Sister Benita Jasurda, the daughter of John and Mary Jasurda, is one of 10 children born in Phillips, Wisconsin. Sister received her early education in a one-room school, where her love for reading developed rapidly and continued into high school. Benita was drawn to Sacred Heart Monastery in 1949, because of Sister Louise and Sister Raymond, who taught religion at St. Mary’s Parish in Phillips.
Sister Benita earned her B.S. from DePaul University, an M.A. in Theology from St. John’s University, and a M.R.S. from Loyola/Mundelein University. She spent many years as both a teacher and administrator in the Chicago area. She also taught at Sacred Heart Academy, then Benet Academy and continued in service as the Youth Minister and Director of Religious Education at St. Raphael’s Parish in Naperville.
Sister Benita served as Director of Campus Ministry for the Joliet Diocese. In addition, she worked for twelve years in Campus Ministry at Illinois Benedictine College (now Benedictine University). Following this ministry, she returned to the Monastery as the Administrator of Queen of Peace Retirement Center. Sister Benita has been the Sub-Prioress and Monastery Coordinator from 1993 until 2011.
In addition to her service at the monastery and the diocese, Sister Benita has always been active in the local community. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Lisle, where she was voted the first woman president in 1994. For the past four years, Sister Benita participated with Our Saviour Lutheran Church of Naperville in their Mission to Slovakia. Sister is the contact person for Contemplative Outreach serving Chicago’s far western suburbs, which includes facilitating a weekly group meeting at the monastery. In addition, she is active with Benedictine Associates, laypeople who study the Rule of Benedict and integrate the Rule into their daily lives.
Sister Benita looks forward to continuing her service in extending the Benedictine charism to the local community and to modeling spirituality in her everyday life. She strives to ‘live the ordinary life with extraordinary love.” Sister is pleased to know that the Benedictines are going to be able to expand their ministry to the elderly in the growing Villa St. Benedict setting.
In conclusion, Sister Benita shares, “I hope to continue to live life as a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved; to live in the present moment and above all, trust in God.”