MEET OUR COMMUNITY

Our Community Members

Are you discerning a Benedictine vocation? Would you like to know us better? Start here with pictures and information about our community members...then call Sister Lucy Wynkoop at 360.438.2595 and arrange to come and visit us.
Sr. Sharon McDonald OSB
Sr. Sharon McDonald, OSB, Prioress


Sister Sharon McDonald is our Prioress, the spiritual and temporal leader of our community, elected in 2014. She also served as Prioress from 1990 to 1998. Sister Sharon has a great love for Beauty and the natural world.
Sister Damaris Zander, OSB
Sister Damaris Zander, OSB


Sister Damaris Zander is a founding member of our community. She is an excellent cook, and has a gift for growing plants and for arranging flowers. She has made literally hundreds of our knitted and felted sheep, and also many prayer shawls, baby blankets and beautiful baptismal sets.
Sister Lucy Wynkoop, OSB
Sister Lucy Wynkoop, OSB


Sister Lucy Wynkoop is a spiritual director and serves as Program Director of The Priory Spirituality Center, where she plans retreats and workshops. She is a popular retreat director and a published author as well as our Oblate Director. She also loves art and working in clay.
Sister Angela Hoffman, OSB


Sister Angela Hoffman is a Chemistry professor at the University of Portland. She is world-renowned for her research into sources of Taxol (used in chemotherapy) and is a much-appreciated mentor of young women considering careers in science. She is very active and enjoys hiking.
Sister Therese Gonneville, OSB



Sister Therese Gonneville works with people in spiritual direction and retreat ministry. She is a willing helper with just about any project, and she is often seen knitting prayer shawls or reading in her spare time.
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Sister Mary Giles Mailhot, OSB


Sister Mary Giles Mailhot has a passion for creation which in part is expressed in her care for Irish Wolfhounds. She is a spiritual director and a liturgist, plans readings for our Liturgy of the Hours, and she teaches the Rule of Benedict in our Initial Formation program. She also works with the cooks in planning our menus and making sure we have delicious treats for special days.
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Sister Monika Ellis, OSB


Sister Monika Ellis is one of our organists and composer of many lovely hymns which grace our liturgy. Her creativity extends also to fiber arts, and she helps direct the activities of the Priory Knitters & Spinners. She has also served as Subprioress of the community, and is an avid birdwatcher and a spiritual director.
Sr. Laura Swan, OSB
Sr. Laura Swan, OSB
Sister Laura Swan teaches at St. Martin's University, is a spiritual director, and does vocation and formation work for our community. She is our archivist, and has served two terms as Prioress of the community. She is passionate about social justice, and may often be seen standing with Women in Black--in silent vigil for peace and nonviolence--in downtown Olympia. She loves books, too; if you want to know what to read next, ask Sister Laura.
Sister Maureen O'Larey, OSB
Sister Maureen O'Larey, OSB



Sister Maureen O'Larey currently does Development work, and has served two terms as Prioress of St. Placid. She serves on the board of The Chipole Connection, a nonprofit, as Treasurer. She enjoys music, art and books and has a quick but gentle wit.
Sister Dorothy Robinson, OSB


Sister Dorothy Robinson, mother and grandmother, currently serves as St. Placid's Subprioress. She also helps with development work, the newsletter, our computer network and our website. She enjoys knitting, especially baby sweaters, and she dabbles in art.
Novice Molly Cady


Novice Molly Cady has a passion for languages. She has a good grip on Hebrew, is conquering Greek, and has her sights on Latin next. Otherwise she is busy with her novitiate, bustling about on the grounds with various projects, and is handy with things electronic and otherwise.
Sister Julian Cleary, OSB


Sister Julian Cleary lives out her passion for justice as an attorney practicing Disability Law. Her background in nursing enables her to help when community members are ill. She takes her ministries seriously, but is also a fun-loving addition to our community gatherings.
Affiliate Camille Wooden


Affiliate Camille Wooden, an Oblate of St. Placid Priory who resides with the community, is a retired school teacher with some 40 years experience. She has a delightful sense of humor and a way of making our community gatherings fun. Camille is our Assistant Archivist, as well as wearing several other hats.