Sr. Theo formerly lived in the academic world teaching classical rhetoric and literature at a state university. She has a M.A. in Humanities (Rhetoric and Translation, from UTDallas) and nearly completed her Ph.D when she walked away from her dissertation and life as a scholar after a conversion to the Catholic faith, or rather, a whirlwind romance with Jesus.
Upon departure from the ivory tower Sr. Theo wrestled goats before serving 3 years in the US Army where she worked as an Arabic linguist and paralegal assistant. At which time, being already ratchety in her old age of 32, her body was broken beyond repair, thus leading to her discharge from military service.
Since then Sr. Theo has strived to enjoy life in those brief moments between surgeries and recuperation and spends most of her time in contemplation and prayer, and fighting her ever nagging nicotine habit.
Sr Theo is an Oblate* of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Monastery, a Benedictine convent located in Westfield, Vermont. She is excited to announce that she just made her final profession, on the feast of the Exaltation of th Cross, when she received the name “Sr Theophilus,” after St. Theophilus, one of the first Bishops of Antioch known as a defender of the faith.
She, herself, resides in Woolwich, Maine on a tiny parcel of land in the woods with Mr. Crow and his bird friends, the Chickadees, the Titmice, Mr. Bluejay, as well as the pesky stray grey who tries to eat Mr Crow, and also, Snot, her cat. She lives her life as a monastic hermit dedicating her life to the holy Liturgy of Worship (the Benedictine Divine Office) and study.
Sr. Theo may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Oblate: unlike third orders in the Catholic Church, oblates fall under what may be called “second order” profession. We live in direct connection with a specific Benedictine monastery, and become members of that monastery under the supervision of the director of oblates (at my monastery, Immaculate Heart of Mary Monastery, I fall under the direction of Mother Sub Prioress). As second order professed Oblate we are considered “sisters” but not nuns, with the significant difference being that we take promises rather than vows which are under penalty of mortal sin if broken. That said, however, I think it’s safe to say that every Oblate considers their profession a vow and total consecration to God.
Oblates do not necessarily wear a habit, it can vary and an Oblate may choose secular dress or a simple habit. For example, I will soon dress in a simple black jumper dress with a white shirt underneath and my Benedictine cross and medal that some oblates from my monastery wear. Lastly, there are times such as in my own situation wherein a postulant is unable to join the cloister at that time due to any variety of reasons (family, health, etc), and will instead become and Oblate of the monastery until the time they are able to join. Such situations are rare, but possible (one of my dear sisters, Sr. Mariam, at the monastery has waited almost 15 years before finally entering the cloister and served that time as an Oblate. She is currently in her white novice habit, and I am so proud–she’s my inspiration and trailblazer).
(Caveat: this is a learning process and new to me as well, and I have strived to give the most accurate information as I have received from my Mother Sub Prioress. Thus, oblation may differ slightly from Benedictine convent to Benedictine convent. And if I have really gotten any facts wrong, PLEASE correct me, as that is not my intention.)