In 1852, three Benedictine nuns from St. Walburg’s Abbey in Eichstätt, Bavaria arrived in the United States. Not only were they the first Benedictine women to come to the New World, they would eventually create a whole new way of life for most American Benedictine women by accepting ministries outside of their own convent walls. They opened a school for German-speaking immigrant girls in St. Marys, Pennsylvania. Their numbers grew, and within a very few years, they had established several new foundations, among them one in St. Cloud MN in 1857. This group moved to St. Joseph MN in 1863 to become St. Benedict’s Convent. The fourth prioress of that community, Mother Scholastica Kerst, took on ministries in Duluth beginning in 1881. By the end of that decade, the Sisters were staffing several parish schools and a hospital in Duluth.
To read more about the history of St. Scholastica Monastery, click here.
Rule of St. Benedict
The Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery follow the Rule of St. Benedict as do Benedictines throughout the world. Written by St. Benedict in the sixth century, the Rule is a practical and spiritual guide to living a life for God and others according to Gospel teaching. For over 1500 years, Benedictines have used the Rule as their guide to finding God in the ordinary circumstances of daily life. The Rule is also a spiritual guide for people of all denominations.
To read more about the Rule of St. Benedict, click here.
Two statues of the Monastery's patrons – St. Benedict and St. Scholastica – stand at the cloister walk entrance to Stanbrook, the main Monastery building. The statues were carved of white pine by a skilled Bavarian or Saxon craftsman in Europe about the year 1820. Seventy-five years later, when they had seen much wear and wood sculpture had lost popularity in Germany, they were coated with plaster, painted and then exported to America in 1895 because plaster statuary was in great demand in the United States.
The statues of Benedict and Scholastica were purchased by the Duluth Benedictines in 1895 for the Community. At the time the statues were still covered with a heavy coating of plaster and paint, giving them the appearance of being plaster molds rather than carved wood.
In 1909 the statues were moved to the "daisy farm" and placed in Tower Hall when the first wing was completed. In 1939 an Italian sculptor recognized that they were historic pieces carved from white pine. He cleaned off the heavy plaster and paint and restored the statues of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica to their original appearance.