Tag Archives: nun

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.

Benedict to women religious: testify to your personal encounter with Christ

Here are the central paragraphs the Pope addressed to women religious at the Escorial earlier today.

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Dear Sisters, every charism is an evangelical word which the Holy Spirit recalls to the Church’s memory (cf. Jn 14:26). It is not by accident that consecrated life “is born from hearing the word of God and embracing the Gospel as its rule of life. A life devoted to following Christ in his chastity, poverty and obedience becomes a living ‘exegesis’ of God’s word… Every charism and every rule springs from it and seeks to be an expression of it, thus opening up new pathways of Christian living marked by the radicalism of the Gospel” (Verbum Domini, 83).

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Cistercian nun leaves monastery to visit Pope Benedict, first time in 84 years

Sr Teresita.jpgA Cistercian nun at 103 years, is leaving the monastery for the first time in 84 years to meet Pope Benedict while he’s in Spain for World Youth Day.

Sister Teresa entered the Monasterio de Buenafuente del Sistal on the very day of Benedict’s birth, 16 April 1927. Aside from a distraction of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) that caused the nuns to flee fighting, Sister Teresa has lived her vocation as a cloister nun in that place.
A journalist for El Mundo, Jesús García, authored a book about 10 nuns, of whom Sister Teresa was included, titled, ¿Qué hace una chica como tú en una sitio como éste? (2011; What is a Girl Like You Doing In A Place Like This?)
Sister’s monastery was founded in the 13th century, and for 20 years was the religious superior.

Oscars 2011 and a nun

Dolores Hart OSB.jpgNot surprising that many people are interested in sensational stories like “Mother Dolores Hart: The Nun Who Kissed Elvis Presley.” I guess kissing Elvis is akin to winning the jackpot. Each to his or her own! Thom Geier’s story is exactly titled such on EW.com. I have to admit, however, I am fascinated –to a degree– by this woman’s gesture of following a vocation that had in mind her eternal destiny and not just money, fame and power. Hart’s life and enduring witness to Christ at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, CT, is inspiring. Who wouldn’t be inspired by a beautiful woman giving her life to God through monastic consecration!

The following gives a flavor of Geier’s article: “Over the course of nearly half a century as a Roman
Catholic nun, Mother Dolores has had many jobs: choir member, baker, and coffin
maker. She’s served as prioress, the convent’s second in command, for nine
years. But for the past two decades, she has spent a good deal of time each
winter on another assignment that harks back to her earlier, pre-monastic life:
Oscar voter.”

Mother Dolores’ autobiography ought to be out soon.

Autumn days at the Abbey of Regina Laudis

St Benedict, Lower Monastery Chapel.JPGThe Abbey of Regina Laudis is a special place in Connecticut; and one of the special Benedictine monasteries in the USA. I’ve been spending more time there in recent months either attending the Divine Office and/or Mass or spending a few days in St Joseph’s Guest House (for men, there are guests for women, married folks, & clergy).

One thing I learn going to monasteries or other types of religious houses is the wide variety of people who come for a brief visit to the gift shop and chapel to those visiting for professional reasons and those who are there to spend a few days making a retreat, bugging out of the “world” for a respite or those like me who just love monasteries, nuns and the culture. This past weekend we had Jesuit seminarians and a man from North Carolina connecting with distant family who happens to be a nun.
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Being among the guests you see the monastic life unfold in profound and simple ways. The profound is exemplified in thinking about contours of the nuns and a couple of laymen considering making a monastic foundation of brothers and priests at the abbey. And there were the simple ways of spending time with one of the Oblate brothers who was Holy Apostles Seminary, or another Oblate brother preparing for his diaconate ordination on Saturday. And your own learning discerning a new of living what the Lord has given. So much at Regina Laudis is rooted in the prayer and work of the land. Being a land preserve, the nuns care for the land in extraordinary ways like farming, caring for the natural way supplies, raising much of their own food, etc.
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Mother Benedict by Antoinette Bosco.jpg
Want to know more about the Abbey of Regina Laudis and the monastic culture found there? Come for a visit, spend a few days at the abbey and/or read Antoinette Bosco’s Mother Benedict (and read Bosco’s essay on the book).
Antoinette Bosco, a resident of Connecticut, journalist and friend of the nuns, wrote an accessible and inspiring account of the abbey’s founder, Mother Benedict Duss, OSB (+October 5, 2005). Mother Benedict was forward thinking and a pioneering nun who founded an abbey of nuns who take seriously prayer, work, culture and humanity. Bosco’s narrative tells the story of a woman who risked everything, was obedient to the Church, and trusted profoundly in God.
The abbey is home to a nun who bears a tired clichè –but all clichès are shopworn– of “the cheese nun,” who went back to school at a later age for further education which landed her a stellar PhD in microbiology that has enabled her to make brilliant contributions in the field of making cheese and promoting culture the world over. A Fullbright scholar, Mother Noella never thought that entering a monastery would lead to studying science, milking a cow, making artisanal cheese, travel extensively. Except that in all these things she followed the aphorism, that in all things God is gloried.

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So, watch the 2006 PBS presentation “The Cheese Nun” telling the story of Mother Noella Marcellino learning the ways of God and humanity through the exacting study of science, cheese-making and prayer all in an effort to know the grace of creation given by God: biodiversity reveals the ever beautiful face of the Creator.
Other Communio blog posts on Regina Laudis: the Crèchevarious pics, the Benedictine approach to holinesson a visit in August, and a story on Mother Dolores Hart.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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