March 13, 2009

Beech Grove Benedictine sisters elect new prioress

On March 7, Benedictine Sister Juliann Babcock, a native of Indianapolis, was elected the seventh prioress of the Sisters of St. Benedict of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove.

The canonical election took place in the monastery chapel. Benedictine Sister Joella Kidwell, president of the order’s Federation of St. Gertrude, presided over the election.

Sister Juliann humbly accepted the decision of the community and will officially become the next prioress at her installation on June 7.

She will succeed Sister Carol Falkner, who has been prioress for eight years.

Sister Juliann is the daughter of the late Jim and Evelyn Babcock. She grew up on the eastside of Indianapolis and graduated from Our Lady of Lourdes School. She attended Our Lady of Grace Academy and entered the Sisters of St. Benedict upon her graduation in 1966.

She made her first profession of vows in 1968 and her perpetual profession of vows in 1973.

Sister Juliann earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Indianapolis and a master’s degree in the same field at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. She also earned a master’s degree in spirituality at Holy Name College in Oakland, Calif.

She began her ministry as an educator in 1971 and continued in that field until 1981 when she became a staff member at the newly created Benedictine Center, now called the Benedict Inn Retreat and Conference Center.

Sister Juliann also served her community as the vocation director from 1989-93 and sub-prioress from 1993 until 2001. Most recently, she has served as the formation director, and assisted women in the early stages of their religious vocation.

She will lead the 71 members of Our Lady of Grace Monastery for a term of six years.

(For more information about Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove, log on to

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