Saint Leo to get $20 million wellness center

Saint Leo University will soon be home to a sprawling $20 million wellness center —integrating student recreation, fitness, health services, counseling services and campus ministry. A groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month celebrated the forthcoming 59,000-square-foot wellness center, to be situated on the west end of the campus by Lake Jovita. Construction tentatively will begin in … [Read more...]

Sister Mildred enjoyed ‘tinkering’ with machinery

Sister Mildred Gelis, OSB, was known for motoring around Saint Leo University on her little scooter. When her scooter failed her, her mechanical skills went to work — to get it running again. She also was known to have a knack for maintaining cars, helping to keep costs down for her community of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida, who live in Holy Name Monastery in St. Leo. These are … [Read more...]

Holy Name Monastery: A tranquil place on a hill

Funny how a place can be both otherworldly and so much a part of this world. Holy Name Monastery is like that. It’s a peaceful place where Benedictine Sisters of Florida rise before the birds are up to pray quietly in their chapel, then return for daily Mass and more common prayers throughout the day. Then, rather than sit idly enjoying their monastic peacefulness, they head out into the … [Read more...]

Sister Helen Lange’s life comes to a close at age 105

Sister Helen Lange, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida, was remembered last week at two masses at Holy Name Monastery, in St. Leo, and at a reception at St. Anthony Parish Hall. She was 105 at the time of her death. Sister Helen, formerly known as Laurina Lange, was still a teenager when she traveled by train from Texas to Florida to pursue the religious life, according to a … [Read more...]

Sister Helen turns 105

Sister Helen Lange, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida in Saint Leo, celebrated her 105th birthday on Sept. 28. There were 75 guests at the party, including three relatives, according to Cheryl Chadick, development assistant for the Benedictine Sisters of Florida. The relatives who came to the party were Sister Helen’s cousin, Joan Schmidt, from Brandon; and, her niece, Monica … [Read more...]

Gearing up for a Thanksgiving tradition

What began 22 years ago, as a way to provide a Thanksgiving meal to international students at Saint Leo University, evolved over time into a joint effort by the Benedictine Sisters of Florida and Saint Anthony Parish to feed the hunger “of anyone alone or in need” on Thanksgiving. “Our outreach is to migrants, the homeless, those who are alone, and those seeking fellowship on this day of thanks … [Read more...]

Finding a quiet place to reflect, amidst life’s hectic pace

When the Benedictine Sisters of Florida moved into their new Holy Name Monastery, at 12138 Wichers Road, they knew that the building would eventually need expansion. After all, they were leaving a 100,000-square-foot building and moving into a 28,000-square-foot structure. They knew they would need more room for retreats, and their original plans called for that. They just didn’t … [Read more...]

Play offers insights about the life of nuns

Step into a conversation and mention the word “nun,” and it’s not uncommon for someone to describe a stereotypical incident of a woman wearing a religious habit and wielding a ruler to inflict discipline. But, there is so much more to the story of the Benedictine Sisters of Florida, and a play to be presented this weekend at the Saint Leo Black Box Theatre in Benedictine Hall, provides a … [Read more...]

Sister Helen’s secrets to a good life: Work hard, love people

Laurina Lange was still a teenager when she traveled by train from Texas to San Antonio to pursue the religious life — by joining the Benedictine Sisters of Florida. The year was 1930, and she was accompanied by four of her cousins — Irma Multer, Pauline Block, and Rosaria and Rosanna Matthiesen. They, too, had decided to answer God’s call. Now known as Sister Helen Lange, the 102-year-old … [Read more...]

Saying thanks, a million times over

John Picciano has fond memories of his years at Saint Leo University, and a deep appreciation for the influence that the Benedictine Sisters of Florida had on his life. That’s what motivated the CEO of Ogelthorpe Inc., to donate $1 million to the Benedictine Sisters’ The Future is Now Campaign. “The sisters, at that time, were very instrumental in bringing out my potential as a student,” … [Read more...]