St. Walburg Monastery

We Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery, faithful to our monastic profession, seek God in community, prayer and work.

We celebrate the presence of Jesus Christ and serve him in all God's people, the young and the old, the sick and the poor, the stranger and the guest.


   For information about Our Guest House click here.

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Links to News
 and Events


The 2018 Summer Issue of LEAVEN is available. Click here.


  Our prioress, Sr. Aileen Bankemper, was part of an audience with Pope Francis on September 8. She was a delegate to the 8th International CIB (Communio Internationalis Benedictarum) Symposium.

  Sister Nancy Kordenbrock (second from right)  celebrated 50 years of professed monastic life on August 25 at Evening Prayer in the monastery chapel. Other Benedictines celebrating jubilees this are (from left to right) Sister Victoria Eisenmann, celebrating 70 years; Sister Stella Gough, celebrating 60 years; Sister Kathleen Ryan, celebrating 60 years, Sister Nancy Kordenbrock; Sister Aileen Bankemper, Prioress.




No, the rings have not been found or returned!  The community however, is filled with gratitude for the calls, emails, Facebook comments and media expressing such love and concern. There have been so many offers to help.


The rings for each of us is a sign of our final profession to monastic life, our commitment and relationship to God, each other in our monastic community, the Church and to all we encounter. The rings of our deceased sisters are the tangible connection with them.    


We also want to express that though this is a personal and communal loss and tragedy for us, we recognize there are tragedies far more grave occurring in our world – children, taken at the border and still separated from parents, school shootings, homelessness, ongoing wars and unrest in the Middle East, etc. We pray daily for these and other concerns.


Sister Aileen Bankemper, Prioress 




To read news coverage of the theft at St. Walburg Monastery go to:


In the history of St. Walburg Monastery we have never made this type of announcement:

This week during funeral preparations for Sister Cecilia we were burglarized. Although a large sum of money was taken, what hurts us more deeply is that all the rings from our deceased sisters – our physical remembrance of each sister were stolen.  If anyone could help us recover these invaluable rings we would be truly be grateful. 

Sister Aileen Bankemper, Prioress


 Both a ring and the ring box are pictured left. The burglar missed one of the rings – there were over 125 rings stolen – covering a history of 150 plus years.


Sr. Cecilia Daigle (88) died around 11 pm August 8 at St. Elizabeth Hospice. Sr. Cecilia was the last of the Sisters who transferred to our community in the 80's from the Covington, Louisiana Community. She lived at the Academy and cooked for the sisters who lived there for many years. Then she moved into the Monastery, where she enjoyed everyone, and loved to play cards, and write out birthday cards for everyone. Vigil/Visitation will be Sunday August 12 at 7 pm in the Monastery Chapel; Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday August 13 at 5:20 pm in the Monastery Chapel.


Sr. Martha Feder, OSB died on July 14, 2018. She was born on February 4 1929 and named Loretta Margaret. She was the third of five children born to Alphous Franklin and Margaret C. Jennings Feder. Her four siblings, two boys and two girls, have predeceased her.

For the rest of the obituary, click here




Sister Jeanette Frisch died on June 21, 2018. She was born on March 24, 1929 to John and Selma Cahill Frisch and named Ursula. She was the third of seven children, having four brothers and two sisters, all of whom are deceased. Her sister, Sr. Anne, was a member of the Benedictine community as well as her aunt, Sr. Elizabeth Frisch.

To see rest of obit, click here


Sr. Aileen Bankemper (above right) was installed as the thirteenth prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery at Evening Prayer on June 9. Sr. Mary Catherine Wenstrup, previous prioress, (above left) presided and Sr. Lynn McKenzie, President of the Federation of St. Scholastica, (above center) attended and spoke. Sr. Aileen was elected to serve a four year term.


Sister Margaret Mary Dressman, OSB, died peacefully on Sunday, April 8 at St. Elizabeth Hospital at age 94. A Benedictine sister for over 74 years, Sr. Margaret Mary served as teacher at Holy Cross, St. Benedict, St. Henry, St. Anthony, St. Paul’s and as librarian at Holy Cross High School and St. Walburg Monastery. She also served in Colorado as a hospital dietician. Vigil service will be held at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, April 10 followed by visitation until 9:00 pm and the Mass of Christian Burial at 5:20 pm, Wednesday, April 11 at St. Walburg Monastery. Memorials are suggested to St. Walburg Monastery, 2500 Amsterdam Rd., Villa Hills, KY 41017; 
Online condolences to:

Click here for official obituary.


On April 7, 2018 the Benedictine Sisters

 elected Sr. Aileen Bamkemper prioress for a

 term of 4 years. Her term begins on June 7.


Sr. Esther O'Hara died, January 31, 2018. Sr. Esther entered St. Walburg Monastery in 1947. She received a BA in Elementary Education from Villa Madonna College (now Thomas More College) in 1957; in 1965 she received a certificate in Library Science from the same college.

Sr. Esther began teaching the first grade at Holy Cross School in 1949. From 1950-56 she worked with cerebral palsy children at St. Benedict School. From 1957-1969 she taught elementary education in many schools--St. Joseph, Crescent Springs; St. James, Brooksville; Mary, Queen of Heaven, St. Therese, St. Anthony, St. Paul and St. Francis, Falmouth. From 1969-74 she was the school librarian at Bishop Howard School.

She was in charge of transportation at St. Walburg Monastery 1974-78. She was part of the staff at Villa Hills Day Care Center from 1981-1984. From 1984-1988 she was librarian at St. Lawrence School in Cincinnati, Ohio
Beginning in 1988 she became a free-lance storyteller, ventriloquist and balloon sculptor. She won an award at the 33rd Appalachian Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio, for storytelling and she was an enthusiastic volunteer at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Click here for official obituary.



Sister Philomena Rarreick died on January 16, 2018. Her Vigil service will be held on Sunday, January 21at 7 PM in the monastery chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 5:00 pm, Monday, January 22 at St. Walburg Monastery. Sr. Philomena will be interred in St. Walburg Monastery Cemetery on Tuesday morning. Memorials may be made to St. Walburg Monastery, 2500 Amsterdam Rd., Villa Hills, KY.


Click here for official obituary.



To read the 2017 statement on Racism from the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses, click here.


Arcadia Press has published The

Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg


To order a copy, email Sr.

Deborah Harmeling at or call her

 at 859-331-6771.

Proceeds from the book go to

The Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg


You can review the first chapter of the

 book at or







We have a  St. Walburg Monastery blog entitled Reflections from the School

for the Lord's Service. It is a multi-voice blog with different sisters posting every week. New posts will go up on

 Wednesdays. Click here to read.

Community Members