OPP Internship General Expectations & Application

Our first OPP Interns: Nathan Bourne and Eileen Schaeffer

General Expectations:

1. At the beginning of the term of the internship, and at the beginning of the second semester, interns will submit a draft of a weekly schedule, showing an outline of what times will be allocated for various activities, including periods of study, work, worship and rest/relaxation, to be approved by the Prioress

Note: not every minute of every day needs to be scheduled; rather, this is an outline meant to show that appropriate time is set aside to meet the demands of the internship.

2. Also at the beginning of the program, interns will jointly and individually compose and submit a list of goals, hopes, and expectations for the duration of the program

3. Interruptions in the general schedule (anything from graduate school visits to dentist visits to scheduled retreats) must be communicated clearly and directly to the Prioress as far in advance as possible.

4. Interns will meet weekly with the Prioress to discuss the progress of the internship, various projects, plan for the week, and reflect on personal experiences within the program, and will meet periodically with the Community as a whole to inform all of the sisters of what they are working on in the course of their internship.

5. Interns will maintain their living space to acceptable standards, showing respect to the spaces they have been given.

6. Interns will respect the life and rhythm of the Community of St. Mary, including periods of silence, sisters’ Sabbath and retreat days, and the sisters’ space in general.

7. Interns will conduct themselves to appropriate standards of behavior, both on and off the grounds of the Convent, understanding that during their internship their actions reflect on the Community in general.

8. Interns will share living space and resource as a community; communal space, resources such as food, utensils, and other materials will be shared, maintained, and respected as mutually agreed on, and personal property will be treated with due respect

9. Interns will maintain high standards of personal conduct and behavior, understanding that their public actions have the potential to reflect back on other interns and the Community of St. Mary as a whole.

10. Interns will inform the Sisters of any guests (out of town friends, family members, etc.) who will be staying on the grounds overnight.


Work includes assisting in the liturgical life of the community, work in the garden and on the grounds, and on special projects designed by the interns or determined by the needs of the community.

The number of hours dedicated to work in each area will vary by season and demand, but general periods of work will be determined by the weekly schedule and as amended in weekly meetings.

Any work pursued outside the internship and beyond the Convent should be discussed in weekly meetings and approved by the Prioress.

Interns will take on individual projects as approved by the Prioress and/or the Community.

Prayer and Worship:

Interns are expected to lead active lives of prayer and worship, both individually and communally.

The Chapel at St. Mary’s will be the primary place of communal worship for interns.

Interns are expected to participate in daily offices, regularly attending two-three offices daily, and assisting in various liturgical roles (ringing bells, serving at the altar, reading, etc.) as needed and requested by the community.

On occasion and as deemed acceptable by the Community, other worship services may take the place of attendance of services and offices with the community.

Interns are expected to maintain active personal prayer lives that help them best express themselves spiritually.

Interns will occasionally assist in planning and organizing worship services.


Interns will pursue some sort of study outside their work at the convent.  Auditing or fully participating in classes offered through the seminary or undergraduate class pool is highly encouraged.

If interests and talents of interns find some other means of formal study, such as participating in an art class, book club, student group, or prayer group, taking part in such activities is recommended in addition to or instead of formal coursework.

Please fill out an application here.