Photo: Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist, OSB (left) hands a copy of St. Benedict's Rule to Sister Rita Clair Dohn, OSB, symbolizing her new role as prioress of the Clyde, Mo., monastic community.
Sister Rita Clair Dohn, OSB was elected as the next prioress of the Clyde, Mo., monastery of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and was installed into her new office during a ceremony in August.
Sister Rita Clair, who also served as Clyde prioress from 1989 to 1995, credits a simple philosophy in preparing for the leadership role: “Living the life.”
“The best preparation is being a monk, serving as a member of the community,” she said. “The monk’s life is one devoted to living and studying the Rule. I am humbled by the faith my Sisters have shown in me and will strive to meet the challenge of living my monastic life very, very well as an example for them.”
Among her goals are devising strategies that will facilitate the Sisters’ monastic lives, decreasing the pressures and challenges of daily tasks so that they can experience a richer, more contemplative life.
In addition, Sister Rita Clair wants to actively employ St. Benedict’s rule of hospitality with regards to the historic Adoration Chapel and Relic Chapel.
“I want us to emphasize that we are not here for ourselves,” Sister Rita Clair said. “We are a place of prayer for anyone who comes to our door. All are welcome.”
Sister Rita Clair, originally from South Dakota, earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and history from Northern State College in Aberdeen, S.D., and was a case worker for child protection services before entering the monastery. She has served as a team leader for the American Benedictine Formation Conference and will continue to manage the Congregation’s altar bread department.