Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The world

comes through our front door. It really does!

This week the second Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality is being held at the Mount and it has brought 27 of the greatest gals together to learn, share and experience some time with Joan's works and to live and pray with our community.

They come from 13 different states: California, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and Washington, DC. WOW! We are so blessed to have "the world come past our front door."

And it's the week the yellow day lilies bloomed all around the chapel.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Summer nights (and days)

We're continuing to work our way through the summer music scene here in Erie
and in the little towns surrounding the city. Once again we were in the vineyards
 (think the nearby Welch's grape factory) and caught our #1 favorite local band:
 Tennessee Back Porch. What an event...and such a huge crowd.
The music? Out of this world great. 

Since the nightly concerts go till 9:00 we get a glorious
setting sun in the sky just as the concert is ending.
This sunset was in between the trees.

But the hands down shot of the week is this one taken by one of our oblates
who caught one of our twin fawn in mid gallop/jump.
I have seen 100s of photographs of our deer but this is #1 by far.
We are getting treated to a daily exhibit of their running and jumping skills.
Darling, just darling.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Easter flowers

Here's a very sweet picture from our inner courtyard this week.
The blooming yellow flowers provide a pretty addition to our hummingbird 
and oriole feeders, which get emptied every few days, by the way.

The story of Easter flowers. Every Easter our liturgist is very generous in
giving away the flowers and greenery that we have in the chapel during the Easter season.
I have never had good luck planting them and getting them to "re-bloom" or come back 
the next summer. But...an exception to that rule are these white Easter lilies. 
They are great at reappearing,  note that their natural appearance comes in July!
 They aren't as tall as they were when we first got them, but they are just as pretty.


We have four climbing plants and they bloom in order,
which was an accident, but a really nice one.
This is #2, pink star-like flowers. Number 1 is really early in June and
 #3 (purple) and #4 (white stars) are in August and September.

A little aside to anyone attending church this Sunday. The first reading from Deuteronomy is just beautiful. If you catch it, it's short and will pass quickly, I think you'll agree.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Summer music


Our first outdoor concert of the season: Sam Hyman at Arundel (Air'-un-dell) Winery just outside of North East, PA. Erie's own James Taylor...wonderful music!


And a Norman Rockwell-ish Americana....freight trains going through the grape vineyards! Eight in the 2 hours we were there. Tom Luckey would have been thrilled.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Our Morning Praise

One verse of our morning hymn "How Beautiful, Our Spacious Skies":
(adapted from "America the Beautiful" by Katherine Lee Bates, 1893)

"Indigenous and immigrant, our daughters and our sons;
O may we never rest content till all are truly one.
America! America! God grant that we may be,
a nation blessed with none oppressed, true land of liberty."

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Arborist wannabe

I won't get even to first base in the world of trees, but I think I may qualify as an arborist wannabe after the last year.

Since last summer I have had a hand in the growing and/or planting of 6 trees on our grounds. The first three I started from 10" sticks, a free gift for Arbor Day. The are dogwoods and they survived the winter wrapped in plastic piping as protection against the snow and wind. This summer they are growing like wildfire, right below my window in a protected garden area. A friend told me that dogwoods are loved by deer, as in eating their bark et al....but I am undaunted by this, choosing instead to "train" our deer to eat our apples and, maybe, not the young dogwood that I think will be ready for transplant somewhere in the yard next spring.

But my real thrill is in the three young (6-8' tall) trees in the front of the house. One was planted last September: a black gum. It was planted and staked, professionally, after we picked it out up at Stan's Garden Center. It and an American Larch that we put in this spring, again by professional trees guys, are in memory of Sister Anne's mother who died one year ago this week. They are both doing great.

A larch in autumn.

The third, I decided to try and plant myself. I read all about planting trees, found a site that listed the process in 10 easy steps, and took it on about three weeks ago. It's another memorial in honor of Sr. Maureen. It's a hawthorn and is, so far, surviving well. You can't miss it as the stakes are attached to the tree with yellow strips from an old t-shirt (yes, that was one of their hints!)

The maintenance men and I have been taking turns hauling out water in big buckets to keep them well hydrated during their early weeks (on days when it didn't rain). Again, I read that this is very important as it takes their roots a "lot of energy" to grow and establish themselves in the new soil.

A hawthorn in spring.

So, here we are in a new venture with great hopes and natural beauty to remind us of the beauty of our dear friends.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Adoring or Enduring

I'm sure that some of you adore and some of you endure my endless sharing of the poems of Mary Oliver. To me so many of them are a prayer, granted hand-in-hand with nature, but they speak strongly, yet simply of things beyond our limited human ways.

So when I read "Facets of the Maker" an essay on Mary's life and works by a fellow poet, but also a college student of hers, I just knew I wanted to share it with you--the adorers and endurers. It's quite different than reading a poem. Here you are reading about the poems, the poet and how she and her work fit into the world during her time.

Hope you'll give it a try. It was in one of the spring editions of America magazine.
Click here.