If you had been with us this weekend here's a sampling of what you would have experienced:
a) We had about 15-16 retreatants here for a weekend, silent retreat following the writings of St. Gertrude. One of our sisters just received her certification from Shalem Institute and hopes to offer retreats more often;
b) Our most senior sister turned 97 on Sunday! Great singing at every meal, well wishes and desserts!
c) See photo: note the lowest level of limbs is almost buried on this magnolia bush...courtesy of 7" of snow Friday on top of 11-12" last Monday. Our February is now the second snowiest of all time: 34". And our season average has just been met: 89". Thankfully a 4-5 day warm spell is due this week. We have had quite enough of winter, thank you very much.
d) And finally, Evening Praise Sunday was going along quite normally when all of a sudden a ripple started through the south side of sisters, quickly spreading to the north side. Soon most of us saw it: a chipmunk darting this way and that, back and forth throughout the chapel! Finally he/she, made its way into the sacristy and a sister closed the door. When prayer ended 4-5 of us ventured in...no chipmunk! We set two "live traps" anyway: peanut butter covered with bird seed. Tomorrow we'll see. I'll give a report on Thursday.
PS. For beautiful statues of five Benedictine women, including St. Gertrude, go to this section of the Benedictine Sisters of Clyde, Missouri's site. Their chapel is gorgeous and these five women "reign" over it from above.