Sunday, July 29, 2018

Philip and Andrew

Today's homily is worth least one little piece of it. Father Jim P, one of our regular Sunday presiders, offered wonderful reflections on the readings today, all of which carried out the theme of bread and feeding the people. The gospel story, (the only parable shared by all four gospels, he mentioned) was of the loaves and the fishes and feeding the 5,000.

Jim mused that the two disciples involved in the parable are a perfect parallel for our own times. Philip, upon seeing the huge number of people and realizing that there was no way to feed them, came and said, "What are we to do?" And isn't that what many of us are hearing and saying ourselves these days--either in reference to things happening in our own country or things going on in the broader world? His question resonated loudly with the audience, you could just hear it in the silence.

The second disciple, Andrew, finds the boy with a few loaves and a little fish and brings him to Jesus, despite the absurdity of the amount. Jim's point was clear, simple, and probably the only "answer" to: What are we to do?...we gather up the little we have and bring it to Jesus and it will be taken from there. (He didn't go into the particulars! This was just a parallelism in the realm of what-do-the-scriptures-mean-today genre.)

Months ago, Jim posed a similar question and that day his answer was, "Follow Me." And follow the Holy One, we do.

A couple weeks in the summer find the hydrangea in front of the Blessed Mother statue and the clematis in back of it, both blooming at the same time. This is the week. Sr. Cecilia tells me that the statue came from the convent in Sharon, PA where many of our sisters ministered and quite a few grew up. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Summer time and the living is easy!

Summer is a time for extra fun and relaxation. Enjoy these!

1. The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

2. A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

3. Don’t let worries kill you – let the church help.

4. This being Easter Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Jones to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.

5. The visiting monster today is Rev. Jack Bains.

6. The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday: “I upped My Pledge—-Up Yours.”

7. If you need to heave during the Postlude, please do so quietly.

8. Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church congregation.

9. Thursday at 5:00 PM there will be a meeting of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become Little Mothers, please see the minister in his study.

Music concerts on the beach!

Sunday, July 22, 2018


This afternoon, as we do every day at Evening Prayer, we remembered the sisters who died on this date. Today it was Sr. Anne Marie Nolan who died on July 22 in 1995 at age 83. I only knew Sr. Anne Marie in the last couple years of her life but even then I could see how she lived up to her "reputation" as a dickens, loads of fun, and a little bit of a character.

The two events that stick with me are these: 1) whenever you'd be on portress/switchboard duty at the front door, Sister Anne Marie usually came through and asked if Sister Patricia was home yet. Sister Patricia, it turns out, was a longtime friend. She had died in 1967. It was very touching to all of us that even in her semi-dementia Anne Marie was looking for her friend each evening. 2) I guess that in her days in ministry at Glinodo (especially summer camp) Sr. Anne Marie had a car and would tear around in it going hither and yon on errands and outings with the sisters! In her last years she continued this tendency as she rode a motorized scooter around the Mount--however, the tearing around took its toll indoors. One day we heard this terrible scraping sound in the front hall. Sure enough Anne Marie's scooter had hooked onto a little hospitality desk we had for visitors to sign in, and she was dragging it with her down the hall--oblivious to the newly attached sidecar.

It's a lovely experience to hear these sisters remembered and to share all sorts of memories of life with them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Look at all the angles

Four years ago one of our oblates  brought a friend to the Mount. Her friend was a professional photographer. As part of her stay she offered to share some "shooting tips" with any of our sisters who love to take pictures. I was able to attend one session and as is common for lectures, seminars, classes, if I remember one good idea I'm happy. And after this one, I did--and here it is: when taking a picture of something, take shots from all sorts of angles, even unusual ones.

Remembering this tip I took this photo of a mushroom that I found in our inner courtyard the next week---looking right down at it. Not bad I thought!

Last week when I was just walking around our place I came upon a nice patch of Queen Anne's Lace growing up in one of the gardens. One of them was unusually tall and, since I had my camera with me, I thought it might make an interesting photo for this blog. Suddenly I remembered the four-year-old tip and took this shot---from underneath. Not bad I thought!

Sunday, July 15, 2018


Although the purpose of our trip was a funeral, this weekend we had a lovely summer car trip though Pennsylvania. The state, also known as Penn's Woods, is surely at its most beautiful right now--miles and miles of gorgeous farmland, hills, fields and breathe-taking vistas around every corner of Interstate 80. One of our sisters, a Buffalo, NY native, had never been across the state by car. Her experience of PA. has been limited to here in the northwest corner along Lake Erie. She was "blown away" by the great expanses and acres and acres of greenery.

Back here on the lake, we found this unusually large and weathered remains of a tree which looks as if it has totally converted to driftwood--that smooth, white, lightness that typifies driftwood. It's beautiful, but it always sets us musing on where it came from and how it got in the position it is in here on our beach!

The nightly news seems to bring us a daily dose of Mother Nature's assaults this summer, but dare I say, we are having a lovely far.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Two celebrations

We are having two celebrations this week. The first was today, the summer feast of Benedict. Forty oblates, guests, family members and friends joined us for Evening Prayer and supper. The dinner was delicious and the weather beautiful, too. This feast day is highlighted by once-a-year songs and prayers and beautiful chapel decor from our summer gardens.

On Saturday a number of us will travel across state to Philadelphia to celebrate the life of Isabel Wambach, 91, our prioress Anne's mother who died on Monday in Florida, the home of her other four daughters. Isabel was a lovely, lovely woman who often visited us with her husband Mike and her sister and brother-in-law. Later, she and her oldest daughter were regular Holy Week guests each year. We will miss her greatly.

Here's her obit from the Erie paper.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018


It is official: we have a single, twins and, just seen for the first time, triplets!
Darling, cute and endlessly entertaining.

Here's my first attempt at posting a video taken by one of our sisters, Sister Katherine, this weekend: triplets all trying to feed from their mother at the same time! Click full screen.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July: in like a blast furnace

We got a little lulled to sleep in June with a slow, subtle turn into summer. Quite a bit of (summer) rain and moderate summer temps (75-80) most days. Then the calendar turned over to June 30-July 1 and the oven! I believe we hit 89 Saturday and 94 (new high) Sunday. was hot!

The human beings are uncomfortable, the nature around us seems much more adaptable. Here are four scenes from this weekend: