The Last Judgement by Fra Angelico

In the End

These last weeks of the liturgical calendar the readings for worship have had an apocalyptic quality about them, urging us to consider the time of “fulfillment” when the world as we know it will reach its end. The intricate symbolism and cataclysmic events found in apocalyptic literature, including the texts…

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Sister Priscilla with family

Sister Priscilla

A brief quote from former U.N. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold is most appropriate for this time of the year. “For all that has been, Thanks. To all that shall be, Yes.” Part of my own personal prayer involves praying individually for the Sisters in our community, giving thanks to God…

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Book of Remembrance in SHM chapel

We Remember Them

The month of November is traditionally the time for the whole Catholic community to remember and pray for our deceased loved ones, those whose loss we feel most deeply. As the trees shed their autumn leaves, the days grow shorter and the air crisper, I find myself remembering my dad…

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fall leaves

Fall Cleanup

Fall cleanup is strenuous with lots of raking and burning leaves, pruning foliage, putting away hoses and yard tools, emptying the bird baths, hanging suet cakes, and storing clean hummingbird feeders. This year, fall cleanup includes cultivating my Benedictine charism. Applying Chapter 4 and Chapter 6 of the Rule of…

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Misty morning lake scene

Cultivating Silence

“Monastics should diligently cultivate silence at all times…” RB 42 One late summer day almost thirty years ago I found myself in the pasture of a neighbor’s farm. The mid-afternoon sun bore down on the field around me, the grasses bending under the strain of the glare. Cows stood like…

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Oblate Retreat group photo 2022

Welcome Home!

After three years of absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our oblates returned to the monastery October 7-9, 2022 for their long-awaited annual retreat weekend. As Oblate Director, I was most grateful for Zoom technology so that we could stay connected through frequent check-ins, video discussions and the virtual presentation…

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Muscadine vines with fruit

Foraging Wisdom

If you look back far enough, all our ancient ancestors were foragers. Before domesticating animals (herding) and plants (agriculture), people hunted wild animals and ate native plants from the surrounding forests, fields, streams, and oceans. Total subsistence on foraging has almost disappeared, though many people worldwide still regularly forage either…

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Sisters having fun during summer meetings

“That’s Our Veronica!”

There are a variety of characters and personalities living together in a Benedictine community. This is a great blessing in many ways, and it also challenges us to grow. Sister Veronica Ryan is just such a joy, blessing, and challenge in our community. She brings a smile to our faces,…

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Spider lillies

Supplies on the Journey Part 3

This is Part III of Supplies on the Journey. Openness, Courage, Faith, Hope, and Trust have been covered in my previous blogs. Attentiveness- In our spiritual journey, it is important that we sharpen our attentiveness to the events and circumstances in our daily life. This disposition prepares us to listen…

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Sacred Heart Monastery front

Weed Walks

Last spring the weeds in the island around the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue out in front of the monastery got badly out of hand. Not only did it look bad, but the weeds were impeding the growth of the mondo grass. It took four hours in the blazing sun…

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