Sunday, April 29, 2018

Weekend delight

We are, it seems, continually blessed with the most wonderful, top notch, gifted speakers at our spring and fall community weekends, for our June retreats and just about any other time we engage such.

This year's April community weekend was no exception. Massimo Faggioli is a youngish (47), native Italian, professor at Villanova and an expert on Catholic church history, particularly the Vatican II Council. That may sound rather academic put like that, but believe me he was charming, intelligent, humorous and simply fascinating as he shared his "take" on Pope Francis, the 50 years since the Vatican II Council and the overall state of the Catholic Church, worldwide, today.

We had 3+ hours of him, but I found a 5 minute excerpt from an interview he gave. It gives a good taste of what he shared with us. Give it a chance, it's really a captivating subject--if you're Catholic, like Pope Francis or just enjoy information and (educated) opinions on the state of our world and life at this time in history. Click here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dessert week

We are awash in ice cream, Texas sheet cake and one dessert yet to be determined as we celebrate an unusual number of birthdays this week.

Since there are 90 of us and 365 days in a year, in the perfect mathematical world that would mean a Sister should be having a birthday every 4 days. But the mathematical world is far from the real world, in many instances, and this is one of them. Instead, our birthday celebrations are scattered every which way:

1) This week we have 5 birthdays in 6 days!
2) Instead of being evenly distributed throughout the year (average 7.5/month), we have one month with only four birthdays (February) and three with eleven (April, September and November)!
3) More crazily, we have seven sets of duplicates, one set of triples (June 23) and even one quad (November 27)!

A friend of mine was nearly obsessed with a statistic she read that said, "In a random group of 30 people the chances that two will share the same birthday is nearly 70%." Every year when July 2 would roll around, the birthday of two of our sisters who worked in our offices, she would go bananas all over again, stating this amazing statistic and implying that it was unbelievable. Finally one year I'd had it, I looked up the "proof" of it and subjected the whole staff to the actual process of the proof using newspaper print-sized paper on the walls and markers to go through all of the steps! She believed me (or rather the proof) but one year later went back to exclaiming about it again!!

Anyway, as I started, this last week of April we celebrate five birthdays in six days and therefore, we have dessert almost every day--every celebrant can choose the desert of her choice! Yum, yum!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ta da---real news, real time!

April 22, 2018
Mount St. Benedict
Inner courtyard garden

We can hardly stand it...
spring sprang today!
Daffodils and hyacinths opened--
Welcome, welcome.

Warm, sunny weather rolled in this weekend, just in time for our wonderful event Saturday and for our inner courtyard garden (and others) to begin its transformation. Easter flowers still deck our chapel, guests are numerous and we are all smiles. Spring is here!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Winter visitors hang on

Right outside my window yesterday. Everything that comes with snow is not all bad!

We're getting ready for what promises to be a lovely event this weekend, as another sister (this will make #4) from St. Joseph Monastery in St. Marys, PA will transfer her monastic vows to our community and become a Benedictine Sister of Erie. Four years ago the Benedictine monastery in St. Marys closed and the remaining 17 sisters all entered decision-making processes for their future. Four of the sisters have transferred to us and we are very happy to have all of them.

Next week there's sure to be coverage of the ceremony on the front page of our community Don't miss it.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


My friends are all laughing at me and with good reason. They say I am showing untruths on this blog as I have been posting spring pictures that aren't quite 2018 reality. They are correct! I am living in a dream when I see our daffodil buds lightly yellowed but not open yet and our hyacinths close to the ground and not bursting into all those little swirls of color that get top heavy and fall over at maturity! Yes, I have been stretching the truth, but like all of us who are squirming in the last grasps of winter (poor folks in Minnesota this weekend--12" of snow?!??!!?) we know that we are oh, so close.

Inside we do encounter spring every day, however. Our chapel is full of lilies and mums and daffodils fully bloomed. It's beautiful and fragrant and, along with the Easter songs and hymns we sing at Morning and Evening Prayer, does at least remind us that we are suppose to be in springtime.

From our tornadoes, no snow blizzards, no flooding, no thunderstorms, ONLY cold temps, a little wind and a Sunday morning surprise: I ran outside with my camera and caught our first ice storm....gone by 9:00 am.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018


I didn't want to blog during a week's vacation in Florida, about the 80 degrees, sun and flowers there, especially when I realized that the daffodils were still in their "waiting" mode, as was much of spring, in Erie during that same week. But now that I am home-sweet-home and it's predicted to be 60 tomorrow, maybe the winter that won't leave the whole northern half of the country may finally be leaving it after all.

So even though I am a homebody at heart I am grateful for a week's respite from a very cold and very snowy winter and am looking forward to a beautiful spring that Erie always has. I wish that I could have said, "Beam me up, Scotty" to the whole community for a week in the southern sun, too!

A part of the inter-coastal waterways that wind their way through the cities of southern Florida.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Benedict welcomes everyone

I'm out of town for a week and hoping that this is what I'll come home to.

My favorite season for our front-lawn Benedict:

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Easter-New Life

"Black Swallowtail"

The caterpillar,
interesting but not exactly lovely,
humped along among the parsley leaves
eating, always eating. Then
one night it was gone and in its place
a small green confinement hung by two silk threads
on a parsley stem. I think it took nothing with it
except faith, and patience. And then one morning
it expressed itself into the most beautiful being.

Mary Oliver