The Arts

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The Artisans of the Monastery

“If there are artisans in the monastery, they are to practice their craft with all humility, but only with the prioress’ permission. If one of them becomes puffed up by her skillfulness in her craft, and feels that she is conferring something on the monastery, she is to be removed from practicing her craft and not allowed to resume it unless, after manifesting her humility, she is so ordered by the prioress.

“Whenever products of these artisans are sold, those responsible for the sale must not dare to practice any fraud. Let them always remember Ananias and Sapphira, who incurred bodily death (Acts 5:1-11), lest they and all who perpetrate fraud in monastery affairs suffer spiritual death. The evil of avarice must have no part in establishing prices, … so that in all things God may be glorified.” (Rule of St. Benedict, Chapter 57)

Our efforts in the Arts ministry have produced countless works in photography, sculpture, stained glass, painting, icon writing, literature, music, architecture, and much more. Though creative work we discover beauty, which is the reflection of God. May God be glorified through our art and in our hearts.

Click on images to enlarge.

Sister Mary Josephine Torborg
“Imaginative, creative expressions of beauty in any form can inspire feelings of wonder and awe. God, as Creator of the beauties of the universe, shares creative gifts with us that we might participate in bringing the world to greater peace, harmony, and beauty.

“Artists who celebrate their art as ministry have a unique role in helping people see things more deeply and connect with the holy, the sacred, the mystery. When I create — with humility and care — an engraved wedding candle for the celebration of the sacrament of matrimony, it gives a special ambiance to the prayer space and sacred music. Candles as art enrich our worship, so that in all things God may be glorified.” (Rule of St. Benedict, Ch. 56:9)


Sister Mary Josephine Torborg, OSB
Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies;
Chair of The College of St. Scholastica Garden Committee
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St. Benedict and St. Scholastica by +Sister Mary Charles McGough
St. Benedict and St. Scholastica by +Sister Mary Charles McGough
St. Benedict by +Sister Mary Charles McGough
St. Benedict by +Sister Mary Charles McGough
Our Lady of the Pines by +Sister Mary Charles McGough
Our Lady of the Pines by +Sister Mary Charles McGough
+Sister Mary E. Penrose was a prolific and respected writer.

Before her death in 2018, she published many articles and several books, including Refreshing Water from Ancient Wells and Roots Deep and Strong: Great Men and Women of the Church.

“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen