With Grateful Hearts

Discernment and Election at St. Paul’s Monastery

The Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery were blessed during their discernment for election by the presence of three wise women: Sister Lynn McKenzie, election facilitator, and Sister Kerry O’Reilly, Federation President, and Sister Sharon Nohner, election observer. We are grateful for your prayers during our time of discernment.

After prayer and discernment, the Sisters of St. Paul’s Monastery joyfully announce the election of Sister Catherine Nehotte as their twelfth prioress. Installation will take place on May 5, 2019.

Taiwan Accepts a Second Novice

The Sisters of Saint Benedict Monastery, Taipei, Taiwan received a second novice who has taken the name Sister Gratia.  She was received  on December 7, 2018 joining Sister Benedicta in the novitiateIMG_2094 (1).  Both women are originally from Vietnam.

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Two Novices with their Director, Sister Cordis

 

S. Emmanuel Prioress, accepts                                       Novice Gratia

 

 

 

BEAO in Taiwan

The BENEDICTINES in EAST AFRICA and OCEANIA (BEAO) gathered at Saint Benedict Monastery in Taipei, Taiwan November 26-30, 2018.  Representatives from monasteries of this geographical area gathered to discuss topics related to monastic life and their monasteries in this region.  Abbot Primate Gregory Polan participated as well as Brother Nicholas Koss of Wimmer Priory in Taiwan, a good friend of the Sisters of Taipei.

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Good Food – Good Company

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Walking Monastery Grounds

St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth Helps to Build a School in Tanzania

school

The Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery have been forwarding money from generous donors to Sister Gaudensia Mwanyika of St. Gertrude Convent in Imiliwaha, Tanzania, to help build her dream of a school for handicapped children.

The  latest donations will pay for furniture and teaching supplies so that the school can open on time — January 16, 2017.  

In Tanzania, handicapped children are not allowed to attend school. This will be the first school built for these children who have physical or learning challenges.

 

 

 

Annunciation Monastery Year of Mercy Project

On November 19, 2016, the sisters of Annunciation Monastery gathered to wrap gifts and pack bags to be sent to two orphanages and a special needs home for teens and adults in Piedras Negras, Mexico.  Sisters Hannah Vanorny and Idelle Badt and others from the Benedictine Volunteers program participated in an immersion mission trip this past May.  They worked with Sister Ursula, a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Boerne, TX, who resides in Eagle Pass, TX.  There was quite a buzz of activity in the community room as sisters sorted, wrapped, and packed gifts while others wrote notes in Spanish for the children and adults receiving the gifts.  The project concluded the sisters’ ongoing formation study of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  

Sister Stephanie, Sister Rita, and Sister Nicole

Sister Stephanie, Sister Rita, and Affiliate Krista

Basilica of St Benedict destroyed in new Norcia earthquake

Norcia, Italy was shaken by another large earthquake today, magnitude 6.6.  The monks of Norcia are safe, but the Basilica has been utterly destroyed.  They ask for our prayers, not only for them but for the people of the area. While suffering alongside them, the monks are also trying to pray and minister to them.

News footage shows drone views of Amatrice and Norcia. As the image below shows, the Cathedral and Basilica in Norcia have been destroyed.

Town plaza in Norcia, October 30, 2016
Town plaza in Norcia, October 30, 2016

Reports of this third quake (the previous just 2 days before) in the area in just two months indicate just how difficult this is for the people of central Italy as well as the monks:

Norcia’s 14th-century Basilica of Saint Benedict, built on the reputed birthplace of the Catholic saint, was reduced to rubble.

The church is looked after by an international community of Benedictine monks based in a local monastery which attracts some 50,000 pilgrims every year.

“It was like a bomb went off,” the town’s deputy mayor, Pierluigi Altavilla told Rai News 24.

“We are starting to despair. There are too many quakes now, we can’t bear it anymore.”

Damage was also reported at St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, one of the four cathedrals of the Holy See.  It is also home to and maintained by a community of Benedictines.

Images from a pilgrimage to Norcia with a group of Benedictine Sisters in 2010

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Benedictine Monks of Norcia Affected by Earthquake

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People have spent the morning in the open square in front of the basilica in Norcia, away from unstable buildings (Picture: EPA from Metro )

As the world has heard, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit central Italy early Wednesday morning.  It was centered about six miles from the town of Norcia in Umbria, which is well-known to Benedictine as the birthplace of Saints Benedict and Scholastica.  The monks and their guest are safe — they were already up (at 3:30am!) for the first prayers of the Feast of St. Bartholomew.  However, after assessing the extensive damage to the basilica and monastery, the community relocated to Rome.  Here’s the message on their website:

After a careful study of the developing seismic situation in our region of Italy, as a precautionary measure, we have decided to temporarily transfer our community to Rome.

The monks of the international Benedictine headquarters at St. Anselmo in Rome have kindly offered our monks a place to remain during this period of uncertainty. We would be grateful if you added the monks of St. Anselmo to your prayers for their generosity during our time of need.

While the community is in Rome, two monks will remain in Norcia to keep watch over the basilica and monitor the developing situation. They will avoid danger by sleeping in tents outside the city walls.

We strive to maintain the order of the Rule even during the most difficult of circumstances, and this transfer, while disruptive, will ensure the safety of our monks and grant us all the peace to continue to practice our monastic life.

Please continue to pray for our community, and consider giving a gift to help our effort to rebuild.

Benedictine Sisters around the world are holding these monks, and all the people in central Italy, in prayer.