May 30, 2023


Last week we had our yearly retreat. Our retreat director was Sr. Sarah from our Irish house Glencairn.  Glencairn is our grandmother house.  They founded Wrentham Abbey in Massachusetts who founded us.

Sr. Sarah used Celtic spirituality as the topic for the retreat.  We learned a lot and were inspired by the history and holiness of the monks and nuns of Celtic monasticism.

We gifted Sr. Sarah with a pair of overalls and made her an honorary Iowan.

April 11, 2023

Sr. Madeleine Renews Her Vows

This morning at chapter our Sr. Madeleine renewed her vows for another year.  It was a perfect day to do this as the gospel for today was of Mary Magdalene mistaking Jesus for a gardener and then recognized him when he spoke her name.  Mary Magdalene is Sr. Madeleine's patroness and is currently preparing our spring garden.

Sr. Madeleine renewing her vows.

Sr. Madeleine making her vow of obedience to Mother Rebecca


Waiting for the Vigil to begin.
All of the sisters went to New Melleray Abbey, our brother house for the Easter Vigil.  It was very special for both of our communities as we have never done this before.  The vigil began at 4:30 AM in the New Melleray Chapter Room with the lighting of the fire with flint rock.  Then the Paschal Candle was lit from the new fire and from that each person had a candle lit to carry in procession.  We processed into church and the Exultet was sung by Br. Paul Andrew and Sr. Kathleen.  The vigil readings were read and Mass celebrated by Dom Brendan Freeman, Abbot of New Melleray.

Br. Joseph starting the fire with the flint rock.

Lighting the Paschal candle.

Sr. Kathleen and Br. Paul Andrew singing the Exultet

Sr. Kathleen at the organ

Fr. Brendan reading the Gospel.

Br. Joseph reading.

Schola singing the Easter Alleluia

February 6, 2023


Dom Bernardus
Last week our new Abbot General, Dom Bernardus Peeters and his secretary, Fr. Raphael came for a four day visit.  Dom Bernardus is the former abbot of Tilberg Abbey in the Netherlands.  He was elected Abbot General last February at the General Chapter in Assisi, Italy.  We each met with him individually and he gave the community four conferences while he was here.  It was a wonderful experience to get to know him and to hear his vision for the Order.

December 9, 2022


This past week and next week are the busiest 2 weeks in our year.  All the candy we have made needs to be boxed sealed and shipped to go out to our customers.  It is a huge job and everyone drops what they usually do and go over to the shipping department to help.  Luckily, everyone likes to ship.  It is satisfying to prepare the gifts that are being sent out.  Sometimes you recognize a name on a label as someone you know.  That is fun.  We are grateful to all our candy customers for supporting us by their purchases.

Sr. Grace entering orders.
This semi will be full before it leaves the dock.