October 8, 2018


       Sr. Carol                                       Sr. Barbara                                       Sr. Gail                             Sr. Lillian                         
On October 6th we celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of four Cistercian sisters.  Srs. Gail and Carol from OLM Abbey, Sr. Barbara from Our Lady of the Angels Abbey in Virginia and Sr. Lillian an OLM Abbey sister who has lived as a hermit in Florida for the last 30 years.

Srs. Gail and Barbara shared initial formation together at Mount St. Mary's Abbey in Wrentham, MA. and were clothed together and made both simple and Solemn profession together.  Srs. Gail and Lillian came on the foundation to OLM and Sr. Barabara went on the foundation some years later to Our Lady of the Angels.  Sr. Carol was a Mercy sister in Cedar Rapids, IA and entered OLM in the early 1970's.
Dom Mark Scott, our father immediate from New Melleray Abbey presided at the Eucharist and the sisters renewed their vows after the Gospel was read.

June 18, 2018

Community Retreat

Dom Gerard
Last week our community had its annual retreat.  This year Dom Gerard from Genesse Abbey south of Rochester in New York preached the retreat.  It was a wonderful retreat.  His conferences were deep and thought provoking.  He spoke on many subjects ranging from our deepest desire for God as the only source of real happiness, acedia as an overlying state in our society, the importance of stability in our monastic life to aid us to go deeper, Marian spirituality and many other things.
We were blessed with good weather so it was possible to spend time in nature.

June 9, 2018

Sr. Macarena's Clothing

Our new novice
 Our Sr. Macarena received the Cistercian habit on June 8th, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Chapter Room.  This was followed by the Mass for the feast.  At dinner we had a festive meal with Mexican cuisine.  Mother Rebecca made enchiladas for the occasion.  We are very happy to welcome Sr. Macarena into our novitiate!
Receiving the Rule of St. Benedict

Receiving the Cistercian Habit

Back:Sr. Macarena, Sr. Mary Therese, Sr. Harriet  Front: M. Rebecca, Sr. Kathleen

A very happy formation group

May 7, 2018

Mother Rebecca Stramoski

Mother Rebecca Stramoski was reelected abbess today for another six year term.  Her community is blessed and grateful for her service as abbess.

May 1, 2018

Visitors from Tautra Mariakloster

Srs. Gilchrist and Marjoe are visiting us from our daughter house of Tautra Mariakloster in mid-Norway.  Sr. Gilchrist just finished her 6 year term as prioress.  She arrived at Mississippi Abbey on her birthday and of course we had to celebrate!
Sr. Marjoe, a foundress of both Mississippi Abbey and Tautra Mariakloster came for her 5 year home visit.  Many of her nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews visited for about 5 days last week.

We don't get to see our sisters from Norway very often so it is always a very special time when they are with us.
Tautra Maria Kloster is growing rapidly with mostly European vocations from Poland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and one sister from Asia.  They are planning to add onto the monastery to provide rooms for growth.

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.