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Sister Hannah Vanorny to Make Perpetual Monastic Profession Oct. 12
The Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, Bismarck, invite the public to celebrate the perpetual monastic profession of Sister Hannah Vanorny on Saturday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m. Eucharistic celebration will be held in Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel, Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership in Bismarck. A reception will follow at Annunciation Monastery.
A native of Oakes, North Dakota, Sister Hannah is the daughter of Tom and Sharon Vanorny. The second oldest child in the family, she has two brothers and two sisters. She says, “I think my family and friends are so supportive because they can tell that I’m happy. Even if they don’t really understand it, they are happy for me because I am completely ready for this next step. I feel like I’ve been living this life fully since I was first professed (Sept. 27, 2008).
To make perpetual monastic profession means that Sister Hannah will make a permanent promise to live out the Benedictine, monastic life with the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. And, as Sister Hannah adds with a bright smile, “I’ll receive my ring with the bell banner of Annunciation Monastery engraved on it, a visible symbol of my community, and my promise to God and to my sisters.”
Sister Hannah graduated from North Dakota State University with a MS in history. Her love of learning about people and events that formed the world today, is helpful in her current ministry as vocation director at Annunciation Monastery. “Learning about the courageous Benedictine women who have gone before us challenges us to keep growing, learning, and deepening our relationship with God and those we serve.”
A trip to Rome became a pivotal point in her journey because, as she says, “I was able to connect-the-dots from those first monasteries of St. Benedict and other holy men and women who laid the foundation of the life Benedictines continue to lead today.
As things became clearer, I realized how much I love community life and the joy that comes with it.”
Since she first became acquainted with the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery in 2006, Sister Hannah (now age 33), admits she has changed in many ways. She says she feels not only more comfortable with longer, more sustained periods of prayer, but more comfortable with God in general. She has grown as a leader through her past involvement with the Newman Center at Minnesota State University Moorhead, Minn., and through her recent service in campus ministry at the University of Mary, Bismarck. Other experiences include directing liturgies, coordinating mission trips and now through her ministry as vocation director at Annunciation Monastery. She credits her leadership growth to the sisters who have served as faith-filled mentors.
Sister Hannah generates many creative ideas through her ministry and the way she lives monastic life. Her creative outlets include baking, leading prayer services, planning parties and events, writing and exchanging insights on social media. She shares her experiences as a sister on her blog, “Benedictine Bliss.” Sister Hannah appreciates quiet reflection on Scripture and loves daily prayer with her sisters. An avid runner, she often participates in marathons with her family members. She enjoys an unusual hobby for a sister—shooting a gun. A friend taught her to shoot and she has turned into a pretty good markswoman!
When asked about why women today pursue religious life, Sister Hannah believes there are women who seek something deeper and feel a pull toward growing closer to God through a life of prayer, community and service. “They may consider marriage or the single life, and yet, feel like something is missing but they are not sure what to do about it. In today’s culture, they are hesitant because this is a different lifestyle. Many people don’t think about it. I encourage anyone who even wonders about religious life to take the time to explore the possibility. I find my faith through my monastic community, which is why I fell in love with the monastic order in the first place. We seek God together and it is a blessed and joyful life.”