We Seek God in the Ordinary of Everyday Life.
Our mission as the Mt. Tabor Benedictines is hospitality. In living out our mission, the Gospel and Benedictine tradition challenge us to respect all creation, to live ecumenically, to foster justice and to create an environment where peace, joy, and reconciliation are fostered and celebrated.
Realizing that women of many Christian faiths could embrace the Benedictine life, we established ourselves in 2004 as the Mt. Tabor Benedictines. This formalized a decades-long journey toward ecumenical Christian life. The re-organization allows women from all Christian denominations to join this Benedictine monastery as fully committed,core members and further the Christian goal “that they all may be one”. This impels us to be inclusive in our prayer life and to be respectful toward all people’s beliefs.
Continuing in the Benedictine tradition of having a missionary spirit, we walk with the people of the area and listen to their needs. We support ourselves by working in missions outside the monastery. We serve our sisters and brothers through teaching, counseling, social work, care of the sick, parish and retreat work. We remain open to new and creative ways to use our gifts for the glory of God and service to others.
Meet the Sisters
Sr. Eileen Schepers, our Prioress, considers herself just “country folk”! She grew up on a small farm in southern Indiana and the values of sharing meals and looking out for one another, including the neighbors, was ingrained in her. She says, “We also “looked out for the land” and so creation is a very important part of my life.” Sr. Eileen enjoys helping to care for our animals, playing cards, and bananagram etc. She retired from her job with Mountain Comprehensive Care as case manager for mentally challenged to become prioress and is enjoying being at the monastery full time!
Sister Judy Yunker celebrated her golden jubilee in 2010. Sister Judy is also Rev. Sr. Judy Yunker, an ordained priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington and Vicar of St. James Episcopal Church in Prestonsburg. She is very active in the Floyd County Ministerial Association leading the push for a homeless shelter in our county. She loves to read, fish and play bananagram. On the Enneagram she is a four and on the Myers Briggs she is an ENTJ.
Sr. Kathleen Weigand is originally from Pittsburgh PA. “Go Steelers”. She celebrated her 25th jubilee in 2012. She loves spending time outdoors, especially by water (Lake Erie is my “best-est” vacation spot) and enjoys helping to make the grounds of the monastery beautiful. Sr. Kathleen loves to play cards, laugh and enjoy the company of family, friends and community and she treasures her quiet time. She loves to read human interest stories and enjoys creating works of art using colored chalk and finishing them off with favorite quotes using her simple form of calligraphy.
Sr. Jan Barthel is not only a vowed Benedictine Sister but she is also a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She has answered to ‘mom’ for many years with two adopted son. They in turn made her a grandma with the birth over of seven grandchildren. This spring her oldest son became a grandpa and became a daddy to a son. She has a son and two granddaughters living here in Floyd County, KY the rest of her family are still in her home state of Minnesota
Sr. Mary Going was born and raised in Massachusetts. She has also lived in Connecticut, Alabama, New York City and the Cincinnati area. After taking a vocational interest test in college, she was told she should be a lawyer or a politician but that she should never, ever be a sewing machine operator. She is now a lawyer (and a nurse) and enjoys spinning and knitting natural fibers. She is a one on the Enneagram (with a nine wing), and an ISTJ on the Myers-Briggs. She loves books (real ones, made of paper), cats, all things Kennedy, NCIS reruns. One of her fiber art projects, growing cotton to spin, resulted in four cotton bolls she spun and knit into a shawl for a Barbie doll.
Sr. Kathy DiVaio made her final monastic profession on June 29, 2014. She is from Massachusetts but also volunteered for CAP in the ‘80’s and even worked with Kathleen there. She enjoys kayaking, bicycling, walking in the woods and just being in nature. Sr. Kathy has bicycled around many European Countries and especially loved Ireland where she holds a dual citizenship because of her Irish/Italian heritage. Sr. Kathy is passionate about history and is a great person to have on your team when playing Jeopardy. She loves to read non-fiction, especially, you guessed it, History.
Sr. Kathy Curtis celebrated her final monastic profession May 6th, 2015, the first non-Catholic to do so in our community. Sister Kathy is very active in the local foods movement in eastern Kentucky where she is currently employed with Community Farm Alliance as East Kentucky Food System Collaborative Organizer. She too loves to read but her favorites are fantasy, especially dragon books or mystery fiction stories. She has two sons and five grandchildren who live in and around Largo, Florida. She says that you can judge her emotional state by the condition of her room.