Tag Archives: Benedictine

Mother Dolores Hart speaks about her life and Faith

On Saturday I drove up to the Abbey of Regina Laudis situated in Bethlehem, Connecticut, to purchase cheese and note cards made by the Benedictine nuns there. Cheese is a homemade product of the nuns of this monastery made from milk of 5 dairy cows. But in addition to cheese and note cards I picked up a beautiful DVD interviewing Mother Dolores Hart, OSB. In 2000, Chantal Westerman interviewed Mother Dolores for an hour long presentation called “Conversations with Remarkable People: Mother Dolores Hart.”

Dolores Hart Life.jpg

From this conversation I learned a few things and a new perspective among which Mother Dolores was not only an actress but also a carpenter who made chairs and tables but also coffins for the nuns in her earlier life at the abbey and she took the time to welcome guests. Patricia Neal was of particular interest. (A convert to Catholic before her death, Neal died in August 2010 and is buried at Regina Laudis Abbey.) Of particular interest to me was not Hart’s work in Hollywood but her concrete witness of Christian faith. Ms Westerman asked Mother how she understood faith and the phrase “I am spiritual but not religious.” Mother answered (my notes):
Faith is remembering the exquisite gifts of God given us in particulars of space and time and people; faith is having the guts to say ‘yes’ when you have no idea what the ‘yes’ means; the ‘yes’ is given in response to a mystery.
With regard to the spiritual/religious distinction often made: the two are complementary and have a convergence.

Indeed! There is no separation between spiritual and religious. The soul needs integration of each to make any real sense.

If you can get a copy of the DVD from the Abbey, do so. I recommend it. And stay for Vespers (the Church’s evening prayer) daily beautifully sung by the 40 nuns.
You may be interested in other blog posts on Regins Laudis and Mother Dolores Hart found here.

Dolores Hart steps out of the Abbey to help her sisters

RM Dolores Hart OSB.jpg

She’s known because of her background: the actress who worked with Elvis Presley. That’s what many people remember of Dolores Hart. Some recall that in 1963 Hart left Hollywood to follow her heart: to give her heart to Jesus Christ as a Benedictine nun at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Today, Hart is known as Mother Dolores. At 73 (her birthday on October 20th), there are no signs of slowing down, despite flares of neuropathy.
As buildings and property age –more than 60 years old by now– the wood, bricks and mortar give way and updating needs to happen. Working for the Church, I can attest of the serious need and reasonableness to invest buildings and property. Regina Laudis needs our help! Read about it here.

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Daniel M. Buechlein, Archbishop of Indianapolis, retires

Daniel M. Buechlein.jpgThe Most Reverend Daniel Mark Buechlein, 73, has had his request for an early retirement from the Office of Archbishop of Indianapolis accepted by His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI due increasing concerns of health. In recent months has been dealing with the effects of a mild stroke complicated by other issues like cancer.

The Archbishop has served the Archdiocese of of Indianapolis as the 5th Diocesan Ordinary since 1992. In 2003, the Pope appointed the Archbishop a consultor to the Congregation of Clergy.
Archbishop Daniel will return to the Archabbey of St. Meinrad, the Benedictine abbey of his profession of vows and the place where he served prior to becoming Bishop of Memphis in 1987.
Saint Benedict and Saint Maurus, pray for Archbishop Daniel, and for us.

When true friendship effects change…

In June Dale Kuehne wrote a blog post “Change that believes in me” that speaks to the journey of taking a teaching position at Saint Anslem College (Manchester, NH) which is run by the Benedictine monks of the Abbey there. He doesn’t say it this way, but I do believe he points to something deeper than mere colleagueship: friendship. Perhaps all of us need to think more deeply what our friendships mean and how seriously we engage in them. I recommend this Dale Kuehne’s post….

Benedictines bake for papal Mass in Germany

Sister Theresa, right, and Sister Ruth at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Gertrud in Alexanderdorf.jpg

For the forthcoming Masses in Germany celebrated by the Pope, Benedictine nuns, Sr Therese and Sr Ruth of Saint Gertrude Abbey are among those who are baking altar breads for the Sacrifice of the Mass.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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