The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

at BENEDICTINE COLLEGE

Green-Thumb Raven Brings Christian Principles to the Workplace


The Benedictine mission of community, faith and scholarship transformed culture in Europe at the dawn of Western Civilization and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, believes it can do the same in America today. To Transform Culture in America, Benedictine College plans to Form its students deeply in the mission, Advance its mission through alumni in every walk of life, and Extend its mission regionally and nationally.

“It combines two of my favorite things: plants and people!”

That’s how Monica Lyn Moser, a senior at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, from Maple Hill, Kansas, describes the work she has been doing at Family Tree Nursery, a company with a dynamic mission that is tailor-made for a Raven who wants to Transform Culture in America.

“I grew up being outdoors all the time,” she explained. “My mom had a passion for gardening which led to selling produce and plants at local farmer’s markets and ultimately owning our own small-scale greenhouse in our front yard.”

Dave Geenens, who helps direct Benedictine College’s Thompson Center for Integrity in Finance and Economics, identified Moser’s potential and connected her with the opportunity.

“In my Accounting and Finance for Entrepreneurs class last spring, students were required to identify an entrepreneurial business they’d like to start to give the work we do in class some context,” said Geenens. “Monica wanted to combine a greenhouse with a coffee house. I had known of Family Tree Nursery through some strategic planning and company-culture building I’ve done with them over the years. I connected Monica to Jonah Nelson, and they hired her as an intern.”

Geenens said of Family Tree Nursery, “It’s what I call a Virtuoso company. It is led by strong Christians who bring those values into the workplace. Their business is thriving.”

Moser said the company’s mission makes a big difference.

Nowadays, she said, “the human person is not often seen or treated as a unique individual possessing an unalienable dignity, but rather a sales number.” Not at Family Tree, though. “All of the personnel, products, and systems of Family Tree are arranged with the customer at the forefront of all that we do,” she said.

Moser is a Marketing major with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

“I dabbled in both biology and business before finally settling on marketing as my major,” Moser said. “I enjoy being creative, and the constantly changing environment of business provides a place for me to always be growing and striving for excellence. It is also a gift and a vocation to lead people.”

Monica said she appreciates Benedictine College’s mission of community, faith, and scholarship and wants to bring it to the workplace.

On campus, she is immersed in community as a member of Concert Band and Wind Ensemble, and as a leader in Benedictine College’s Raven Regiment Marching Band. She assists faith on campus through the Sunday Mass choir and has devoted herself to scholarship through the Student International Business Council and by earning the President’s List every semester so far.

She applied community, faith and scholarship at her workplace in an intentional way, too, she said:

“I experienced a lot of freedom in beginning many new friendships, exploring the city, and in sharing my faith with others through simple conversation or by being a witness to Christ through action. Bringing Christ to others through small gestures, a friendly smile, and a welcoming attitude is such an important part of living out your vocation as a leader in business — or any professional field for that matter.”

Above all, her business training helped her. “I was able to apply the concepts I have been delving into in my classes and conversations here at Benedictine. What we learn about in textbooks became concrete,” she said.

The college has helped her every step of the way.

“Being naturally driven and always enjoying a good challenge,” she said, “I added an independent study in horticulture to my busy list of high school activities during which I developed, organized, and managed a small greenhouse facility on the school’s property.”

Moser is transforming culture one person — and one plant — at a time.


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Erin Lopez