Thursday, February 5, 2009

Monastic Lexicon #8

Anselm's Attic

One of the more interesting pieces of community lore, from its pre-Vatican II days, is the story of Sr. Anselma's door.

In 1969, when the motherhouse moved from downtown on East Ninth Street out to the present Mount St. Benedict, Sr. Anselma Wagner's bedroom door was transported, too.

Her bedroom door served as a kind of scrapbook, memory board. Her little treasures: pieces of cards, little trinkets and anything else she wanted to add to the design were permanently attached to that door--and quite artistically. It was stored at the Mount in a ground floor room along with an assortment of other items rescued from the motherhouse during the big move. Because of the presence of this unusual item, the space became known as Anselm's Attic.

Today's Anselm's Attic is still a large storage area under the community room--not on the uppermost floor as its name implies. It's packed full, (especially now in a time of moving, cleaning out and rearrangements), with everything from bedroom and office furniture to large whatsits--but no Sr. Anselma's door. A few years ago it was finally discarded--but not until some photos of it were taken--as is fitting for this unique legacy to a unique sister.

"I think there may be one down in Anselm's Attic."