Nuns in the West 3 / 2008

niw3 group

To begin we joined the monastic community of St. Mary Monastery for Evening Prayer (Vespers) and supper. This was followed by formal
introductions in the conference room of Benet House, St. Mary’s retreat center. Sister Meg explained how the first Nuns in the West
began—the “genetic moment” in her words. She and Ven. Yifa conceived the Nuns in the West project at the 2002 Gethsemani
Encounter. They and the other women participants at Gethsemani II envisioned an event at which” just nuns”would
gather and dialogue in a more intense way and at a deeper level of personal relationships. There were to be no
media, observers, or formal papers. This proposal was subsequently approved at an annual Monastic
Interreligious Dialogue board meeting and the idea was on its way. The first gathering was so
positive that another meeting was held two years later in 2005. According to Sister Meg,
it has become “one of the most important events of interreligious dialogue
that Monastic Interreligious Dialogue has ever sponsored.”

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