Monday, December 23, 2013

O Emmanuel

The banner was designed by
the Benedictine Sisters
of Turvey Abbey and
sold by McCrimmons.
O Emmanuel,
our holy King
and giver of the Law,
the expectation of the nations,
their longed for Redeemer
and Savior:
O come, come soon to save us,
our Lord GOD~WITH~US!

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Mary, Mother of the New Advent


"Drop down dew ye heavens above
and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8




"Here am I, the servant of the Lord, 
let it be with me according to your word."
Luke 1: 38

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ St. Anne


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8




"Their offspring will continue forever,

and their glory will never be blotted out."
Sirach 44: 13

Sunday, December 22, 2013

O King of Nations

The banner was designed by
the Benedictine Sisters
of Turvey Abbey and
sold by McCrimmons.
O King of the Nations,
you for whom all lands
are longing,
you are the holy cornerstone
who bind together
all God's people:
O come, come
and save humankind,
whom you formed from the dust
of the earth.

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Mother Julia


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"In God who is the source of my strength, I have strength for everything."  Philippians 4: 13

"Sister Jewel", as Mother Julia Hunhoff was affectionately called by her sisters, had a lasting effect on our community. She was prioress from 1961-1973, during the difficult times of Vatican II. Her strong and courageous nature helped her make decisions that deeply affected her sisters' lives. Mother Julia also held a great emphasis on renewal and theology, providing her the knowledge and faith to initiate many programs such as small group living, sister participation at Liturgies, family visits, and change in dress. She is respected, remembered, and loved for her humility, confidence, strength, courage, generosity, deep spirituality and compassion, and sincere concern for all.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

O Rising Sun

The banner was designed by
the Benedictine Sisters
of Turvey Abbey and
sold by McCrimmons.
O Rising Sun,
the splendor of eternal light
and brilliant sun of justice,
O come
and with your holy light,
shine on us who sit in darkness
and in death's shadow!

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Mother Jerome


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."

Isaiah 45: 8

"In all circumstances take up the shield of faith."  Ephesians 6: 13

When Mother Jerome Schmitt was born on March 30, 1899, God had special plans for her life. She held many positions of leadership including first president of Mount Marty College from 1936-1957 as well as Prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery from 1932-1961. With her vision and courage, Mount Marty took shape in 1936. Her vision and lifelong dream also flourished when Bishop Marty Chapel was completed in 1950 in honor of Bishop Martin Marty. Mother Jerome stated, "With these two weapons (the Holy Rule and her Bible) and God's abiding grace, I hope to find my way to heaven" (autobiography). God so rewarded her valiant and strong faith on March 14, 1983 by calling her home.

Friday, December 20, 2013

O Key of David

The banner was designed by
the Benedictine Sisters
of Turvey Abbey and
sold by McCrimmons.
O Key of David,
and scepter of the House
of Israel,
who open the door
and no one closes,
who close the door
and no one opens:
O come, rescue us
from our dark prison,
where we sit in death's shadow!

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Mother Gertrude


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"{The Prioress is} Always to remember what she is and what she is called." ~ Rule of Benedict 2: 30

As foundress of our community, Mother Gertrude Leupi, had a great love for solitude and prayer. Mother Gertrude came to America in 1880 at the age of 55 with 21 years' experience as Prioress at Maria Richenbach, Switzerland. On November 17th, 1880, a novitiate program began in Maryville, Missouri giving our Yankton community its founding date. From Maryville, the sisters moved to Maria Zell, South Dakota in 1886, then to Yankton in 1887. Mother Gertrude was also foundress of two other communities. In all her years of being Benedictine, she always shared true concern for the spiritual and physical needs of her sisters. On March 26, 1904 at the age of 80, the Lord called her home, rewarding her for all her efforts to spread His message of spirituality.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

O Root of Jesse

The banner was designed by
the Benedictine Sisters
of Turvey Abbey and
sold by McCrimmons.
O Root of Jesse,
who stand as a sign of the people,
before whom kings shall be silent,
to whom all nations shall pray,
O come, come Lord
to free us,
and delay no longer!

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Susanna


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"Here I am about to die, though I have done none of the things for which these men have condemned me." Daniel 13: 43

Susanna was a beautiful, God-fearing woman who was falsely accused of adultery by two respected elders who were judges in Babylon. The daughter of righteous parents--her father's name was Hilkiah--the wife of an esteemed and wealthy man--her husband's name was Joakim--she was condemned to death without due process and on the strength of the accusation. As she was about to be executed, Daniel intervened and subjected the judges to a cross-examination, exposing their lie and vindicating this much-loved daughter of Judah (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

O Adonai

The banner was designed by
the Benedictine Sisters
of Turvey Abbey and
sold by McCrimmons.
O Adonai, and Leader
of the House of Israel,
who appeared in a burning bush
to Moses and gave him
the Law on Mount Sinai,
O come, come Lord
and redeem us with your
strong arm outstretched!

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Esther


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"Put into my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion and turn his heart." Esther 12: 24

Esther, daughter of Abihail, was raised by her relative Mordecai after her parents died. She was a Jew in the city of Susa in the kingdom of Media and Persia, and because of her beauty she was conscripted into the royal harem. She was crowned queen after she won the heart of King Ahauerus, and she used her position to intercede for the lives of her people. Becuase of Queen Esther, the Jews who were about to be destroyed won the right to defend themselves by killing those who would have killed them. Their victory gave rise to the feast of Purim. Its authorization as an annual holiday is attributed to Esther and Mordecai (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

O Wisdom

The banner was designed by
the Benedictine Sisters
of Turvey Abbey and
sold by McCrimmons.

O Wisdom of God,

who came forth from the mouth of the Most High, 

reaching from beginning to end, and with great power
yet gentleness 
you set all creation in order:  
O come, come Lord 
and teach us the way of Wisdom!


Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Judith


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"She was beautiful in appearance, and was very lovely to behold."  Judith 8: 7

Judith, daughter of Merari, wife of Manasseh, was a beautiful, wealthy, courageous woman who lived in the town of Bethulia and liberated her people from an Assyrian siege by seducing Holofernes, general of the Assyrian army, and chopping off his head (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Monday, December 16, 2013

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Slave to Naaman's Wife


"Drop down dew yet heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."  2 Kings 5: 3

The young Israelite girl who served Naaman's wife had been captured by Naaman who was commander of the Syrian army in the days of the prophet Elisha. She told her mistress that a prophet in Israel could cure her husband of his leprosy, and he did. Nothing more is known of her (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Hannah


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8

"In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I have asked him of the Lord."" 1 Samuel 1: 9-20

Hannah, wife of Elkanah, lived in Ramah with her husband and his other wife, Penninah, and Pennianah's sons and daughters. Hannah herself was childless. After an intense period of prayer, she conceived and gave birth to Samuel, whom she consecrated to God. When the boy was weaned, she left him at the sanctuary in Shiloh to be a minister there and gave birth to other children, two daughters and three sons (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Jesse Tree Holy Women ~ Ruth & Naomi

"Drop down dew yet heavens above
and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8

"Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you do, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God." Ruth 1: 16

During the time of the judges, Naomi with her husband, Elimelech, and her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, emigrated from Bethlehem in Judah to Moab in a period of famine. Elimelech died and the sons took Moabite wives. Mahlon married Ruth and Chilion married Orpha. Ten years later the sons died, leaving both their widows childless. When Naomi set out to return to her country, Ruth accompanied her to Bethlehem where she married Boaz, her husband's relative, and gave birth to Obed, the grandfather of David.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jesse Tree Women ~ Deborah

Drop down dew ye heavens above
and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8

"And she said, "I will surely go with you.""
Judges 4: 9

Deborah was a judge, a warrior, and a prophet in Israel during the time of the judges. She was also a singer of songs. She lived in the "hill country" of Ephraim and was the wife of Lappidoth. Scripture records her heroic stance against the Canaanite army and attests to her stature among the people (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Retreat: Seeking God, A Pause to Discern

Greetings,

If you are a young, single, Catholic woman who desires to deepen her faith and is considering the call to religious life, we invite you to discern with us.

Our Vocation Sisters and all our Benedictine family will be hosting a discernment retreat on the weekend of January 3rd.  On that Epiphany weekend, we will invite you to seek Christ along with the wise men of old.

For more information about "Seeking God: A Pause to Discern"  please contact our Sister Phyllis.  To register for the discernment weekend, please print the registration and know that our prayers are with you.

Blessings,

Jesse Tree Holy Women ~ Jephthah's Daughter

"Drop down dew ye heavens above
and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8

"Let this thing be done for me. Grant me two months, so that I may go and wander on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, my companions and I." Judges 11: 37

The virgin daughter of Jephthah became her father's burnt offering to God after his victory over the Ammonites. She was an only child. she willingly accepted the sacrifice of her life to fulfill her father's vow (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Jesse Tree Holy Women ~ Rahab


"Drop down dew ye heavens above
and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the outer side of the city wall and she resided within the wall itself."  Joshua 2: 15

Rahab was a harlot who sheltered two of Joshua's men when they came to spy on Jericho. She defied the king's orders, deceived his soldiers and helped the Israelites escape to safety. For this act she and her family were spared by Joshua during the destruction of Jericho (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Jesse Tree Holy Women ~ Pharaoh's Daughter


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


 
"When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and she took him as her son." Exodus 2: 1-10

Although Pharaoh, king of Egypt, ordered all Hebrew baby boys to be destroyed at birth, his daughter rescued Moses from his basket in the Nile and raised him the royal household until he was an adult. This woman, who saw to the survival of the hero of the Exodus, is known to us only as Pharaoh's daughter. Her name, her dynasty, the particular pharaoh who was her father are facts that have been lost to us (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Monday, December 9, 2013

Pope Francis' message for One Human Family, Food for All

Greetings,

The message from Pope Francis about the day of prayer and awareness for "One Human Family, Food for All."



The prayer from Caritas.org for "One Human Family, Food for All"

O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation
so that we might care for the earth and be
nourished with its bounty.
You sent us your Son to share our very flesh and
blood and to teach us your Law of Love. Through
His death and resurrection, we have been formed
into one human family.
Jesus showed great concern for those who had no
food – even transforming five loaves and two fish
into a banquet that served five thousand and
many more.
We come before you, O God, conscious of our
faults and failures, but full of hope, to share food
with all members in this global family.
Through your wisdom, inspire leaders of government
and of business, as well as all the world’s
citizens, to find just, and charitable solutions to
end hunger by assuring that all people enjoy the
right to food.
Thus we pray, O God, that when we present ourselves
for Divine Judgment, we can proclaim ourselves
as “One Human Family” with “Food for All”.
Amen.

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Shiphrah & Puah


"Drop down dew ye heavens aboveand let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"So God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and became very strong."
Exodus 1: 20

Shiphrah and Puah were Hebrew midwives in Egypt prior to the Exodus. God-fearing women and mothers themselves, they defied Pharaoh's orders to kill all male babies born to Hebrew women, enabling the Jews to increase in number. They may have delivered Moses (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Miriam


"Drop down dew yet heavens above

and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8


"Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing."
Exodus 15: 20


Miriam, daughter of Jochebed and Amran and granddaughter of Kohath who was a son of Levi, was the sister of Moses and Aaron and shared leadership with her brothers during the exodus from Egypt. she led the women in song and spirited dance following the miracle at the Sea of Reeds, and was briefly afflicted with a debilitating skin disease after criticizing her brother Moses. Miriam died and was buried in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin without reaching the Promised Land (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Rachel

"Drop down dew yet heavens above
and let the clouds rain the just one."
Isaiah 45: 8

"Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and wept aloud." Genesis 9: 11

Rachel was the younger daughter of Laban, Rebekah's brother. When Jacob journeyed to the country of his relatives, he fell in love with Rachel and agreed to work seven years for her, but when his service was completed, her father tricked him into marrying her older sister Leah. Rachel became Jacob's second wife for whom he worked another seven years. Rachel, loved by Jacob, was childless, while Leah gave birth to sons. Rachel gave her maid Belhah to Jacob as a concubine and claimed two sons through her before she herself became pregnant and gave birth to Joseph. She died on the way to Canaan while giving birth to her son Benjamin and was buried near Bethlehem (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Friday, December 6, 2013

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Rebekah

"Drop down dew ye heavens above
and let the clouds rain the Just One."
Isaiah 45: 8

"...and they called Rebekah,
and said to her, "Will you go with this man?"
She said, "I will.""
Genesis 24: 58

Rebekah, sister of Laban, daughter of Bethuel, granddaughter of Milcah and Sarah's brother Nahor, left her home in Padden-aram to become wife to Isaac in the land of Canaan and mother to twins, Esau and Jacob. She is buried beside Isaac, Abraham, and Sarah in Machpelah, which is in Hebron (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Sarah

"Drop down dew ye heaven's above
and let the clouds rain the Just One."
Isaiah 45: 8

"God has brought laughter for me,
everyone who hears will laugh with me."
Genesis 21: 6

Sarah was born in Ur of the Chaldeans, where she married her brother Abraham. Their father was Terah, but hey had different mothers whose names we do not know. Before God established a covenant with them, their names were Sarai and Abram. They left Ur to settle in the land of Canaan and lived for a while in Egypt and the Negeb before pitching their tent near the oaks of Mamrah in Kiriath-arab, which is Hebron. Childless until the age of ninety, Sarah bore a son named Isaac when her husband was one hundred years old. She died at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven and was buried in a cave at Machpelah in the land of Canaan (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Jesse Tree of Holy Women ~ Eve


"Drop down dew ye heavens above

and let the clouds rain the Just One."
Isaiah 45: 8



"This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken."

Genesis 2: 23

Genesis presents Eve as the first woman created by God. It may be more accurate to say that she is the first female with an identity and a name in the recorded history of both Jews and Christians. As wife of the first man, Adam, she gave birth to three sons--Cain, Abel, and Seth--somewhere outside the Garden of Eden. Through the pain of giving birth and loss of both Abel and Cain, Eve experienced a dimension of being human which she had not known in the Garden. The Genesis genealogy lists other sons born to Adam--and therefore to Eve--and states that there were also daughters of whom not a single memory remains. As scholars struggle to separate fact from mythology and interpretation in the narrative of Eve, she as original woman continues to be a symbol of both the domination and the liberation of her gender (Woman Word by Miriam Therese Winter).

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Benedictine Family Traditions

Greetings,

Every family has traditions surrounding their holiday celebrations and our Benedictine family gathers for a Thanksgiving day too. While most of the sisters live at the monastery, those who live away from home gather back at the monastery or together at their convents for a day of praying, playing, and feasting together.

We'll begin with Lauds and Mass before sharing in a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. The Sisters (and one Father Monk) helped begin the preparations for the meal a couple earlier with slicing, peeling, and dicing up pumpkin for the pies!  The work went quickly with many hands to help.

 After a meal of laughter and sharing, the sisters continue the day of tradition...  An afternoon of play in the Chapter Room.  Tables of four sit down to Pinochle while groups of two and three break out the dictionaries over the Scrabble board; other sisters laugh over sets of Dominoes or Taboo.  The simple being together as community is the joy of Thanksgiving as we clean up the Chapter Room and return to Chapel for Vespers.

We'll be keeping you all in our prayers.

Blessings,

Friday, November 22, 2013

Advent Retreat

Greetings,

Our Peace Center Sisters plan a variety of retreats throughout the Church year.  However, Advent begins in a WEEK!  They are preparing for a morning retreat "Waiting with Mary in Advent."  We invite you to join the sisters and other seekers to learn to wait with our Blessed Mother for the coming of our Lord.

The retreat morning begins at 9 o'clock on Saturday, December 7th.  Simply follow the link to learn more about our Advent retreat.

http://www.yanktonbenedictines.org/documents/AdventRetreat.pdf

Blessings,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Celebrating the Communion of Saints

Greetings,

The month of November includes many feasts important to our Benedictine community; however, it begins with two days sacred to the whole Church.  The Solemnity of All Saints and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed are days of celebrating all of our beloved in the Communion of Saints.  We honor the saints great and small and tell stories of our loved ones who have died.

We invite you to join our prayer through these images and antiphons from our Divine Office and Eucharistic celebrations:

"Let us keep festival in honor of all the saints giving God
the glory for the grace bestowed on humankind."
~ Vespers Call to Prayer

"Hallelujah! With my whole heart I praise the Lord among the just.
Great are God's works, a delight to explore.
In splendor, in majesty, God's justice will stand." ~ Psalm 111

"Imitate God, walk in his love, just as Christ loves us."
~ Lauds Antiphon
Reliquary and Relics in veneration (left to right):
* Saints Maur, Benedict, and Placid
* Saints Alexi, Herman, Benedict, Agatha, and Severanta
* Saints Seodati and Amandi 
* Saint Grucis
* Saints Gertrude, Scholastica, and Boniface
* Saint Benedict
* Saints Donald, Ursini, and Victoria

"...They have come out of the great tribulation and
have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.
They need fear no peril or danger
for the Lamb will shepherd them..."
~ Lauds Responsory
* Saints Gertrude, Scholastica, and Boniface
* Saint Benedict
* Saints Donald, Ursini, and Victoria

"Give glory as the name of God deserves;
bring gifts into the courts of the Most High.
Adore God in the splendor of holiness.
Earth, tremble before the Holy Presence!"
~ Psalm 96
* Saint Grata

Our relic of Saint Benedict was carried
during the procession into Chapel for Mass.

"Let me peak your praise, O Lord, let all peoples bless
your holy name forever, for ages unending." ~ Psalm 145
Reliquary and Relics in veneration (left to right):
* Saints Speciosa, Fortunata, Nicolas, and Theodore
* Saints Columban, Victoria, Ursula, Crescenta, Desidii, and Gereon

"I will give you glory, O God my king, I will bless your name forever.
I will bless you day after day and praise your name forever.
You are great, Lord, highly to be praised, your greatness
cannot be measured." ~ Psalm 145

"For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, 
our hearts expand and we run the way of God's commandments 
with unspeakable sweetness of love. 
Thus, never departing from His school, 
but persevering in the monastery according to His teaching until death, 
we may by patience share in the suffering of Christ 
and deserve to have a share also in His kingdom" 
(Rule of Benedict, Prologue: 49-50).

"From the earth you formed me, with flesh you clothed me;
Christ my Redeemer, raise me up again at the last day."
~ Lauds Antiphon
Blessings,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Loving Service: Warm Hearts and Hot Soups

Greetings,

This Fall the sisters of the monastery have been busily serving each other.  Chapter 72 of The Rule of Benedict calls each of the sisters to a loving awareness of the needs of her sisters...

Just as there is an evil zeal of bitterness which separates from God and leads to hell, so there is a good zeal which separates from vices and leads to God and to life everlasting.  This zeal, therefore, the sisters should practice with the most fervent love.  Thus they should anticipate one another in honor (Rom. 12:10); most patiently endure one another's infirmities, whether of body or of character; vie in paying obedience one to another--no one following what she considers useful for herself, but rather what benefits another--; tender the charity of sisterhood chastely; fear God in love; love their Abbess with sincere and humble charity; prefer nothing whatever to Christ.  And may He bring us all together to life everlasting!


After many years of teaching elementary school, Sister Retiree has been finding many ways to share her good zeal with the community at the monastery.  Sister is well known for her cooking and baking skills.  She has shared dozens of homemade cookies, breads, caramel rolls, and suppers over the years.

"...vie in paying obedience one to another--no one following what she considers useful for herself, but rather what benefits another..."  Recently, she treated our elders to a home made soup lunch!  Her famous from scratch chicken soup was served with dinner rolls fresh from the oven.  For dessert, she arranged a light fruit salad.

Our elder sisters, Saint Joseph's group, and our care center staff enjoyed this "...tender charity of sisterhood..."  The meal was wonderful but the good zeal shared among the sisters was even better.


Saturday the 19th, our sisters from the 'Day Spring' living group (small groups of sisters who gather for prayer and recreation) treated the whole community to a soup supper!  "...Anticipating one another in honor..." the sisters brewed up three wonderful soups:  vegetarian vegetable, beef vegetable, and chicken with dumplings.  They also provided homemade wheat dinner rolls and focaccia breads.  To top off the supper, they shared a variety of brownies, bars, and some fruit fresh from the garden.

It was a wonderful night to visit at table, to enjoy the blessing of our garden produce shared in the soups, and to swap a few recipes of our own!  Thank you sisters of Day Spring for a wonderful night of good zeal being shared by all!

Blessings,

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fall Harvest Continues

Greetings,

The fall harvest at the monastery garden continues with PUMPKINS!
Our Sister Gardener has begun gathering our pumpkins of all sizes.
This year she was surprised by a few 'ghost' pumpkins in the midst
 of the patch of orange gourds.
Sister Viticulturist also loves to garden.  She tends not only the monastery grape vines but also a 'small' hill of pumpkin vines.   
140 little pumpkins later...Sister has begun processing
 the fresh produce for future PIE! 
Sister Gardener has busy about many other fruits of the garden.  The monastery was blessed with good growing weather for watermelons and cantaloupe.  And while the orchard blossoms coincided with a chilly spring, she has kept our Novice busy with picking fall apples perfect for sauces and pies.
I wonder if pumpkin pie, fresh crisp melon, and homemade apple sauce was what Benedict had in mind when he wrote:  "Therefore let two cooked dishes suffice for all the brethren; and if any fruit or fresh vegetables are available, let a third dish be added"  (RB 39).   

Blessings,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Monastery Vineyard

Greetings,
A few years ago, our Sister retired from her work as a hospital chaplain and moved home to the monastery.  She continues to serve the community with her baking and gardening skills.  After her move home, she added "viticulturist", the cultivation of grapes, to her repertoire.


Sister has been nurturing her two rows of 27 vines for four years.   After watering, weeding, and protecting the vines from hungry turkeys, she has been harvesting grapes during the last couple years; however, this year was an amazing crop.  She has picked 365 pounds of Valiant, Worden, Blue Bell, Concord, and St. Therese grapes.

These dark blue globes will be quickly packed away into the freezer.  During the winter months, Sister Retiree will make juices, jams, and jellies for her monastery sisters.  Her vine-ripened, sweet produce will soon be topping Sister Baker's breads and rolls...

Blessings,

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Narrow Way

Greetings,

Pope Francis' Sunday Angelus invited us all to pass through the narrow gate into life with Jesus.

"The image of the gate recurs several times in the Gospel and is reminiscent of home and hearth, where we find safety, love and warmth.  Jesus tell us that there is a gate that allows us to enter into God's family, into the warmth of the house of God, of communion with Him.  This gate is Jesus himself.  He is the gate.  he is the gateway to salvation...Don't be afraid: He's waiting for you.  Be lively, have the courage to enter through His gate.  All are invited to pass through this gate, to pass through the gate of faith, to enter into His life, and to allow Him to enter into our life, because He transforms it, renews it, the gifts of full and lasting joy."

The loving call of the Holy Father is reminiscent to us of how Saint Benedict closes his Prologue to the Rule of Benedict.  He challenges the monks and nuns to follow the narrow way of love through life in the monastery, the school of the Lord's service.

"And so we are going to establish a school for the service of the Lord.  In founding it we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome.  But if a certain strictness results from the dictates of equity for the amendment of vices or the preservation of charity, do not be at once dismayed and fly from the Way of Salvation, whose entrance cannot but be narrow.   For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God's commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love.  Thus never departing from His school, but persevering in the monastery according to His teaching until death, we may by patience share in the suffering of Christ and deserve to have a share also in His kingdom."

Blessings,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Benedictine Kitchen Service

Greetings,

The summer of kitchen service continues!  The sweet corn has been prepped and frozen, the nun-better noodles are dried and bagged, but there is more to be shared with our sisters.

Chapter 35 in the Rule of Benedict calls upon the sisters to serve each other in all ways...including the kitchen.  "Let the brethren serve one another, and let no one be excused from the kitchen service except by reason of sickness or occupation in some important work.  For this service brings increase of reward and charity.  But let helpers be provided for the weak ones, that they may not be distressed by this work; and indeed let everyone have help, as required by the size of the community or the circumstances of the locality."

Our student-sister from the Olivetan Benedictine Sisters of Busan, Korea treated the community to buchimgae.  There was quite a line of sisters waiting for the tasty veggie pancakes.
Sister Gardener set up in the 'canning' area of our kitchens and began the sauerkraut making by shredding dozens of cabbages.  She prepared a variety of purple and green heads with pickling salts for the hard work to come. 
The volunteer sisters soon began to arrive to help fill the pre-washed, pre-labeled jars with the cabbages freshly cut from our own gardens.  Novice Peggy joined our student sister from Busan and others in this community service.
Sister Erin switched from college work to kitchen help to share the kitchen service with our student sister from the Daughters of Mary in Uganda.  After 21 years in community, she knows how much our sisters LOVE the homemade sauerkraut!
Blessings!