LACEY, Wash. – The Saint Martin’s University community welcomes Sister Gertrude Feick, O.S.B., S.T.D., as executive director of the University’s Benedictine Institute. Sister Gertrude, a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel, Ore., brings to Saint Martin’s a rich and versatile background in Benedictine spirituality, teaching and leadership. She takes the helm from Father Kilian Malvey, O.S.B., who will devote more time to teaching English and religious studies.
Saint Martin’s University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., who inaugurated the institute in 2011, said, “We welcome in the truest Benedictine custom Sister Gertrude, an accomplished Benedictine scholar, to Saint Martin’s. Her scholarship, religious affiliation and caring personality will enhance and extend the work of the Benedictine Institute. I have no doubt that she will soon come to know every individual in our community and they, her.”
The University’s institute was founded to support and advance the Benedictine core of Saint Martin’s. As a Benedictine institution, the University is guided by values of the Roman Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, now 1,500 years old. Those values, which center on prayer, work, service and living in community, are based on Saint Benedict’s short compendium, the “Rule.” The institute works to strengthen and maintain that Benedictine character so that future students can be guided by it and so it can be shared with the greater community.
“It is a gift to be given an opportunity to build a program through the institute,” Sister Gertrude said. “It is a great environment for me here because I will have an opportunity to use my life experiences and formal education, and to share the sacredness of Benedictine spirituality with others, as well as to participate in liturgy each day with the monks of the Abbey.”
Sister Gertrude completed her doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, where she earlier earned both a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology and a specialization in spiritual theology. Her doctoral thesis centered on Cardinal Basil Hume, the English Benedictine whose deep sense of spirituality and social justice and his diplomatic skills made him one of the foremost pastoral leaders of the 20th century.
Sister Gertrude also has master’s degrees in theology from Mt. Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, Ore., and in physical education, from Eastern Illinois University, Charleston. She has taught theology and religious studies at Mt. Angel Seminary in St. Benedict and most recently, at the University of Portland.
Prior to joining the Benedictine community at Mt. Angel in 2000, she worked as a school and community resource volunteer with the Peace Corps in the post-apartheid Republic of South Africa, and earlier had a career in health and wellness services.
While at Saint Martin’s, she is enjoying the hospitality of the Benedictine sisters of nearby St. Placid’s Priory.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 25 majors and seven graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,100 undergraduate students and 340 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and 350 more students to its extended campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at www.stmartin.edu.
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