The story of how Monte Cassino School began is told here: a story as true and honest to its core as the Sisters who founded the School in 1926.

The Benedictine Sisters

The Benedictine Sisters were not above dumpster diving for classroom carpet, or borrowing money from the Bishop as they fought for their school, their beliefs, but most of all, their students.

These beloved Benedictine Sisters arrived in Guthrie, Oklahoma Territory just a few months after the Oklahoma Land Run. On the first day of school, in a tent city, six students arrived for classes. Two were Catholic. This first day of school is characteristic of the ministry of the Benedictine Sisters since 1889. The Sisters have always served people of all faiths. It is their belief that a Catholic Benedictine education should be offered to all those who desire academic excellence and the tradition of personal and moral formation they offer.

The Benedictine Sisters live on the Monte Cassino campus in the St. Joseph Monastery. To learn more, please visit their website at StJosephMonastery.org.

Brick by Brick... from the Beginning

What does it mean to be Benedictine?

Below is a glossary to help you understand the Catholic Benedictine religion's terminology. These definitions are integral to the Benedictine Values followed by the Sisters of St. Joseph's Monastery.

List of 10 items.

  • Benedict of Nursia

    (ca. 480-545) Author of the most widely used Western monastic rule; founder of the Abbey of Monte Cassino in Italy. His life's biography was written by Gregory the Great, who recounts the story of the young St. Benedict fleeing the corruption of Rome to become a hermit. In time, others who heard of his holiness came to join St. Benedict, and he is now known as the founder of Western monasticism.
  • Benedictine

    n. a person who has made monastic profession according to The Rule of St. Benedict

    adj. a person, institution, or spirituality inspired by The Rule of St. Benedict.
  • Community

    The gathering of those who belong to a particular monastery and who live according to the customs and interpretation of The Rule of St. Benedict proper to that monastery. Community is foundational in Benedictine life and is one of the Core Values of Monte Cassino School.
  • Lectio Divina

    Prayerful reading of scripture from the Latin, meaning “sacred reading.” It is a distinctive aspect of Benedictine spirituality in which both the process of reading and the text read are sacred.
  • Liturgy of the Hours

    The time when Benedictines gather for recitation of the Psalms, singing of canticles and hymns, listening to readings from the scripture, and prayers as a means of practicing the ancient Christian direction “to pray always” (1 Thess. 5.17). St. Benedict set up eight times of prayer, known as “hours.” The intent is to consecrate the hours of the day to God. The Benedictine Sisters pray together four times a day: morning prayer (Lauds), midday prayer (None), evening prayer (Vespers) and night prayer (Compline). The Liturgy of the Hours is also known as the Divine Office and opus Dei, or the “work of God.”
  • Monastery

    The main house of a community of monastic men or women. Sometimes “monastery” is used to designate the community who live together in such a building.
  • Monastic

    adj. Of or relating to monasteries or to monks or nuns; resembling life in a monastery.
  • Monastic Council

    A small consultative and deliberative body that assists the abbot or prioress with matters that do not require the attention of the whole chapter. Monte Cassino School bylaws identify this body as the members of the school corporation. The monastic council of St. Joseph Monastery is composed of six members: three are elected by the community (including the prioress) and three are appointed by the prioress.
  • Monte Cassino

    The mountain in central Italy where Benedict founded a monastery in the sixth century; it is also the name of the monastery located there. Monte Cassino is known as the “Cradle of Western Monasticism” because from this site, monasticism spread through the western world. The monastery of Monte Cassino has been destroyed and rebuilt four times in the course of history.
  • Prioress

    The leader of a non-cloistered monastic community of Benedictine women elected for a term. At St. Joseph Monastery, the prioress is elected for a six-year term with the possibility of reelection for another six-year term.