Sunday, April 27, 2014

Celebrating the Saints!


We celebrate God's Divine Mercy that He shared with us through His generous servants, Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.  We join the Church in honoring the continued service and intercession of these two saints of God.

Saint John XXIII of Rome and Saint John Paul II pray for us!

See our Facebook page for the intercessory prayers (shared by the Vatican) for these two new saints.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Chatter


If you've been following the events and activities of our elder sisters, we shared their Lenten Nesting.  They incubated a few dozen eggs from our Novice's farming family in the hopes of the sounds of a new clutch of chicks peeping on Easter morning.

Well, there is good news and bad news over our hopes for a CHATTERING of chicks for the Easter Octave.  The good news is that the sisters were all prepared with a warm enclosure for the chicks first weeks.  Our Gardening Sister was also prepared the the clutch to be moved to their newly finished coop near the gardens when the chicks were ready.  

The bad news is that only two of the three dozen eggs hatched.  The sister in guiding the incubating has years of sharing this experience with students and has some guesses as to why the hatching failed.

Undaunted by the first round and encouraged by the peeps coming from the activity room, Sister has started a new chattering of three dozen eggs due to hatch around the feast of St. Isadore.  May St. Isadore, patron saint of farmers, pray for us!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Triduum travels and Easter joy


Holy Thursday was a mix of joy and solemnity.  Following monastic tradition, we held our foot washing ceremony before supper.  This was celebrated in our Chapter room for the sisters of the community; however, this year we welcomed our Triduum retreatants as well.  It began with a simple service with scripture and song and then our prioress, sub-prioress, and procurator sit or kneel between the choirs of sisters as we, one by one, came forward to have them wash our feet.  It was powerful to watch as the sister we elected leader, carefully removed the shoes and socks of our sisters and gently wash and dry the sister's feet before returning her shoes.

After the ceremony, we processed with joy to an Agape Supper!  We began with a prayer reminding us of the blessings of bread and wine and community.  Then the refectory was filled with laughter and story as the meal was served 'family style' at each table.  This Agape celebrated our love for each other, community, and Christ.

Holy Thursday Mass began with our statio procession into Chapel and after Mass we also processed out of chapel.  Father Thomas, gently bearing the Blessed Sacrament, followed the procession of sisters, candles, and incense.  The sisters sang the Pange Lingua along the way accompanied by our musicians tucked into little corners along the hallways.  With the Sacrament transferred, our silence began.  Even the bells were stilled for this sacred silence.

Good Friday began in a silence which continued throughout the day allowing for the simple solemnity of prayer.  The hymns and chant of Lauds were sung without accompaniment (with an occasional single tone to keep us on pitch).  The prayer is simple, stripped of the opening call to prayer and crossing of our lips.  The reading for the day was chanted by our cantors; their Latin harmonies hauntingly beautiful in their cry for God's mercy.

A few sisters quietly carried out their services to the community, but if our work could be set
aside, it was.  Meals were simple and light.  However, there was one exception.  Our baker continued the tradition of fresh hot cross buns served at lunch.  A sweet reminder of the promise of Easter yet to come.

Our Good Friday service began in silence as Father Thomas and his acolyte walked up the aisle to reverence the altar.  It wasn't until the sisters processed forward to venerate the cross that they realized the many locals who had joined the sisters for this afternoon hour of prayer with the Lord.

Holy Saturday continued in silence with a little joy seeping between the cracks...  The morning prayer of Lauds continued without accompaniment.  The liturgist, sacristan, and their sister helpers quietly set to work around the chapel bringing out the lilies, banners, and new candles.  It's amazing how much can be accomplished with very little words and a great deal of growing joy.

Easter Vigil was filled with symbol, sacrament, and sacred song.  A perfect evening greeted the sisters and guests as we gathered outside for the blessing of the Easter Fire and the new Easter Candle.  From there we processed up to the Chapter Room for the journey through the Old Testament readings and the glory of the first Alleluias.

Our Prioress then led the procession with the Easter Candle to the entrance to Chapel and the newly filled water font for the blessing of water, renewal of Baptismal promises, and sprinkling rite.  Newly blessed and renewed, the sisters and gathered community processed into the Chapel singing the Gloria and ringing bells.

It was a glorious night with song and light filling the Chapel after a long Lent.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lenten Nesting...Egg-static preparation


The sisters are awaiting the glory of our risen Lord, they are also awaiting the arrival of the new clutch that should be hatching during Easter Octave!  On Wednesday of Holy Week, Sister Margo and others on 'egg-watch' decided to build the excitement and prepare some sweet treats for the upcoming celebrations.   The sisters in St. Joseph's Care Center worked creatively with some rice-cereal treats!

Sisters Stephanie and Leonette shaped Easter eggs
by filling the plastic eggs with the cereal-marshmallow
mixture, but left just enough room inside the 'egg'
for a sweet surprise! 

Sister Grace gets a helping hand from Sister Sarah
while creating more Easter eggs.

All these eggs will need a nest or two!
Sr. Virginia created rice-cereal bases with some
green coconut grass for the nest.  

The finished product!  It could be a long few days until
Easter Sunday when these treats will be seen again!

 Have A Blessed Triduum!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sacred Triduum Schedules


The holy days of Triduum call us to a deeper sense of prayer and quiet in our monastic life.  While many of our times of Liturgy of the Hours (prayer) and Mass are open to the public, some of our celebrations are reserved for members of our Benedictine community.

Holy Thursday:

  • 5:00 p.m. Footwashing ~ Monastic Community
  • 5:30 p.m. Agape Meal ~ Monastic Community
  • 7:00 p.m.  Eucharistic Celebration and Procession ~ Public Welcome
    • Triduum Silence begins...

Good Friday:  

    • Triduum Silence continues...
  • 8:30 a.m. Lauds ~ Public Welcome
  • 3:00 p.m. Good Friday Service ~ Public Welcome
  • 7:00 p.m. Culpa Chapter ~ Monastic Community

Holy Saturday:  

  • 8:30 a.m. Lauds ~ Public Welcome
    • Triduum Silence lifts during the day...
  • 8:00 p.m. Easter Vigil ~ Public Welcome
    • All are welcome to coffee and treats in the Refectory after the Vigil.

Easter Sunday:  

  • 9:00 a.m. Lauds ~ Public Welcome
  • 5:00 p.m. Vespers ~ Public Welcome

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lenten Nesting?

Sisters Judith, Leonette, and Veronica 

We are continuing to wait in patience through our Lent.  However, a bit of excitement entered into our elder sisters activity room during the third week of Lent!

Sisters Margo (center) and Virginia (far right)
joined by one excited little helper.
Our sisters looked on with great interest as Sister Margo began to reveal the living symbol of our Lenten waiting for the next three weeks. Sister Margo brought out her 'egg incubator' from her 5th grade teaching days, and Novice Peggy's family shared a few dozen eggs from their farm.  Our Care Center sisters' prayer and sacrifice will now be joined with anticipation of NEW LIFE and baby chicks!

Novice Peggy showing the filled incubator
to Sister Stephanie.
As the sisters filled the incubator, they were joined by Nurse Jane's 4 year-old-son.  He was so excited that he asked Sister, "Well, where are the chicks?"

The egg incubator is now nested quietly in the southwest corner of the Care Center activity room.  It is looked over with tender care as sisters young and old stop by to peek at the still waiting eggs.

Join us in hovering and hoping for a newly hatched clutch (also called a chattering) in time for Easter!  After the celebration, Sister Virginia will be gathering the growing brood to raise.  A peep of chickens might be just what the garden needs to clear up bugs all organic!