Three women standing by a stream in the winter

A new thing

Denise West, OSB Far from home, Living in Community 6 Comments

How much longer is your stay? Have you gotten what you expected out of your sojourner experience? Now that it’s been almost four months (two more to go), I’m getting this question a lot. As for the second question, the answer is a resounding Yes. This experience has been transforming in the ways that I’d hoped. Paz and I both left Wisconsin for Christmas, and it was the first time being away from the monastery community. I wondered how much of the way I’d been living would ‘stick’ once I went out into the world. Would I resort to my …

brightly lit, snow-covered tree branches casting shadows on the snow

Home for the Holidays

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community Leave a Comment

My first semester at St John’s School of Theology ended with a whimper. Although I was officially back at the monastery for winter break, I had a final paper and an exam yet to submit online. It was confusing: my body was home, but my head was still at school. On the fourth Sunday of Advent, with two hours to my deadline, I finally pressed the send button and breathed a sigh of relief. It was done; all of my assignments were in. Now I can relax, I thought. The semester had been long and challenging in unexpected ways. It …

Script lettering: O Antiphons

O Antiphons

Ann Moyer Homepage, Monastic Life, Prayer & Worship 2 Comments

In the monastic Liturgy of the Hours (morning, midday and evening prayers of the community), antiphons are sung as an introduction and a response to readings of the psalms, the heart of our liturgy, and before and after the Benedictus at the end of morning prayer and the Magnificat at the end of evening prayer. During the last days of Advent we change to special antiphons, the O Antiphons, to accompany the Magnificat, Mary’s song of joy and humility. Sung each evening at the end of evening prayer, they provide an additional layer of hope and expectation. The origin of the O Antiphons …

Sisters and sojourners gathered around the Advent wreath for evening prayer

Presence

Lynne Smith, OSB Building Community, Living in Community 2 Comments

I’ve been reflecting on “presence” since Advent began. Paul Knitter’s homily of December 6, 2015 brought my musings into focus. Here is a line that caught my attention. “That Jesus will ‘come again’ in the future is not out there, on a horizontal line: rather, the future is vertically the depth of the present, that which is already here but has to be discovered, trusted, and realized.” Benedictine spirituality calls me to see Christ in every person I encounter. I’m better at being present to that reality on some days than on others. Recent weeks have been full of opportunities …

Two sojourners working in the apple orchard.

Desde la mesa de laboratorio hasta la pradera

Paz Vital, OSB Pequeñas notas de un viaje a la pradera 2 Comments

PEQUEÑAS NOTAS DE UN VIAJE A LA PRADERA Dejar el laboratorio, mi familia y mis amigos para venir a vivir aquí en la pradera no fue una decisión fácil. Pero ahora estoy aquí esperando a disfrutar el invierno ártico por primera vez en mi vida. Estaba y sigo estando emocionada y asustada al mismo tiempo. Nací y viví en la Ciudad de México, la mayor parte de mi vida. Hace seis años, me mudé a Estados Unidos, y estuve viviendo en Houston, Texas. Así que no sé qué esperar del invierno en Wisconsin. Sin embargo, el invierno no es la …

Becoming a sister - Sisters Joanne, Rosy, Mary David and Lynne and larger community at Rosy's first monastic profession

It takes a village to raise a vocation to monastic life

Mary David Walgenbach, OSB Homilies, Living in Community, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

Homily for the First Monastic Profession of Rosy Kandathil September 20, 2015 Texts: Sirach 51:12-20 Acts 4: 32-37 Mark 9:30-37 Stories can move people to live differently. Stories do this because our own experiences easily resonate with them. Our reflections on Scripture stories are an investment of time and energy in coming to know who we are, where we are going and who we are going with. This is part of the discovery process that Thomas Merton speaks of: finding yourself within God’s conception of yourself. Rosy chose today’s readings as an expression of her coming to know God in …

Living in Community – A Sister's Time Away for Education

Lynne Smith, OSB Living in Community, Notes on a Sister's Time Away for Education Leave a Comment

This week we sent Sister Lynne Smith off to school for the academic year at Catholic Theological Union. She went with the blessings and prayers of the community and a survival gift basket from coworkers…complete with plenty of pencils, a package of Ramen noodles and some healthy snacks! The presentation, pictured here, was made at our annual staff picnic by Jill Carlson (left), director of guest services, to Sister Lynne Smith (right). Beginning today Sister Lynne will share occasional insights into her experience in a new blog series, Living in Community – Notes on a Sister’s Time Away for Education: …

Praying the psalms in the dark days of winter

Rosy Kandathil, OSB A Benedictine Sojourner's Journey, Living in Community, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

It has been an unusually cold January at the monastery. In the wake of a “polar vortex,” temperatures dropped well-below zero in the Madison area, forcing school and office closings. I know that for some the winter months are a delight, but the Wisconsin cold makes me feel a little trapped inside, like a kid desperate with cabin fever. I noticed that these feelings intensified as the monastery celebrated a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually in late January. Each day we prayed for connections, relationships and appreciations to grow among our diverse …