister Judith graduated from St. Scholastica High School Chicago in 1960. After graduation, she entered the Benedictine Sisters of Chicago; when she received the Benedictine habit, she was also given the name Sister Lawrence and made her first profession of vows in 1962. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with a concentration in Elementary and Secondary Education from Mundelein College and subsequently earned her MEd degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Loyola University of Chicago.

After living and teaching in Colorado for seven years, Sister Judith returned to Chicago and then served at St. Scholastica as teacher, dean, principal, and president. In the mid-1990s she was asked by the Jesuits to help create Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Sister Judith served as principal until 2001.

Prior to her first term as prioress, she served as consultant for Board Formation in the Chicago Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Schools. There, she helped develop school boards in support of stronger Catholic schools.

“As a religious community of women, the Benedictine Sisters have responded to the call of Vatican II to attend to the needs of people-as part of the church in the modern world. Pope Francis would say, to be part of the ‘Field Hospital’ serving as we are able, where there is need. And as Benedict taught, to live a life of Prayer and Work in Community,” reflected Sister Judith Murphy, OSB, the reelected prioress.

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