A Last Goodbye

As Benedictines around the world celebrate the Solemnity of St. Scholastica on February 10, I took up once again the well-loved and compelling story of the twins, Saints Benedict and Scholastica, from chapter 33 of the Life and Miracles of St. Benedict written by Pope Gregory the Great. The story…

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ut in omnibus glorificetur deus

From Where I Enter

Every time I enter our sacred chapel space, my attention is drawn to the Latin phrase painted in gold atop the main arch at the east end of the chapel: “ut in omnibus glorificetur Deus.”  In English it means: “that in all things God may be glorified”(1 Peter 4:11 and…

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Searching for Hope in Darkness

During this past year, especially the past couple of months, I find myself reflecting frequently about darkness, light, and hope. Daily during Lauds in chanting or reciting the Canticle of Zechariah, we profess our hope in God’s Love and Light: “In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from…

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Sister Therese greets Sister Scholastica coming out of chapel

The Elders and the Young

I became a Benedictine when I was fourteen, even though I didn’t know it at the time. I listened with the ear of my heart and put what I learned into practice. I didn’t recognize my Grandma Whitedeer because she had completely transformed after Grandpa died in 1958, when I…

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Willow Tree nativity

Christmas Peace

Only two days until Christmas! I am sure every child is excited with anticipation and a few adults as well! Maybe all of us should hold that same excitement in our hearts, even if it is for a different purpose. As I prepare for the Nativity of our Lord and…

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Monreale apse mosaic of Pantocreator

Last Things Last

“First things first” is a common slogan that challenges us to keep our priorities in order. It reminds us to make sure that the most important things in our lives are given “first place,” that is, given priority over other aspects of our lives that are less important. In the…

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While camellia

Weeping: A Gift of Grace

Who among us doesn’t weep or at least tear up and grimace at the seeming endless death and disease in our country wreaked by the coronavirus pandemic? There is great sadness and grief at the deaths and suffering caused by COVID-19. Way too many lives in way too many places…

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Fall leaves and monastery chapel


“Never forget!” was a common cry that followed the horrific events of September 11, 2001 because, as human beings, we naturally recognize the power of remembering.  We create holidays and set up memorials so that significant people and events who have made us what we are do not become lost…

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Rose Window detail

The Love of God

Not too long ago I was speaking to a person seriously ill, unsure if he would survive or not. Naturally, the severity of his condition led him to question how God would receive him if he were to die. Had he lived a good enough life? He knew he had…

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Chapel Dedication

On Sunday, October 11, 1931 Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel was solemnly dedicated by Bishop Thomas Joseph Toolen of Mobile. Last Sunday we celebrated the 89th anniversary of this dedication as a solemn feast. For eighty-nine years this Gothic edifice has stood tall at the center of Sacred Heart Monastery both…

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