Sr. Lydia Armenta, OSB
Sister Lydia Armenta entered the Benedictine Community at Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, South Dakota in 1976. There she attended all her formation classes until she returned to Phoenix, Arizona in 1980.
Sister Lydia was born on May 27, 1947 in Tucson, Arizona. She is the eldest of nine children, seven brothers and one sister. Sister Lydia’s mother, Virginia is 91 years old and lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Prior to her entrance to the Benedictine Community in South Dakota, she graduated from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona in 1966. She moved to Phoenix soon after graduation and began her first job as a clerk for the Credit Bureau. Then in 1969 she moved back to Tucson for a new job offer as receptionist at a furniture store. She was actively involved with the youth group at Santa Cruz Parish and in the choir.
She then moved back to Phoenix in 1973 to work in the medical field, working in an ear, eye, nose and throat office. She trained as receptionist, insurance billing and doctor’s assistant in procedures. During this time, she was actively involved in the Parish of St. Augustine. It was in 1976 that she left for South Dakota and became a member of the Benedictine Sisters. While at this monastery, Sister Lydia attended Mount Marty College while at the same time doing her formation classes.
Then in 1980 she decided that living in South Dakota was not agreeable with her and returned to Phoenix, Arizona. She returned to her previous job in the medical office. She also continued her parish work.
In 1985 Sister Lydia came in touch with Sister Linda Campbell and her Benedictine community who were here from Ferdinand, Indiana. She became involved with the community and felt that she still had a vocation to religious life. She continued to pursue her vocation call through this community.
In 1988 she began a new career with the women’s prison at Perryville as Correctional Officer. The last three years working at the prison was as law librarian officer. During this time she continued to process her intentions of entering the Benedictine Community. At the time Sister Linda had decided that this was the time to found a new Benedictine Community here in Phoenix. In 1994, Sister Lydia entered as the first postulant and work with Sister Linda in founding the new Benedictine Community. As a postulant, Sister Lydia began a new endeavor. She began a private child care in their house. It was a small day care from infants to 4 year olds. She progressed through all the stages in community as novice and on to her three-year temporary vows. It was during this time that Sister Linda and Sister Lydia built the Monastery on the west side of Phoenix.
The Monastery was named Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery and was dedicated by Bishop Thomas J. O’Brien on December 12, 1998. Our Blessings began to pour forth. Sister Lydia made her final vows on March 23, 2000 with Bishop O’Brien attending the ceremony. Since 2000 Sister Lydia continued with day care until 2002 and then our retreat ministry began. In 2008, Sister Lydia received her certification in Spiritual Direction from the Hesychia School at Picture Rocks in Tucson, Arizona. Sister Lydia is presently doing spiritual direction and very much involved with the Cursillo as spiritual director. She is the retreat coordinator at the Monastery and Oblate Director.
You can reach Sister Lydia at 602-527-4975.