The season of Advent ushers in our new Church year. At the monastery, the season is welcomed with new color and greenery in the Chapel and prayer spaces, with extended silence in our mornings, and with a deeper awareness of God's presence among us. While the Rule of Benedict has much to say on the season of Lent, Advent wasn't yet part of the Church's Tradition and celebration during Benedict's lifetime. However, we infer many of the Saint Benedict's recommendations from Chapter 49 to this season: to pray more, to read and reflect, and prepare ourselves for the celebration of the Christ's Incarnation and His triumphant return.
This autumn was filled with many events which gave us the opportunity to share our blessings. The Monastery Gift Shop (and the whole monastery) hosted our 6th annual "Holiday Fair" on October 27th. Throughout the year, sisters prepared the best crafts of crocheting, quilting and sewing; beaded dozens of rosaries, bracelets, and jewelry; Father Monk brought down breads and soaps from his monastery while Sister Baker whiped up batches of her own treats and poured candles to boot! It was an amazing variety that spread throughout the monastery's front parlours and hallways, and between 9:30 am and their afternoon closing, the sisters had sold...
542 various loaves of bread!
122 plates of other baked and candied goods!
81 bags of homemade 'Nun-Better' noodles
573 jars of jam, jelly, pickles, and salad dressing from the monastery kitchen and cookers!
1054 handmade items from the sisters crafting, sewing, beading, and other artistic gifts!The proceeds from this one day of wild and wonderful sales goes to support the international sisters who live with us while studying at Mount Marty College. This is one way we strive to share our gift and blessing of education with others.
The sisters also shared our gift and blessing of bounty in preparation for Thanksgiving. The monastery has continued the tradition of opening our kitchen and assisting the local 'Banquet' in preparing a feast for others. The ovens were filled with dozens of turkeys that were later pulled apart by Sister Volunteers while others cut bunches (what must have felt like tons) of celery, onion, and breads to make the dressing for the feast. By the time the Banquet representatives came with their van, our contributions to the city's Banquet were all wrapped up and ready to go. Several sisters also shared in serving the meal and eating with the guests, but the preparation allows so many more sisters to reach out to bless those they may never know.
We will keep you and your Advent in our prayers and hope that blessings and opportunities to bless will be abundant in your new Church year.