Thursday, February 28, 2013

Church leadership

This week we, along with everyone else in the Church, and many others around the world, watched the last hours of Benedict XVI's days as Pope. In that vein we also welcomed our new bishop (as of October) Lawrence Persico, who came for his first (informal) visit to Mount St. Benedict this week. He joined us for Evening Praise, dinner and a chance to meet the community. Although he worked in the chancery of the Greensburg diocese, he was also a longtime parish priest before assuming the ministry as our bishop and that friendliness and casual ease with people is already a hallmark of his personality.

Our renovations continue on--as we await, with Lenten patience! the flooring and the "little finishing touches" that will come right after it's in. Still holding out hope for Easter, but.....we'll have to see.

Here's a view from the hall into what used to only be the community room.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lent--Second week

there is a temple, a shrine,
a mosque, a church
where I kneel.

Prayer should bring us to an altar
where no walls or names exist.

my soul
there is a temple, a shrine
a mosque, a church
that dissolve, that
dissolve in

Rabia, Sufi

God Speaks in Many Tongues
Joan Chittister

If you haven't already, check out our website and the statement on immigration promulgated by the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We don't want to win!

Geeesh! What weather people, journalists and masochists won't do for news! We were (on February 16th) in 2nd place in the national snow derby that is reported weekly in our local paper. We were only behind Syracuse, NY and in front of many others--including Anchorage, Alaska! Geeeesh---this type of notoriety we don't need!!! After the last couple of days, things are not looking favorable for us falling lower in the next update of the "derby" race.

A tree ladened with 2-4" that fell yesterday and last night.

Presque Isle Bay this weekend--parts frozen enough for ice fishermen and women!

Indoors is certainly a warmer place to be right now. Our new beverage line...

and food line.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lent--First week

Lent, this year, has been ushered in with a cold, yet relatively clear week. Some sun has actually greeted us some mornings on our way to work. In fact, I was tempted to stop the car one morning and try and capture a beautiful orange, rising sun but the cold and all the telephone wires discouraged me quickly. Another day.

This year as a community we are reading Joan Chittister's God Speaks in Many Tongues. Here's one of the 40 prayers from many faith traditions:

What actions are
Most excellent?

To gladden the heart
of a human being.
To feed the hungry.
To help the afflicted.
To lighten the sorrow
of the sorrowful.
To remove the wrongs
of the injured.
That person is the
most beloved of God
who does most good
To God's creatures.

The Prophet Muhammad

If you're within driving distance of our place you might want to consider the latest in our Lecture Series tomorrow night: Dr. Mary Hembrow Snyder of Mercyhurst University's religion department, will give a presentation: "Death: the great adventure." She's a great gal and I'm sure her thoughts will be very fine. It starts at 7:00 pm.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A week of newness

Don't miss our community website for a) our statement on Benedict XVI, b) a smilebox on our Prophet of Peace event, and c) a new opening meditation for Lent on the cross.

If you want to read still more about the retirement of a Pope, the NCR has got to be one of the best sources, if not the very best. Their #1 Vatican commentator, John Allen, lives most of the time in Rome itself and their team of reporters covered the last conclave in 2005 and know the Catholic world and the Vatican as well as anyone. I've gone there daily all this week.

And on the home front, we are in the process of moving into our renovated dining area. It's certainly not complete, but enough is ready so that we can eat there while the finishing touches are added over the next few weeks. Already we love it!

A view from the east looking down the length of it.

A view from the south side (windows)into the serving area which is at the west end, behind the large stained-glass window.

Today is the celebration of One Billion Rising, an international event to draw attention to and combat violence against women.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Quite the trio: Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Valentine's Day

After a weekend of two marvelous celebrations we face one more---casual and rather spontaneous: Mardi Gras this Tuesday--just some special sweets and last minute "preparations" of the chapel and other areas for the 6+ weeks of the Lenten season that begins Wednesday.

Two views right at our shoreline.
Dunes and an ice/snow-covered lake
that extend about 100-200 yards from shore until you hit open water.

The famous tree right outside Hermitage 2.

Word is that the plan is to move back into the dining room Ash Wednesday. Flooring is held up a little, but we're going back so that the Odyssey men can move along into the community room side of the project. Here's one of the self-service areas--almost ready.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's all good

It's all good news today. This weekend we celebrate the feast of Scholastica, sister of Benedict and foremother for all Benedictine women. There are a number of St. Scholastica monasteries in the US and our Federation of 20 member monasteries is the Federation of St. Scholastica. The first prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie was Mother Scholastica Burkhard, so the name, although not well known even in Catholic circles, is quite known in the monastic world.

This year we're pairing our Vigil celebration of St. Scholastica on Saturday night with our 2013 Prophet of Peace award. This award is given to an individual or group that shares our charism and philosophy of peace and justice. The recipient is an Erie man who has spent his whole life in community-based work, including city government, neighbor centers, countless committees and groups working for the betterment of the live of the people of Erie, especially its African-Americans. His name is Gary Horton and you will hear more about him later.

More good news came when we were told that we will probably move back into our dining room next week. 99% of the work will be completed and only the flooring, which is held up in shipping, will be wanting, but we'll move back so that the work team can continue into the community room half of the project. We'll just handle the flooring when it gets here.

And in the dining room, here is our lovely stained-glass window divider, newly cleaned and refurbished. It just sparkles!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Geometry, continued

As a supplement to the geometry "meditation" I gave last week, here's something I would bring into class if I was still teaching. Snow quilts! Now this is what teaching geometry is all about!

Yes, the snows of winter continue in our area. We are getting 1-2" here, 2-3" there every day and, when you're indoors, it is just breathtaking. But, when you're trying to drive and negotiate the roads, can really be something.

A busy week ahead for us: Super Bowl party, in memory of Lenore Shaw, OSB, an unforgettable member/character who organized the party for years. Thursday is another community gathering and Saturday is our 2013 Prophet of Peace award in conjunction with the Vigil of St. Scholastica, foremother for all Benedictine women around the globe. Note that these all come right before Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day. Is it ok to celebrate Valentine's Day in Lent? Sure hope so!