The Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand have chosen a new prioress. An announcement was sent out over the weekend heralding the election of Sister Barbara Lynn Schmitz as their 13thprioress on Saturday.
Sister Barbara Lynn will begin a six-year term of office with a formal installation ceremony at Monastery Immaculate Conception on Saturday, July 13. She succeeds Sister Kristine Anne Harpenau, who has served as prioress since 2003.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, the 58 year old Sister Barbara Lynn entered the monastery in 1981 from St. Anne Parish in Highland, Tennessee. She made her profession of monastic vows in 1982.
She has been director of mission advancement the past four years and has also served as parish administrator/pastoral associate at St. Mary’s Parish in Evansville from 2003 to 2008.
Sister Barbara Lynn is a graduate of Memphis Catholic High School and earned a BBA degree in business administration from Memphis State University in 1976 and a MSA degree in institutional administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1990.
The prioress is the religious community’s spiritual leader, chief administrator, and official representative to the Church and civic community.
The Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand is a religious community of 158 members. They live the over-1,500-year-old Benedictine Rule, a spiritual path for finding God in the everyday. The sisters minister in diverse ways – teaching, serving in parishes, offering retreats, providing health care, counseling, working with immigrant populations, and helping the homeless, the poor, and those recovering from addictions. They currently serve in Indiana, Kentucky, Italy, and Peru.