The Sisters of St. Mary
For more about the Community of St. Mary, visit stmaryseast.org.
In 2000 the sisters of St. Mary, located in Peekskill, NY, accepted the invitation of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany to relocate to a proposed Spiritual Life Center within the diocese. By the summer of 2004 this joint project had purchased 612 acres of land in the rolling hills of the Schuyler Mountain range near Greenwich, NY, and work was begun on an expansive vision which includes an Adult Conference Center, a Youth Camp, a Healing Ministry, a Theological Study Center, and a nature preserve. The Sisters' community life contributes ongoing corporate prayer in daily Holy Eucharist, a five-fold Office of liturgical worship and the stability of consecrated monastic life. St. Mary's Chapel is open for prayer 24 hours a day, and all services are open to the public. There is also guest space for individuals wishing to make private retreats at the Convent.
The Community of St. Mary, founded in 1865, is the oldest indigenous Religious Order in the Episcopal Church. Benedictine in ethos, the Sisters' monastic life seeks to balance contemplative prayer with active ministry. Individual Sisters are available for presenting Retreats, Quiet Days and other programs, offering Spiritual Direction, and working with the Healing Ministry and at the Theological Library.
As part of a return to the Benedictine ideal of manual labor as a grounding for contemplative prayer, the Sisters are also establishing a small micro-farm, utilizing hand-tilled sustainable agriculture techniques in a garden that parallels their larger farm in Malawi, Africa. The Sisters also raise Cashmere goats, and raise chickens. Greeting cards designed by the Sisters are sold through St. Mary's Scriptorium.