Thursday, July 28, 2011

Glorious Tribute

What a lovely evening--a Celebration of Gratitude for our Sister Miriam Mashank and her 22 years at SBEC--founding it and making it the outstanding job training and placement center it is today. We love having a whole group of people, the majority of which have never set foot in our place. They almost stare open-mouthed, as they go through the experience! Fun and funny!

There will probably be a Smile Box on our community site from this event. Check here.

Monday, July 25, 2011


One of our sisters has been "walking a cancer journey," as they say, for a couple months now. Early on her hair started to thin and we have gotten use to the various baseball caps, colorful turbans, and creatively folded scarves that she has used as head coverings.

At the opening Invitatory of this Saturday's Vigil of Sunday Liturgy of the Hours doesn't she emerge as the candle bearer in one of our beautiful pink gowns brought home from the Philippines years ago, complete with matching pink headscarf. Coming right after her is another of our sisters, the candle bearer, in the Filipino blue gown, with her hair pinned up under a matching blue headpiece.

Their liturgical "dance" for the weekly incense and light ritual was just lovely and extremely moving in its inclusion and subtle awareness of one sister's present circumstance and the other's solidarity with her.

For you guys out there (and some gals, too) who never understood the term "sisterhood"---this is it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gearing Up

The house (Mount) is slowly gearing up for a unique event next Wednesday--a Celebration of Gratitude is how it's billed. Twenty-two years of the founding and then dedication to St. Benedict Education Center by our Sister Miriam Mashank. Staff, agency heads and friends are invited to the monastery for Evening Prayer and a reception honoring Miriam as she steps down, no, steps aside from Executive Director to Consultant at our downtown job placement, GED, education Center.

The dining room, kitchen, halls and community room are getting their annual rug/floor cleanings this week for the big event. As Erma Bombeck once wrote, "I like to have guests over every six months or so, it gives me a reason to clean!"

One of my favorite things about summer events is that the weather always allows the "party" to flow out onto our patio which spans the length of the community room and dining room and where the view of our backyard is spectacular. If we're lucky, the deer will come out for a showing around 8:00 pm.

Another East Lake Road scene that we pass every day on our way in town and the view of Lake Erie from Beach 1 and the last Sunset Concert of the summer this week.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Today is Day #50, the half way point of local radio stations' "100 Days of Summer" and I offer two Mary Oliver poems that express the experiences of this middle point of the season.

I can't keep my hummingbird feeders filled these days...they are emptied at record speed.

Also, this week, the roadsides of our rural-suburban roads have become saturated with wild Queen Anne's Lace and the blue of chicory (read and scroll down). Enjoy!

Passing the Unworked Field

Queen Anne's lace
is hardly
prized but
all the same it isn't
idle look
how it
stands straight on its
thin stems how it
scrubs its white faces
with the
rags of the sun how it
makes all the
it can.

Of Time

Don't even ask how rapidly the hummingbird
lives his life.
You can't imagine. A thousand flowers a day,
a little sleep, then the same again, then
he vanishes.
I adore him.

Yet I adore also the drowse of mountains.

And in the human world, what is time?
In my mind there is Rumi, dancing.
There is Li Po drinking from the winter stream.
There is Hafiz strolling through Shariz, his feet
loving the dust.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Today is the Feast of Kateri Tekakwitha, one that we commemorate with great joy as she was the patron of our Camp Glinodo/Glinodo Center for many years. We often have an icon of her on display and have those rich prayers from our Native American culture added to our Liturgy of the Hours. Since the day falls in the middle of summer it adds to the celebration, as she is a patron of ecologists, too.

Some very nice entries on our community website, if you haven't been there in the last couple of days. Here.

Reflections from prioress Anne Wambach on the summer feast of Benedict, July 11 are here.

This isn't Kateri, of course, but I think I should make her the patron of this site as I gaze upon her every day through my office window. Here she is today--with a couple of memories from earlier entries this past year!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Beauty all around us

I was out and about over the last few days and I'm sure I joined scores of Erieites who are in amazement of the summer beauty all around us. These shots were taken along East Lake Rd within 2 miles of the Mount. There are hundreds of scenes just like them.

I was especially drawn to little outdoor arrangements that people create around unlikely items: the huge array of daisies all around a telephone pole, including the guy wires; the beautiful purple flowers around an old mailbox and the tiger lilies that are allowed to grow even in front of the Kraus Drive sign.

I also stopped by an outdoor concert at Frontier Park. They are held in their little amphitheater. The group was terrific. Here's the view from our vantage point.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 4th, 5th, 6th, etc.

The weather was terrific--for about the 14th day in a row! Is this Erie we're in? And our Fourth of July picnic was perfect. About 75 were in attendance, sisters, family members and friends. Some great shots "of the crowd" are on our community website here.

What else would you see if you were with us this week? Here are two things: first, you'd see a lot of guests. Many sisters are here for private retreats and there are families and friends visiting nearly every day. Secondly, you'd see our new small front parlor. Yes, we have a large front parlor, too. The new furniture is compliments of a friend of the community who died recently--way too young--and her brother, knowing her relationship with the community, offered her furniture to us. We chose some lovely pieces and our small front parlor has a new look--courtesy of Barbara's generosity.

Monday, July 4, 2011

We're Part of a Study

Four Ohio Wesleyan University (near Columbus, OH) students are part of a Theory-to-Practice Grant studying monasticism: its historical development, expression, and a particular topic within it.

One of the four students, Colleen, has chosen our community for her two week live-in experience as part of the grant. Colleen's topic is Feminist Leadership and Inclusivity in a Monastic Setting. Last week she visited some of our ministries and began interviewing individual sisters who wish to participate in her research. Colleen was a member of a group of OWU students who spent their alternative spring break with us last March, so she is already familiar with the Mount, our prayer, and other daily horarium issues.

The four students in the grant program will present their research as part of the OWU-hosted conference, "Radical Gospel Living: Monasticism Today," this November 4-5.