Thursday, August 29, 2013

Old Gardens

I visited a friend this week who lives in a relatively old part of Erie. And, as fitting her neighborhood, she has an old garden or better described, a lovely garden with old style flowers. Here is a huge hibiscus they have. Like our night-blooming evening primrose, its flowers only bloom for 1 day (you can see yesterday's on the ground) and then the new buds come out in the morning. I have seen many hibiscus, but never ones so large.

She also has flowers we call Japanese Lanterns and also Silver Dollars. Many, many of each. Her raspberry bushes were so good this year that she thinks she picked 10 quarts! The only thing it's missing is that beautiful "old" plant, bleeding hearts. We have two so I think I'll have to give her one next spring. And, yes, she wants an evening primrose or two---who doesn't!

Extra: Documentary Featuring Sister Joan Chittister to Air on PBS August 31

In July, PBS journalist, Judith Valente, and her crew came to Erie to interview Sister Joan Chittister, visit some of our ministries and join the sisters for Liturgy of the Hours, the community’s daily prayer. The PBS documentary that the crew filmed will be shown on PBS stations this weekend on their Religion and Ethics Newsweekly program.

In the suburbs of Erie the film can be viewed on channel 54.3; in the city of Erie, channel 991. The half-hour show will be shown on Saturday, August 31 at 6:00 am and 11:30 am. Beginning late Friday, August 30, it will also be available online for two to three weeks.

This same link will also help you find your local station for the program. Once you arrive at Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, click on “Schedule” in the upper right-hand corner. Follow the prompts to get the information you need.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Trees and wooden amphitheaters

Beautiful weather is gracing us here in northwest Pennsylvania, 80s almost everyday. Our crab apple trees are heavy with the branches bent over--almost touching the ground. When I see them I am tempted, just tempted for a few minutes to consider following in the "cooking steps" of past sisters who made crab apple jelly from these very trees. But, I fight these temptations off mightily as I remember well their stories of hours and hours getting the pits out before they even really started. And they were retired! I'd be at it for 6 weeks of late nights if I "took the plunge." So I fight the good fight every day as I pass them along our front drive going to and from work.

Last week we finally got over to the Chautauqua (sha-tau'-qua)Institution located about 30 miles east of here in western New York State. We saw one of its last shows of the summer season. The group was The Tenors, a quartet of Canadian young men with tremendous voices. Here they are singing their #1 hit with fellow Canadian Celine Dion.

And here is a picture I took from our seats in the outdoor amphitheater which is due for a renovation soon.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Presque Isle Bay in August

Once again we found ourselves at our annual night of sailing on Presque Isle Bay. This year 28 sisters, 15 of us, 3-4 Mercys and 6-7 Josephs enjoyed two hours of perfect sailing courtesy of Bill Bloomstine, his son and three grandsons. Warm temperature, clear and calm waters, enough wind to keep the sails going: heaven--no kidding, just heaven!

Sisters Mary Daniel, Ann, Carolann,  Cecilia, Anne, Therese and Jean join Sisters of St. Joseph in the "sitting area."

Sisters Michelle, Ann, Charles Marie and Cindy on the starboard side.

Sister Anne with Sean and Dr. Mark Bloomstine.

One of our famous Erie sunsets, this time from on the water!

If you haven't been to the main page of our community website recently, you're missing some fun Smileboxes of our August Community Days two weeks ago. Great pictoral summary of our annual time together. Ditto for 2-3 new books on the What Sisters Are Reading page.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Summer nights

The August issue of our diocesan magazine, Faith, has a large feature on unique gardens throughout the diocese. Our night-blooming evening primroses are part of it. Click here and then go to page 30 to find us! I counted over 125 that bloomed one night, though I think 60-70 is more the average! A slow-motion live show that we never get tired of. (Our Poetry Park is featured on page 18 of the magazine also).

Our 20-30 current plants all came from the first two that Sister Mary Margaret Kraus planted a few years ago!

Summer nights

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Follow signs to Disneyworld

Spending some time in Orlando, FL this week. If you'd like to follow some of the LCWR assembly the only place I know that is filing a daily report is the National Catholic Reporter. So you can get their angle on things there if you wish.

Franciscan Ilia Delio's presentations on cosmology and its relationships to religion/Christianity were magnificent. The DVDs of them will be in our library at the Mount soon. She had many thoughtful quotations throughout her two talks. Here's one that I particularly liked: "If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” (Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry)

Here are some shots that are particular to Florida I think. All of them exist under and amidst palm trees and 90+ temperatures. HOT!

Monday, August 12, 2013

End of a great week

We just finished a great LLL week of community days which included, for me, attendance at my first Seawolves baseball game. Our team is an AA farm team of the Detroit Tigers, who are one of the top major league teams this year. The Seawolves are 63-56 right now and 1/2 game out of first place in their division. We had great fun at the game and even received a free Seawolves baseball cap as a group of 10 or more! Here are two shots I took during the game. The first is right from our seats, behind home plate; the second was looking northwest as the sun set.

You can view other parts of our four-day "week" on our community website.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Celebrate good time, come on!

Summer community days have started with two wonderful celebrations! First, our annual community Jubilee Dinner Tuesday night brought great family festivities with seven of our sisters who celebrate 70 (Sister Phyllis Weaver), 50 (Sisters Mary Ellen Cummings, Claire Hudert, Pat Lupo, Annette Marshall and Marcia Sigler) and 25 (Sister Therese Glass) years of monastic profession. You'll read more about them after September 28th when the public celebration is held for the golden and silver celebrants.

Here are the decorated and set tables with their unique centerpieces--were made up of materials from our own grounds, except for the little bird in the middle.

And then on Wednesday evening great joy, as we welcomed Patricia Witulski into the community, canonically, as a novice. A very simple but touching and lovely ceremony brought her into our midst--officially. Pat is a native of Buffalo, so she just came over I-90 to us. Welcome, Pat; we are a better group because of your presence among us.

Monday, August 5, 2013

August and summer days

Here are the cosmos that adorned our chapel for Sunday's liturgy this week. So simple, yet so beautiful.

And as we embark this week into our annual summer community days (Tuesday evening through Saturday evening) this reflection by Mary Oliver seems appropriate:

"On thy wondrous works I will meditate"

Every morning I want to kneel down on the golden
cloth of the sand and say
some kind of musical thanks for
the world that is happening again--another day--
from the shawl of wind coming out of the
west to the firm green

flesh of the melon lately sliced open and
eaten, its chill and ample body
flavored with mercy. I want
to be worthy of--what? Glory?
Yes, unimaginable glory.
O Lord of melons, of mercy, though I am
not ready, nor worthy, I am climbing toward you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Penn's Woods

Arrived home after a week's vacation to those post-vacation welcomes: "You look so rested. You got a tan! Welcome back we missed you." And then, within two hours after our arrival home, sirens blared and loud horns rang out: a fire drill! It's been a long time since I've been here for a fire drill. My memory is that they are usually held during the day and I've missed all or most of them.

As usual our wonderful Fairfield Hose Company directed this one with their usual professionalism and efficiency. They are a great bunch of men and women. All signs say that we "passed" and since it wasn't raining during it nor was it held at 11:00 pm, it was more of an adventure than inconvenience.

Meanwhile, I am still into reentry. Our trip through Pennsylvania, Penn's Woods, was easy and quite beautiful. The state is green and lush in mid-summer and the landscapes and scenes that pop up at every turn in the 250+ miles as you cross it are just breathtaking. I read that Pennsylvania accounts for 9% of the wooded area in the U.S. No wonder its name.