Sister Wilhelmina’s Body Puts Benedictines in the Spotlight

A convent a short drive from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, has generated international headlines.

The realization that the body of the foundress, Sister Wilhelmina Lancaster, was uncorrupted after four years of burial has put the Monastery of the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles, in the spotlight.

The small group of cloistered nuns were not used to the level of attention and needed help. Benedictine College was pleased to be able to lend a hand to a fellow Benedictine institution.

The college delivered a pallet of bottled water, stanchions for crowd control, and a sound system for the church. In a true display of community working together, Atchison Hardware donated a canopy and 100 chairs; the St. Joseph Knights of Columbus volunteered for parking control; the county sheriff took care of traffic control, the local parish provided water coolers and cups, and the city of Easton delivered more chairs.

Everyone felt blessed to be able to help the sisters and provide comfort to the crowds of pilgrims coming to the rural location through the Memorial Day Holiday weekend.

President Stephen D. Minnis lined up at Gower and waited with Kansas City Chief Harrison Butker, who kicked the game-winning field goal at the 2023 Super Bowl.

Members of the community were grateful for the college’s help, and shared their thoughts on Facebook. Patricia Kearney Elder said, “Thank you, Benedictine Abbey and College. Our visit was seamless this morning, thanks to everything and everybody.”

Therese Myzer said, “We went today and it was amazing to see not only Sister Wilhelmina’s uncorrupted body but how so many members of the community have put their hands to use to help everything run so smoothly.”

However, the Church is always cautious in its approach to publicly proclaiming miracles, and venerating saints before they have been investigated. The convent is located inside the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, where Bishop James Johnston, a friend of Benedictine college, released a statement about the phenomenon.

Said Bishop Johnston, “Incorruptibility has been verified in the past, but it is very rare. There is a well-established process to pursue the cause for sainthood, but that has not been initiated in this case yet.”

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.