Cover of On Good Ground, the community history by Sister Mary Ruth Coffman, OSB

Feast of St. Benedict–July 11th

Happy Feast of Saint Benedict to everyone! Have you ever wondered why Benedictines celebrate more than one feast of St. Benedict? St. Benedict is one of the few saints in our liturgical calendar to receive the honor of having more than one feast day designated for them. St. Benedict served as…

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Community photo 2022

Keepers of the Charism

When I attended my first conference as an archivist in 2018, the keynote speaker opened my eyes to the primary function of an archivist. While preserving and maintaining the “stuff” of a given organization (founding documents, meeting minutes, audio/visual materials, publications and other creative works, etc.) is an important part…

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Sister Michelle

New Respectability

I used to visit patients in a nursing home where the staff had colorful bulletin boards that reflected the seasons. On one especially hot Alabama day, the headline read: “Mid-summer in the south, when laziness takes on a new respectability!” The illustrations showed people rocking in chairs on covered porches,…

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View of the yard and lake behind the main monastery building

Letting Silence Speak

In preparing a talk for a retreat group on the topic of Benedictine silence, I was led to reconsider St. Benedict’s perspective on silence. In the fifth century there were no electronic gadgets or internal combustion engines to fill his environment with sights and sounds to distract or attract one’s…

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Sacred Heart Monastery grounds

God Waits to be Sought

Rabbi Baruch’s grandson, Yechiel, went outside to play with the neighborhood children. They took turns playing hide-and-seek. When it was Yechiel’s turn to hide, he found a nearby place and waited to be discovered by one of the boys. After a long wait, he peeked out of his hiding place…

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Sister Emilie ironing church linens

Sister Emilie

On May 24, 2024 the monastic community gathered in the Infirmary for a special Eucharistic celebration in honor of Sister Emilie Schmitt’s 75th anniversary of her monastic profession. Abbot Marcus Voss, OSB from St. Bernard Abbey and cousin to Sister Emilie was the celebrant. As many as possible gathered in…

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A child smelling a flower

Whoever Receives Me…

Doing Lectio one morning this week, I was struck by the use of the pronoun, “it” for a child in Mark’s Gospel, “Taking a child, he placed it in their midst.” I had never noticed this before, or rather, it flowed past me as I focused on other things. My…

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Silent reflections on the monastery lake

Reconsidering Silence

After hours fighting Monday traffic on the interstate, I arrived at the monastery grounds. I contemplated the old post and rail fence-lined lane thick with sycamores, dogwoods, magnolias, and blooming azaleas of pink, red, orange, and purple. The road narrowed and as I slowed down, I spotted the brown brick…

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Ressurection image at the empty tomb

Woman: A Light in the Darkness

As part of a prayer service entitled “Woman: Light in the Darkness,” Anita G. Willoughby wrote her reflection on Mary’s Magnificat as found in Luke 1:46ff. Anita gave me permission to share this with you. Vision of a Woman in Ministry/ Woman: A Light in the Darkness There was a…

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A Scattering of foreign coins to be sorted

The Dead Sisters’ Money

In the last few weeks, one of the projects I have undertaken has been to consolidate and organize the remnants of the community’s coin collection. The major portion of this and the stamp collection were sold in 2010, and the proceeds went toward the renovation expenses. I was somewhat surprised…

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