Sunday, June 15, 2008

New life...& other news

Our dear Sister Celine, died peacefully on Saturday around 12:45 P.M. Our ninety-seven year old was eager for the Lord’s coming. We are grateful for your prayers and support during our vigil days. We praise GOD for delivering her from physical suffering and for gifting us with her presence for over seventy-five years. Please keep Sister’s family and friends in your prayers…

Our prioress, Sister Cecilia, has returned from Rock Island, IL, where she gave retreat to the Benedictine sisters there. We are quite happy to have her home!

Yesterday, the Oblate Council met for the very first time. Representatives came from near and far to discuss and brainstorm. We are blessed to have four vibrant Oblate groups: Bristow, VA, Richmond, VA, Bedford, VA and a group in the state of Nevada. Sister Charlotte Lee, OSB and Katherine Frick, Obl. SB, co-directors of the Oblate community, led the discussion. This is a historic event in the life of the Benedictine Sisters of Virginia, and we look forward to hearing about the good work that was accomplished by the Council this weekend.

On Monday, June 16th, the monastic community begins its annual silent retreat. We will be beyond the reach of telephone and doorbell for the next five days. There will be only one blog during retreat - coverage of the Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Celine Hendley, OSB.

Our retreat director this year is Abbot John Klassen, OSB, 10th Abbot of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN. Abbot John’s retreat will focus on the parables of Jesus. We pray him a safe arrival this afternoon and restful week in our Guest House.

I’m looking forward to this retreat…time to STOP, rest, pray…time to see my monastic life as a small seed that needs water, light and love to grow strong and tall. I am happy, too, to spend these days with Abbot John. I remember his election day (during my tenure in the grad school there) and the joy expressed by his brother monks. If holy is as holy does, we will be companioned this week by one who “walks the talk” in monastic life. GOD will speak clearly to us through Abbot John and I can hardly wait to hear what GOD has to say! I promise a future blog dedicated to fruits of these days. Please keep us all in your prayers.

Blessings and love to you all…

- Sister Vicki