Sister Benedicta Riepp grave marker

Mother Benedicta Riepp

Recently, I attended a meeting at St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. The Sisters’ cemetery contains the grave of Sister Benedicta Riepp, OSB. Sister Benedicta is credited as the first Benedictine woman to bring the charism of St. Benedict to America. She is the first of a long line…

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Clay artwork by Sister Mary Adrian McLean

Supplies for the Journey: Part 9

So far on our journey, I have written about many traits that are helpful in our spiritual/life journey. No matter where we are on our journey, we bring with us our self-image and self-esteem. Be that a realistic picture of ourselves or not. This blog briefly addresses the concepts self-image…

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Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie, OSB

Sister Lynn Marie & the C.I.B.

Anyone who knows Sister Lynn Marie McKenzie is greatly familiar with her radiant smile, her tender heart, her love for Benedictine life, and her passion for University of Alabama football. She was born in Mobile, AL to a loving, Catholic family. Her parents were strong models of what Catholic parenthood…

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Panning for Gold

During a quiet moment of reflection, I came to realize that seeking God is kind of like panning for gold. Panning for gold is a slow, attentive process of separating out unwanted material so as to collect the sought-after precious metal. The process starts with removing larger chunks and progressively…

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Summer flowers

Our Prayer

…nothing is to be preferred to prayer (RB 43.3) Mid-summer is the time of year when my flower garden begins to succumb to the efforts of bringing forth all those glorious blooms and outrageous colors. The oranges and reds have been vying for who can sing the loudest, while the…

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Magnolia blossom on tree

My Gospel Tree

I love liturgical readings that are very earthy, especially those that reveal the richness of Jesus’ parables for growing in God’s life. One of my favorite parables is that of the sower and the seed (Mt 13). This parable depicts seeds that make it and seeds that don’t. Every time…

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Goose on the shore of monastery lake


“I find that as exciting as watching grass grow.” This was my response of yawning boredom when asked if I enjoyed watching a particular sport. If it moves too slowly, and I don’t understand or appreciate the intricacies of the plays, I feel impatient. I want to move on. Sometimes…

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Joseph, Sold as a Slave

I love the humanness of the Old Testament story of Joseph and his brothers (Gen 37-45). We recently heard the entire story in our readings at Lauds. Then we also heard the end of it in the first reading for Mass on July 12. Then there is the verse in…

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Crepe myrtle new growth

Supplies for the Journey-Part 8

It is part of life that some form of trials, struggles, hardships will come our way and will call us to perseverance. What is perseverance? Webster dictionary defines it as “a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failures, or oppositions.” Synonyms include persistence, endurance, steadfastness, determination. Perseverance…

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Eyes of the Heart

One of the first things we learn when reading the prologue to the Rule of St. Benedict is to listen with the ear of the heart. Jesus often admonished his listeners by saying those who have ears should hear. I wonder if the same advice applies to vision, that we…

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