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SBEC: What's Happening? Why?


It’s January, time to recount past activities at St. Benedict Education Center.  An anniversary is approaching:  February 4, 2020 marks one year since a meeting was held to discuss ways to enhance the SBEC website.  What are the events and activities that have enhanced the routine these past months?  Are there insights to be gained in reviewing these that may indicate the values underlying what is done at SBEC?   

A unique experience was offered by the Benedictine Sisters.   Sister Anne Wambach, prioress, invited the staff and volunteers to spend time at the monastery to learn about the sisters’ way of life and the values that underlie their work.  The half-day session included three short informational presentations, time for questions, a monastery tour, and lunch.  It also offered an opportunity to interact with others who work in Benedictine ministries.
Three other events were efforts to address directly the on-going needs of SBEC participants and their families.  Two of these were arranged by Treasures & Such and are described on its webpage, along with a gathering for volunteers.  The third was a seasonal family engagement activity facilitated by SBEC staff.

This winter activity was held in December, in time for Christmas.  Age-appropriate gifts were made available for participants to select for their children on this special Christmas Shopping Day.  Gift wrapping by staff members was offered.  As in previous seasonal family engagement activities the informal, relaxed atmosphere enabled easy interaction among participants and staff for conversation.  Hot chocolate and cookies prepared by the Community Helpers under the direction of Sister Pat Witulski were available. 

In the coming months a variety of events and activities will continue to be planned similar to what has been done in the past.  Are there identifiable values that give insight into why the staff and volunteers of St. Benedict Education Center do what they do?  Yes, it seems so.  The following are only a few:  

          -- One can discern a respect for people whether they are part of the staff, a volunteer, participant, visitor.  The various interactions, informal or planned, attempt to foster – and at times teach -- appropriate relational interactions.  Those who are part of SBEC are valuable human beings,     worthy of respect.

          -- Families are important.  Many conversations and activities are planned with the needs of the family in mind.  These needs may be addressed in terms of providing specific items, offering direct information about parenting, giving opportunities to experience and practice enriching conversation with others and expressing interest in the members of another’s family.

          -- There is a quiet enthusiasm present among the staff and volunteers that is rooted in a commitment to what they are doing.  They have been involved for many years.  The work is not easy or one of “instant gratification” but they believe in the ability of the participants to become    successful employees, given the appropriate and necessary supports and resources to do so.  The activities, events, outreach, conversations…are    planned with this in mind.

What will SBEC be doing in the coming months?  Watch and see.  Why will we be doing this?  Because of the beliefs and values that motivate us.