Friday, June 27, 2014

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus


Tonight we begin our celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the patronal feast of our monastery.  We will begin this evening with first Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours.  The celebration continues on the day of the Feast with our prayer and Eucharist being celebrated in the Bishop Marty Chapel.  The Psalms and antiphons all echoing the reminders of Christ's great love for us poured out through His Sacred Heart.

"Let us love one another with fervent love, endure one another's infirmities; patiently serve and obey one another, and prefer nothing whatever to Christ." ~ Vespers Antiphon

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God." ~ 1John 4: 7

The day of prayer is accented with little joys to join in the celebration:  flavored coffee during the day, homemade strawberry pie for supper, and time to gather for laughter and recreation.  These little joys are part of our family tradition too.  Tradition runs deep in our Benedictine life.  The statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (above) stands on the south lawn in front of the monastery.  He has been present to our community since it's beginning; moved from shrine to shrine, but present.  The lintel block of our name (below) was built above our early convent doorway over a hundred years ago.  When we rebuilt in 1999-2000, the lintel was preserved and still declares our presence.  Today, it is built into the retaining wall of the flowerbeds in front of the monastery.

We invite you to join us in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel for our celebration of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:
~ First Vespers ~ Thursday, June 26th at 5:15 PM
~ Lauds ~ Friday, June 27th at 7:00 AM
~ Celebration of the Eucharist following prayer at approximately 7:25 AM
~ Vespers ~ Friday at 5:15 PM

Community Prayer of Dedication...
God of all creation, and God of our hearts,
 on this feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
we remember the love with which you first loved us. 
We remember the gift of your Son,
Jesus Christ who brings us to birth and feeds us
with the blood and water flowing from his side, pierced on the cross.  

Inspired by the Spirit of Love, we desire to give our hearts to you,
and to make the heart of Jesus our own. 
Through his most Sacred Heart
we consecrate to you our monastery, the life and work
of each member of this community, and our beloved sick. 
We ask you to receive this offering, which we make through Christ,
in the power of the Holy Spirit, one with you forever and ever.  Amen.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Surprise "Bouquet"


This fancy chick is our new Ring-necked Pheasant!

One of our Employees is also a conservation volunteer.  After he saw the success of our chicken clutch and the delight it brought to our sisters.  He offered us a handful of eggs to incubate and hatch.

The Pheasant eggs were just over half the size of our chicken eggs, but needed to incubate for 24-29 days--a whole week longer.  After they hatched, the fluffy little "bouquet" of one chick will remain warm and safe in the monastery activity room for all to enjoy.  After a few weeks, our conservation volunteer will take the chick to finish growing for another five weeks in a netted conservation area.

Finally, this handsome little face will be released into the wilds of South Dakota.  The Ring-necked Pheasant is important to our rural heritage as it is the state bird of South Dakota.  It is also an important part of the rural tourism in drawing hunters from in and out of state to the smaller towns and cities of our state.  Here's hoping and praying that it flies far and fast into a cozy little corner of the country.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Reminder on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi


Busted has created a wonderful graphic to help us remember and celebrate the gift and importance of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ.  This Saturday, take some time to reflect and prepare for the solemn celebration on Sunday.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A reflection on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity...


Our Sr. Doris shared her reflections on today's solemnity through the Avera website (our Catholic Hospital System)... 


The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”(JOHN 3:16)

What a happy coincidence that today’s feast of the Holy Trinity is also our national celebration of Father’s Day. Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world to show us the Father and to enable us to know what it means to be “Father”: one who gives life and love, who nurtures, protects and provides with loving care.

St. John reminds us that one can have no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Many of us we came to know that “in the flesh” through our own parents who sacrificed daily with great love to care for us. A vivid memory I have of seeing this connection between God’s care and that of my parents came when I was a very small child.

My dad was a farmer and dependent upon his crops for much of our livelihood. It was late afternoon in mid-summer when a storm barreled through our area. I can still sense the anguish in my father’s body as the raging wind and hail wiped out his season’s crop. I recall well my own feelings of bewilderment and fear. I remember my dad reaching down and holding me gently to himself as he spoke his trust. “It’ll be OK,” he said, “God will take care of us.”

That moment of deep anguish and abiding trust, manifested in so many varied ways during my early years of life has served as an anchor for me in challenging times. That was truly “father love,” God’s and my dad’s. Happy Father’s Day!

Gracious and loving God,

who cares for us with such great love,

be with us and with all fathers that we may know Your unconditional love.

We pray this in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sr. Doris, OSB
Spiritual Director, Sacred Heart Monastery
Gospel: JOHN 3:16-18

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Monastic Chapter


This weekend is double the celebration for the monastery.  We are preparing to celebrate the descent of the Spirit upon the Apostles with Pentecost Sunday and our Monastic Chapter.

It is wonderfully appropriate that our June Monastic Chapter should coincide with Pentecost, for we rely on the wisdom and guidance of the Spirit as we discern the needs of our monastic community. We also ask for your prayers as all of our sisters, from prioress to novice, travel home to discuss the "important business [that] has to be done in the monastery" RB 3:1.

However, it isn't all work and meetings.  All throughout the weekend, we visit with our sisters: catching up on news, sharing joys and sorrows, taking walks and playing favorite games. We also take time to celebrate.  One evening we will honor our Jubilarians of 50, 60, 70, and even 75 years as professed sisters.  The next night we will remember our beloved sisters who have died this past year with prayer and a procession through our cemetery.

Whenever any important business has to be done 
in the monastery, let the Abbot call together the whole community and state the matter to be acted upon. Then, having heard the brethren's advice,
let him turn the matter over in his own mind and do what he shall judge to be most expedient. The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best. 
Let the brethren give their advice with all the deference required by humility, and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions; but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot's judgment, and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare. 
However, just as it is proper for the disciples to obey their master, so also it is his function to dispose all things with prudence and justice.

Prayer schedule changes during Monastic Chapter...
Friday:  Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel
~Mass 8:30 AM
~Morning Prayer within the Monastic Chapter
~Evening Prayer 4:45 PM

Saturday:  Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel
~Morning Prayer 8:30 AM
~Evening Prayer within the Monastic Chapter