Wednesday, March 29, 2017

East Coast Road Trip

This week we have stolen a couple weeks into spring by traveling 150-175 miles south into northern Maryland which is a bit ahead of us in the coming of spring time span. The gathering of LCWR Region 4 members brought us a very fine day with the incoming president of LCWR and her presentation on "isms"--primarily racism and nationalism. She is Mexican by birth, with degrees from places such as Yale! Mix those with a great sense of humor and you have an educational, reflective and enjoyable time exploring some of the changing realities of the United States and our place and call as women religious within the country and with the people of God.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Springtime is time for...

A few months ago I read a short "tip" in a magazine about a new way to organize T-shirts. Since I have quite a number of such I read this supposed tip and tried it. Much to my surprise and delight, I humbly admit, it was great and has not only helped my where-is-that-t-shirt dilemma, but I transferred its ideas to turtlenecks and sweaters! I was equally surprised to learn that this tip was from an entire book of such, titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.

I discovered the book when one of our sisters reviewed it for our What Sisters/Oblates Read section of our website.

If you live with a little more clutter than you really want or if you are a slightly obsessive organizer already or if you're just curious about such a title, read Sister Linda's review here and see if your curiosity sends you to your local library or to BTW the book rank's #10 on their book list of over 300,000 titles!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Finally.....after 78" of s_ _ _. It's coming.

In a private little corner, tucked into the back of the Mount--look what appeared this week, even on a 30 degree day! 

Here's another perspective on this hidden-away secret garden that isn't even very apparent for those walking on the sidewalk near the Sun Room. The reason for its success? It's sheltered and it gets 6-7 hours of sun a day.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Every Lent

You've probably either heard us live or heard us on one of the audios on our webpage. So to answer your unspoken question, Are the handbells fun to play? Yes, they are not only great fun, but being part of the handbell choir improves everything about music for the players: reading music, counting and, especially, playing as a group and all the coordination and awareness that is needed for the performances.

We have about 45-50 handbells, I'd say, and once a year they get a much-needed shining. The accumulated oxidation and finger smudges come off and they really just glisten!

This year I cajoled one of our photographers to use a little creativity and try to capture a newly shined group of them into some sort of photo. I didn't help much I fear and we didn't have time to set up a proper venue, but I think the basic idea is here AND if we ever have the chance to really set them up somewhere, somehow, and experiment a little I think we could get a couple unique and special photos. Maybe some day!

Photo: Jo Clarke

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15th

March 15 may be the Ides of March for many, but for Benedictine women it is special for another reason: as the death anniversary of Mother Benedicta Riepp, of Eichstatt, Germany, credited as being the first Benedictine woman to come to the USA. She arrived in 1852 in St. Marys, PA, a small German-based town even today, located about 100 miles southeast of Erie. In the next few years she settled a group of sisters in Erie and then continued west.

She only lived 10 years in America before her young death, but in that time she laid the groundwork for the majority of women's communities of monastic Benedictine women in the states today. Here is a very fine 3-minute video produced by the Sisters in Minnesota, the community in which she finally settled and the site of her grave today.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

pi day

I taught high school mathematics for twenty-five years. Crazy to lots of you for sure, but I loved it. At that time I did a lot with π, as it appears throughout geometry and trig and calculus in abundance. But there wasn't a "π day" as there is now! Every March 14 nowadays is celebrated in American schools as "Pi Day" and the mathematics teachers pull out all their creative strings in celebration of this most interesting and yet mysterious number. will tell you everything about March 14th, as 3.14 are the first three digits of the unending irrational number π. Wikipedia will tell you even more, including the current memorization Guinness World Record of 70,000 decimal places, which took an Indian man 9+ hours to recite!

This year one of our sisters, who is celebrating the day in her school, offered me a pi long sleeve T-shirt. I can't wait to wear it this week! WOW, I do love pi and pie, too.

Do give one of these websites at least a minute of your time. You might find out that you're not really "dumb in math" (the common self-analysis I hear all the time) after all!

P.S. Besides math, I also love word play and here's one that is at the top of any list: Cough, rough, though, through--why don't these words rhyme, but for some god-forsaken reason, pony and bologna do?!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Historic maple tree becomes a giving tree.

A large, old beautiful maple tree that lived in the backyard on East 9th St. had to come down last week. It is at the site of our original motherhouse which now has one remaining 4-story building which houses a small living group of sisters, offices for some of our ministries and St. Benedict Child Development Center. It provided shade and four-seasons beauty for those children and for everyone who knows the playground, backyard grounds of SBEC and "345," as we call the building.

Sister Audrey, our wood turner, caught the tree service company in time to ask them to save her a number of "chunks" of the major trunks, which she says will make gorgeous maple wood pieces that she can fashion for gifts and for sale in our gift shop, Chapter 57.

Thank you to our E. 9th Street maple tree for decades of beauty and shade. It will continue to give of itself in Audrey's workshop.

The playground was fashioned around the tree!

A crane to get to the very top.

The largest "branches" were huge in diameter.

Hauling logs, chipping and saving pieces were the three options.

Marking this holy ground.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Paraprosdokians-part 2

10. In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify...." I wrote: "A doctor."

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they're sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

For updates on our BWSC volunteer, check out her February and March blog entries here.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Paraprosdokians-part 1

Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous. (Winston Churchill loved them.)

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

2. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism, to steal from many is research.

9. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it's still on my list.

February 28, 2017