June 27, 2013

Birthday Celebrations

Last week we celebrated Dom Brendan Freeman's 75th birthday.  Dom Brendan, abbot of New Melleray has been our Father Immediate for the past 30 years.  We wish him and his community well as he plans his sabbatical and the community of New Melleray prepares for their abbatial election in August.

On June 25th we celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Sr. Genevieve Durcan.  Sr. Genevieve is the blood sister of Sr. Rosemary, former prioress of our abbey in Norway.  Sr. Genevieve has been living as a hermit in Kentucky since the 1980's.  During the Mass she renewed her vows with M. Rebecca and Dom Brendan as witnesses.  We shared a festive meal with Sr. Genevieve and many of her family and friends.

June 12, 2013

A New Archbishop, a Retreat, and Robins in Residence

We have a new archbishop!  He is Michael Jackels from Nebraska.  Our former Archbishop, Jerome Hanus, OSB resigned earlier in the year and has now returned to his monastery of Assumption Abbey in Missouri.  Archbishop Jackels was installed on May 30 at St. Raphaels Catherdral.  M. Rebecca was one of the people chosen to greet the archbishop at the installation.  The following day the archbishop prayed Vespers with the women religious of Dubuque and met with them personally at the reception that followed.

Archbishop Jackels
M. Rebecca

This past week we had our annual community retreat.  The retreat conferences were given by Mother Giovanna abbess of Matutum in the Philipines.  She is originally from Vitorchiano in Italy.  She focused on the themes of mercy, forgiveness, vulnerability and humility.  She is a real inspiration for us.  She is now visiting other monasteries in the USA.

Mother Giovanna

A robin has taken up residence in a doorway of the abbey.  As to not to disturb her we didn't use that door.  We didn't want her to leave her nest of eggs.  She picked a great place really, warm away from the rain, high up enough from the cats.  The baby birds were born last Sunday.