Thursday, March 31, 2016

4 and 20 (No. 7)

4 and 20 number 7 is another human being!

In the center, in the red sweater, is our wonderful Health Services Director, Mary Rita. She came to us with a wealth of experience, even around nuns! Our whole system has gone up a notch or two because of Mary Rita's expertise, capabilities and determination to bring out the best in us and for us, regarding health care and overall wellness.

Two Healthy Living Choices campaigns and numerous "in services" for us have already reaped benefits...starting with awareness and progressing, hopefully, to decisions and choices that we can all make for our physical and psychological well being.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter season begins

Since it's a holiday, Christian and secular, here are a couple things for you to enjoy.

First, these are this year's winners in the logo contest that Google holds for students: Enjoy the winners

Secondly, I shared a few months ago how I was having some success in having the birds that come to my window feeder eat out of my hand. Well, it is continuing and I finally was able to get a shot of one. This is a Tufted Titmouse. That's my hand right below the feeder. This bird just landed and is taking off with a "goodie" he found.

You can view lots of stories about the Holy Week/Easter events here at the Mount on our website. They were all quite wonderful (but of course I'm terribly prejudiced)!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

4 and 20 (No. 6)

Our Holy Thursday rituals end with a traditional meal in our dining room:
Ham and Bean Soup[
Chicken-Rice Casserole
Lemon Meringue Pie

Since at least one of the focuses (foci?) of this first day of the Holy Week liturgies is a meal/food I thought this 4 and 20 ought to be this: our snicky-snacky healthy table, as one sister calls it, found at the end of our food service line.

A large variety of nuts and cracker pieces are here, perfect for toppings on salads or just eaten as finger-food. For those whose sweet teeth are clamoring for attention, you will notice chocolate and also pink covered somethings. I'm not sure what's inside but I think I've held out long enough. This weekend is perfect for a taste test!

Blessing of the Triduum and Easter to you and yours.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Laugh for Holy Week

An "extra" for Holy Week and Easter: Holy Week Myers-Briggs!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Palm Sunday=1st Day of Spring

This year's 1st Day of Spring arrived cool but sunny here in Erie. With only 1.1" of snow in March (yes, you read correctly, only 1" of snow this month and 68" all season) we are "happy spring campers" for sure.

As a native and long time Erieite I have no memory of spring crocuses and the greens of upcoming daffodils coming up in the middle of March! But that is what is happening this year and we are very, very grateful.

Adding to the 1st Day of Spring is Palm Sunday this year and our liturgy couldn't have been better. Very, very nice. We are all looking forward to the Holy Week rituals, especially the weekend Triduum. Note to anyone planning on participating in the Good Friday Pilgrimage through downtown Erie Friday: it begins at a new time this year--11:00 a.m. at St. Peter Cathedral.

The environment for Palm/Passion Sunday was simple, but included this pot of palms.

These miniature "dafs" are in our inner courtyard, right under the window in the foyer.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

4 and 20 (No. 5)

When our Sister Christine V. passed away a year and a half ago we inherited Gussie and Bella--her two black cocker spaniels. And in that time we have found them to be delightful and endearing to all.

They are rather small, have beautiful black coats, never growl or bark and go to everyone that leans down to talk to them and pet their wiggly bodies as they readily respond to, "Come here."

Luckily we have a built-in enclosed yard, the inner courtyard, in which they will roam or sit, chase birds or an occasional chipmunk.

In the house they stay with one of our sisters, who leaves her door open courtesy of a toddler/pet gate--which allows passing-by visitors all day long! Who has trained whom?!

Here's one now, just waiting for someone to come along.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Street reading

The Little Free Libraries that were set up around downtown Erie about 4 years ago are alive and well---at least the box that is outside of our building at 345 East 9th Street. A couple weeks ago I had noticed that it had been restocked with paperback books, so I wasn't totally surprised to see this fellow digging around for a good read when I was leaving my morning ministry Thursday.

We have the luxury (meaning a car and a library card) to frequent our own library branch in Lawrence Park about 3 miles from the Mount. It's very small-town comfy to walk in the door and see the librarians turn to get our reserved books out before we even reach the front desk!

I hope this fellow, and many others, find similar convenience at these "boxes" around town.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

4 and 20 (No. 4)

When we had our major renovations in and around 2006 we didn't have the funds at that time to do absolutely everything we had hoped for. One of those items was the dining room/community room. Recently we were able to finish that part of the renovation----and the very last piece of those two rooms was furniture. The committee chose to be both functional and artistic, so the colors coordinate beautifully with the flooring, walls and window dressing, yet the chairs, sofas and new easy chairs have a able-to-be-used-by-a-family-of-97-and-their-guests characteristic!

An extra for you Christians who are observing Lent; We are 4+ weeks into it now and some probably still have their ashes. How did yours turn out this year?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Two follow-ups

If you read last week's 4 and 20 post on Swiss paper cuts I have a lot more information for you. First of all, the art is called Papercutting. It is found in many countries under varying sub-names, but in all cases it is most amazing. Go to google or better, google images, and put in its name and be prepared to be in awe of what artists have done in this medium. It's quite the art.

Second follow up: I had the opportunity to view the 2016 Oscar Best Picture this weekend, Spotlight. There is no wonder after seeing it why it won. If you recall the 1976 movie All the President's Men starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as journalists for the Washington Post who broke open the Watergate scandal, you'll recognize the same story line: this time set in 2001 with a journalism team at the Boston Globe. The scandal was the cover-up by the Catholic hierarchy of years of abuse of children by priests and the systemic handling of that reality. Sobering for sure, but another fascinating look behind the scenes at journalists who are intent, committed and, I would say, called to expose a cover-up and share the truth of a long-suppressed and manipulated story.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

4 and 20 (No. 3)

Our Bishop came to us from Greensburg, PA, part of a diocese to the east of Pittsburgh. There are two Benedictine places in that diocese: St. Vincent Archabbey for men and St. Emma's Monastery for women. Bishop Persico was the chaplain for the sisters for a number of years. Put all of this together and the bottom line is that he knows the RB and a lot about Benedictinism.

Today's "4 and 20" is a set of fascinating framed pieces that he received from the Benedictine nuns and thought that we, as a Benedictine house, would like them. And we do. Although we can't read the inscriptions clearly, what is clear is that the last part of the sister's name is definitely Brockmann, OSB. Whether she was from the Greensburg house or from Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany, from where they came, is not clear.

click to enlarge

They are about 7" x 9" in size and look like they were formed by the artist taking a piece of black paper and a razor blade and, after much careful cutting, ending up with these beautiful flower pictures (I call them pictures for want of a better word.) There must be a name for this "craft." Does it sound familiar to any of you? It may be something called Swiss Paper Cuts. Look here. Regardless, they are now hanging in our north hall and make a lovely addition there.

P. S. Came across this recently and liked it. Forbes is listing the "Best college in every state." They considered price, location, offerings. etc. You may enjoy it  here.