In September, Chris Herlinger, a journalist from Global Sisters Report, interviewed several sisters for on Benedictine life. Please read this exciting story about Benet Hill.
“Longing is like the rosy dawn. After the dawn out comes the sun. Longing is followed by the vision of God. “ -Ramakrishna
This psalm is often used in funeral celebrations, and yet it fits so well with the possibilities that each new day brings. Every morning we have an opportunity to lean into that longing for God, longing for wholeness and holiness. We long for connections, for healing, for hope, and for love. We long for peace in a world that at times seems mad. Mad with car bombings, hate talk, violence, trafficking the young, and sending our young women and men into war. When will there be an end to the suffering we witness and experience? “Oh God, you are my God, and I long for you.”
My answer to this is found in the quiet mornings alone with my God –that is where my confidence lies. I carry my burdens to God; lean into Him and discover God’s presence in the gentle motion of my rocking chair and the beauty of nature outside my window. God is in the Sacred Scriptures spoken each day. God is sometimes in the anguish of my prayer and in the gratitude of my simple thanks. God is in a cup of coffee and in the prayers of our community.
Oh God, come to us, your people and give us the hope of a new day, a new year. Give us the courage to reach out to the broken within us and among us; to the immigrant, the enslaved, and the bullied. Help us finds ways to make life more beautiful.
Blessings and Peace, Sister Clare Carr, Prioress
The Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery are in support of the statement issued by The Leadership Conference of Women Religious denouncing the administrations’ decision to rescind TPS for Salvadorians.
The TPS program is designed to protect people from being returned to harm. That is precisely what Salvadorans will face if they are deported. El Salvador is the most violent country in the Western Hemisphere and continues to suffer from endemic poverty, lack of access to quality education, and healthcare.
TPS holders are our neighbors and friends. They have been contributing members of our communities for decades. Rescinding TPS protection for citizens of El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan and threatening Hondurans with the same, places us all at risk. Ending their protection will tear families apart, fragment our communities, and disrupt local economies.
Catholic sisters will continue to heed the scriptural command to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. We urge the Trump administration to reconsider its decisions and we call on Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to develop legislative solutions to protect vulnerable people.
I so love this time of year. It comes with bright lights, warmth and the promise of innocence and love. It comes with the humility of an innocent child, vulnerable, helpless, simple and dependent. The Christ child comes to us with beauty of total love. Ann Weems sums it up for me in her poem: Unexpected from Kneeling in Bethlehem.
Even now we simply do not expect to find a deity in a stable.
Somehow the setting is all wrong:
The swaddling clothes too plain,
The manger too common for the likes of a Savior,
The straw inelegant,
The animals, reeking and noisy,
The whole scene too ordinary for our taste
And the cast of characters is no better;
With the possible exception of the kings,
Who among them is fit for tis night?
The shepherd? Certainly too crude,
The carpenter too rough,
The girl too young.
And the baby
Whoever expected a baby?
Whoever expected the advent of God in a helpless child?
Had the Messiah arrived in the blazing light of the glory
Of a legion of angels wielding golden swords,
The whole world could have been conquered for Christ
Right then and there
And we in the church-to say nothing of the world!
Wouldn’t have so much trouble today.
Even now we simply do not expect to face the world armed with love.
And yet love is the only answer. Perhaps we can come before this God of ours because he came as an innocent child, open and vulnerable to our humanity. We have a God who loves us in our messiness and complexities- a condition that Jesus shared with us. We have a God who loves us just as we are, straggled, poor, dirty and sinful. WE have a God in his innocence who longs for us to know and be known.
Let us rejoice, for the greatest miracle is that God chose to be a human with us. To know all that we experience and all that we are, with our brokenness and greatness.
The Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery announce the publishing of “Three Nuns from the Ranch” written by Sister Kathleen Cogan, OSB. A book signing at Benet Hill Monastery is scheduled for Saturday, November 4, 2017 from 10 am -12 noon. RSVP is required to attend. Space is limited, so reserve your space early by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by October 30, 2017.
Book Synopsis: To “regain mental acuity” after a stroke, Sister Kathleen Cogan decided simply to write a short story about her life. Over time, that short story transformed into a remarkable, heart-warming memoir of three sisters from a ranch near Buena Vista, Colorado, and their lives and work as Benedictine sisters. Growing up on the ranch shaped their lives, instilling a deep love of family, love of nature, and love of God. In Three Nuns from the Ranch, each sister shares inspiring memories of a happy childhood and recounts her significant and committed work in various Benedictine missions. To read their story is to live gratitude and joy.
We invite friends, family and supporters of Sister Kathleen and the Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery to purchase Three Nuns from the Ranch available on amazon.smile.com or amazon.com or through Benet Gifts at the monastery. This heart-lifting story is about three sisters who grew up on a Colorado ranch and became Benedictine Sisters of Benet Hill Monastery.
In writing her book, Sister Kathleen has learned one of the greatest lessons of her life. At age 88, she found this experience empowering and a reminder that “you should never give up, even if you have physical limitations.”
[Silver Spring, MD] The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) shares the disappointment of millions of people across the country who had hoped and prayed that President Trump would continue the protection offered Dreamers by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is a common sense path to stability for families, communities, and local economies and a reaffirmation of American values. Ending DACA will cause irreparable harm to families and communities and force 800,000 of our young people back into the shadows.
In the wake of this unconscionable action by President Trump, we urge Congress to immediately take up and pass the bipartisan Dream Act of 2017.
As women of faith we take seriously the gospel call to welcome the stranger and care for those in need. LCWR and its members will continue to press for compassion for our neighbors, relief for families, and an end to needless deportations. “We will continue to advocate for bipartisan legislation that addresses our outdated immigration system,” said LCWR Executive Director Sister Joan Marie Steadman, CSC. “We will continue to stand in solidarity with families, regardless of immigration status, who labor daily to provide safety and security for their children. We will continue to walk with Dreamers and together with people of goodwill we will work to ensure that the dignity of all people is fully protected.”
Catholic sisters have a long history of accompanying immigrants and refugees. They continue to minister to these aspiring citizens in schools, hospitals, and service agencies along the southern border and across the country. They see the devastating effects of the current immigration system every day. They share the hopes and dreams of these young Americans who represent so much of what is right and good about this country we all call home.
LCWR is an association of leaders of congregations of Catholic women religious in the United States. The conference has nearly 1300 members, who represent more than 38,800 women religious in the United States. Founded in 1956, LCWR assists its members to collaboratively carry out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
LCWR Statement on the US-DPRK Crisis
At this critical moment for our country and global community, we – the 650 members of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious gathered in assembly – have discerned the Gospel call to embody love for the sake of the world. We believe that love is more powerful than fear, dialogue more productive than rhetoric, and connection more transformative than threats of destruction.
We call on President Trump to engage in constructive dialogue and negotiation to resolve the current crisis between the governments of the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in a manner that guarantees the peace and security that all people seek.
We commit ourselves to promote nonviolence and a compassionate response to the thirst of the world for integrity and communion.
The Sisters also stand with LCRW in condemning racism in all forms. LCWR Condemns Racism in all its Forms
The summer is here with evening walks, warm days, gardens to be explored, picnics with family, and vacations to fun places. Stop for a moment and breathe in the fragrances of life. Do you feel pulled into being more present to the beauty around you? Being grateful for all the little things life offers can lighten your heart and bring joy; such as a smile or friendly encounter. Try reaching out to other people, not just family and friends, but people we don’t know yet…. strangers. For many around the world strangers are seen as a threat. Our global world has become fearful with the nightly reports of violence. We have forgotten that we all need each other. Our relationships add color and dimension to our living. One celebrity photographer from the UK started a campaign this summer to invite people all over the world to just say “hello” to each other. Simple yet, profound. Reach out this summer with a friendly “hello”, and who knows what friendships you may develop. You may even bring more peace to our broken and defensive world.
Conference of Benedictine Prioresses
February 4, 2017
In the spirit of the centuries-old Rule of Benedict which urges us to listen with the ear of the heart and to respect the gifts of each person as unique individuals, we, the Conference of Benedictine Prioresses, recognize the injustices caused by racism in our society. Our communities have made many efforts to address this injustice as a social sin in which we take part. We recognize that our society, culture, and country are at a time when many implications and effects of racism are emerging on every side. The conversion called for is pervasive. In solidarity with other religious/faith leaders, we recognize that racial injustice is social sin –
“To speak of social sin means in the first place to recognize that, by virtue of a human solidarity which is as mysterious and intangible as it is real and concrete, each individual’s (and corporate) sin in some way affects others. …Every sin has repercussions on the entire ecclesial body and the whole human family.” –Pope John Paul ll, December 2, 1984.
Therefore, at this time in our history, we join with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and with all people of faith to commit ourselves to:
• Examine the root causes of injustice, particularly of racism, as a consequence of unacknowledged white privilege, and our own complicity over the years in this societal reality;
• Work to effect systemic change that will promote a society that respects all people and that recognizes the equality, human dignity and human rights of all.;
We commit ourselves to use our collective voice, resources, and power in collaboration with others to establish racial justice which reflects God’s abundant love and mercy.
We recognize the value of:
• Racial solidarity training;
• Creating safe spaces for truth and reconciliation processes;
• Training in nonviolent conflict transformation;
• Programs training unarmed civilian peace makers in our regions;
• Ongoing de-escalation training for police;
• Dialogue with people of color and varied origins.
• Our prayer;
• Educational efforts;
This past week I read a reflection that says it all to me as we face the “swearing in” of a new president and the many places of suffering in our world. I hope that you will take some time to read the following and pray with it. A blessed new year to you.
“(It) is not enough to limit your love to your own nation, to your own race, to your own group. You must respond with love even to those outside of it, respond with love to those who hate you. This concept enables men (and women) to live together not as nations, but as the human race. We are now in the stage of history when we will either take this step or perish. For we have learned with consummate skill to destroy humankind. We have learned how to efficiently annihilate the human race. But, somehow or other, we shrink with horror from the prospect not of annihilation, but of reconciliation. We will either be reconciled—we shall love one another—or we shall perish.”
(written by Clarence Jordan, The substance of Faith and Other Cotton Patch Sermons. Clarence Jordan was the founder of Koinonia Farm, GA)