Discover the power of women in community.
We are one of the largest Benedictine communities of women in the United States — 159 members strong and thriving. We were founded in 1867 by four young Benedictine sisters who came to Ferdinand to teach the children of area settlers. Since then, more than 1,000 women have entered our community and we've expanded our ministries both beyond education and beyond Ferdinand. We are teachers, social workers, parish ministers, counselors, nurses, youth ministers, chaplains, librarians, and more.
We, the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, are monastic women seeking God through the Benedictine tradition of community life, prayer, hospitality, and service to others. By our life and work, we commit ourselves to be a presence of peace as we join our sisters and brothers in the common search for God.
As we seek God, the values and principles by which we live flow from our mission statement and are central to our call as the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana.
The guiding principles are the Benedictine values of prayer, work, hospitality, and community life.
Sister Kristine Anne Harpenau was elected the 12th prioress of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana, on June 2, 2003, and was re-elected on June 2, 2008.
A native of Tell City, Indiana, Sister Kristine Anne entered the monastery in 1967 and made her perpetual profession in 1977.
Before her election, she was ongoing formation director for the religious community for four years. Previously, she was special programs coordinator at the sisters' Kordes Retreat Center (1991 to 1999). She was a counselor at the Interfaith Counseling Agency in Phoenix, Arizona, from 1986 to 1991 and at Marian Heights Academy, Ferdinand, from 1982 to 1986. From 1971 to 1980, she taught at: Holy Rosary, Christ the King, Resurrection, and Holy Redeemer, all in Evansville; St. Matthew, Mount Vernon; and St. Philip, Posey County.
Sister Kristine Anne is a 1967 graduate of Marian Heights Academy. She earned a bachelor's degree from Oakland City (Indiana) College in 1971 and a master's degree from St. Joseph College, West Hartford, Connecticut, in 1982.