Oblates make their final oblation to the community

Monks and Oblates: A Sacred Relationship

As the current Oblate Director for my community, I always am amazed when I interview someone desiring to become a Benedictine Oblate. Usually the person already has read the Rule of St. Benedict, prayed the Liturgy of the Hours, practiced lectio divina, and participated in service ministries in his/her church…

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Sister Eleanor Harrison

Sister Eleanor, Faithful Friend

Sister Eleanor Harrison is an icon of our community. She also is one of our elders – both in age and in grace but definitely not in mind! A native of Birmingham, she has spent most of her life in the Diocese of Birmingham except for a short time of…

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Monastery front yard

Ordinary Times

When I was first asked to do a blog for the week of June 21, 2020 my thoughts immediately went to some great feasts around that time: the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (our community’s patronal feast) and the Nativity of John the Baptist, the precursor of…

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Sister Brigid renewing her profession at her 25th Jubilee celebration

Duty of Delight

Death is not extinguishing the light: it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come” (R. Tagore). Dawn came for our Sister Brigid Clarke on Tuesday, May 19th, at the age of 91. It is hard for me to believe she has died. It is harder to…

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Undivided Heart

The English words monk, monastery, and monastic all come from the same Greek root word monos, which means “one.” For monastic women and men, this oneness has multiple aspects. Most obviously, this oneness expresses itself in singularity of life.  Monastic women and men are unattached to an exclusive other in…

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Sister Regina Barrett

All Things Bright and Beautiful

When I think of Sister Regina Barrett, the first thing that comes to mind is her love of nature. She studied, then taught Biology for 15 years. During her studies, under the auspices of the Environmental Protection Agency, she had the opportunity to do research on the effects of an…

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New Fire from Easter Triduum

The Flame Lives On

In this last week of the Easter season, our Mass readings are already preparing us for the Solemnity of Pentecost this coming Sunday. In the Communion Antiphon for today (May 27, 2020), we  hear Jesus’ words from the Gospel of John proclaimed: “When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send…

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Jesus is no longer in their midst. They can no longer reach out and touch him. They can no longer see his expressions of love, concern, patience, or mercy. His body is no longer on earth. Oh, but his spirit remains. They can remember the fun they had, the mysteries…

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Sister Kathleen in the garden

Sister Kathleen’s Good Zeal

Good zeal, like beauty and love, is manifested in a multitude of ways. For St. Benedict it is summed up in this: “preferring nothing whatever to Christ” (RB 72.11). In each member of the monastery good zeal is demonstrated with particular uniqueness because she (or he) is an utterly unique…

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Good Shepherd window in chapel

Shepherd Who Knows My Name

A casual visitor to our monastery chapel might not notice the “Good Shepherd” stained glass window among the side aisle windows. It always has been one of my favorites, depicting Jesus as deeply compassionate, always willing to take the lost sheep upon his shoulders, always ready to lay down his…

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