Former St. Anne parishioner joins Benedictine order

March 27, 2012

HOUSTON — On March 10, Sister Kim Marie Jordan made her Perpetual Monastic Profession at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Idaho. The ceremony celebrated the former St. Anne (Houston) parishioner’s eight-and-a-half year formal journey into monastic life with the Benedictine Sisters.

For Sister Jordan, the call to a religious vocation began 15 years ago when she visited the Monastery of St. Gertrude for a two-week monastic living experience. Her son and daughter were grown and she had made several retreats at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico. She was inspired to not only reclaim her Catholic faith, but to explore the idea of religious life.

“I was taught by Benedictine sisters from Atchison, Kansas and always felt I had a Benedictine heart,” she says. “I found several Benedictine monasteries on the Internet and learned about St. Gertrude’s. All of a sudden I was on a plane to Idaho.” During her two-week stay, Sister Jordan participated in daily life with the sisters in prayer, work, study and leisure. “In that time I could hear God say, ‘This is it. This is where I have brought you.’”

The late Father John Robbins, C.S.B., Jordan’s pastor at St. Anne Church, accompanied Jordan on a trip to St. Gertrude’s in June 2003 and encouraged her to take the next step. “He said he could see me here,” she recalls. “He also said that if I didn’t give myself the opportunity, I would spend the rest of my life wondering. The thing is, I knew. I just needed to give myself permission to know.”

During Jordan’s early years with the order, she worked in the monastery’s development office, assisting with the capital campaign and various projects in preparation for the monastery’s centennial celebration. During her continued years with the monastery, she was accepted to the Lewis-Clark State College School of Social Work; her friend, Father Robbins, died of cancer; and she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer.

With support from her academic advisor, she attended school full-time that summer while undergoing chemotherapy and grieving the loss of her friend.

Sister Jordan is now cancer free, continuing her path to becoming a social worker and volunteering at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in the social services department. She was also recently inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society for academic achievement in her social work education. 
Sister Jordan finds a connection between social work and the Monastery of St. Gertrude’s vision statement: “Prayer Awakens. Justice Impels. Compassion Acts. Thy Kingdom Come.” 

“Our vision statement is really what social work is all about,” Sister Jordan said.

Father Paul English, C.S.B. who served as Sister Jordan’s spiritual director at St. Anne Church in Houston, will celebrate her Mass of Perpetual Monastic Profession. 
“During these years I was asked, ‘Does this way of life give you life?’” Sister Jordan said. “It is, without a doubt, still giving me life.” †