March 15, 2018

IOWA The Best State to Live In!

Recently, U.S.NEWS published their Best States Overall Ranking for 2018.  Iowa was number 1 on the list!

Overall State Health Care Education Economy Opportunity Infrastructure Crime & Corrections Fiscal Stability Quality of Life
#1 Iowa       3       5       17          4          1        15      21      9

Some states shine in health care. Some soar in education. Some excel in both – or in much more. The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the metrics take into account a state’s economy, the opportunity and quality of life it offers people, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety and the fiscal stability of state government.
More weight was accorded to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily. Then came state economies, the opportunity states offer their citizens and infrastructure. Crime & corrections followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of government fiscal stability and people's quality of life. This explains why Iowa, ranking No. 1 in infrastructure and No. 3 in health care, occupies the overall No. 1 spot in the Best States rankings. And it explains why Minnesota, ranking No. 2 in quality of life and No. 3 in opportunity for its citizens, ranks No. 2 overall in the Best States rankings.

Autumn in the late afternoon
Spring at dawn

If their was a ranking for beauty the Iowa bluffs of the Mississippi River would get a very high ranking.
View from our refectory
Rolling hills up to the river

February 19, 2018

Sr. Harriet's Clothing

Sr. Mary Therese reading the Rule

Sr. Harriet became a novice yesterday as she received the Cistercian habit on the first Sunday of Lent.
She received the habit from M. Rebecca in the Chapter Room.  The community looked on along with seven young women who participated in our Vocation discernment weekend. 
Sr. Harriet preparing for Mass

Bringing up the gifts

The novice also receives the Rule of St. Benedict which we follow along with a cross made from wood from our property.

 At dinner we had a celebratory meal to mark this most important step for Harriet in monastic life.
With Sr. Kathleen her novice director

With M. Rebecca and Sr. Kathleen

February 3, 2018

Mother Gail's 80th Birthday

Making a wish!
On January 31 Mother Gail celebrated her 80th birthday. It is hard to believe that someone that energetic and young looking could be 80but she is.  A given in monastic life is that one does not retire.  Mother Gail is very active in community, serving as junior director, helps out on candy crews and several other jobs.
Mother Maureen

Opening gifts.

A plus for the celebration was having Mother Maureen of Wrentham here to celebrate with us.  She arrived just before dinner and will make her yearly retreat at our hermitage.

January 20, 2018

Glittering Vices

Product DetailsProduct DetailsThis past week we have several conferences given by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung.  Rebecca is a professor of Philosophy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids Michigan.  Rebecca's book Glittering Vices is a study on the seven deadly sins and spiritual formation.  She has studied the works of St. Thomas Aquinas extensively and has added many fresh insights on the topic of the deadly sins.  She also spent time discussing Vainglory of which she has a book by the same title and also time on the vice of sloth.  She sees sloth as the prevalent vice of our American culture.  We found her to be a wonderful teacher and a very committed Christian.  Her books would make fine Lenten reading.

November 29, 2017

View The Today Show Segment

The Today Show segment was aired yesterday.  There was a great response.  It was so good that it crashed our website and the server in town.  This was quickly repaired.  If you would like to see it here is a link.