Louisville native will make final profession

Sister Rachel Geracitano

By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer

Sister Rachel Lynn Geracitano will make her final monastic profession as a member of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Ind., on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. at Monastery Immaculate Conception Church in Ferdinand.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will preside.

Sister Geracitano, a native of Louisville and a graduate of the former St. Polycarp School, said during an interview last week that her vocation was born when she was a student at Bellarmine University, where she was active in campus ministry.

“My campus minister —Dr. Melanie Prejean-Sullivan  — was the one who encouraged me. She said ‘I think you would be a good fit here; this (monastic community) would be a good place for you,’ ” she said.

From the first time she visited the Benedictine Sisters in Ferdinand, Sister Geracitano said her focus began to shift.

“I was in college at the time and I didn’t really know which way was up. When I visited the monastery I felt,  ‘I can do this; this is awesome,’ ”
she said.

Sister Geracitano, 28, earned a bachelor of arts degree in theology at Bellarmine University in 2012.

She entered the monastery in August of 2012 and made her first profession of vows in July 2014.

She earned a master’s degree in pastoral theology at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in 2017

She currently serves as a family counselor at Catholic Cemeteries, a ministry of the Archdiocese of Louisville, where she assists families in the process of burying and memorializing loved ones.

She also has clinical pastoral experience from her work at Deaconness Hospital in Evansville, Ind., and Baptist Hospital in Louisville, where she served as a chaplain.

She said she finds richness in religious life in the balance of prayer and work.

“In the ‘Rule of Benedict,’ we do all things in moderation. We are not extreme in one thing or the other,” she said.

“I like that we do ordinary things in an extraordinary way. When you live like that it gives intentionality and meaning,” she said.

In her work at Catholic Cemeteries, Sister Geracitano said she finds meaning working with families.

“It’s fascinating to learn about them and be a part of their journey, even if it’s just briefly,” she said.

The Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand were founded in 1867 and currently number 138. They serve in areas of education, parish work, healthcare, retreat and spiritual work, social services, counseling and mission work in Indiana, Kentucky and Peru.

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