A remote Benedictine monastery of women on Shaw Island in Washington is using a new Web site to try and breathe life into their order.
The nuns are hoping that their new Web site will attract some younger women to join their community, where life follows a pattern unchanged in nearly 1,500 years.
Most of the women are in their 60s and 70s, according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and they feel the community is in danger of dying out. They still wear long habits that were designed 40 years ago.
The sisters raise rare breeds of sheep, llamas and cattle, produce most of their own food and create craft projects for sale at local shows and now online.
Three candidates, younger women from around the U.S., have expressed interest in joining.
The nuns, who share the island with a small group of Franciscan monks, follow a fixed routine of eight prayers a day – all in Latin. The monastery is off limits to visitors, although the farm is not.
The site, www.rockisland.com/~mhildegard, was launched in September of this year. It was designed by Chelle’s Webweaving and Graphics.
Two Canadian Benedictine monasteries for women with Web sites are:
The House of Bread Monastery – www.houseofbreadmonastery.com/
St. Benedict’s Monastery – www3.mb.sympatico.ca/~stbens/.