Journal

Forty years ago, in September of 1978, Arizona Highways magazine did an article about our monastery. Tim Fuller was the photographer in 1978, and last year he called Mother Vicki to ask if they could come back to visit us again for another article. Kelly Vaughn interviewed Mother Vicki and wrote the article. Tim Fuller did the photography. We thought they did a great job and so we want to share it with you. Enjoy! AzHighways_0819_SantaRitaAbbey (1)  

We were very happy to host a number of women interested in learning more about our Cistercian way of life for a beautiful and grace-filled Monastic Experience Weekend August 16-19. The days afforded participants with both personal reflection and group sharing time, as well as the opportunity to pray and talk with sisters and to share a meal with the community.   Here are a few of their reflections on the weekend: "I am so happy I carved out time to attend!" "There was a good balance of content and rest in prayer and reflection. I really enjoyed sharing dinner in the refectory, seeing the altar bread area and walking in the desert." "The program was so rich! I would...

As promised in our July post, here are more fawn photos! Since mid-August there has been only one fawn with the doe. We are afraid that something may have happened to the other fawn, but are hoping that maybe that doe moved her twins elsewhere and the doe and fawn hanging around now are a different family ... ? In any case, this fawn is growing up quickly. Already its spots are beginning to fade. A documentary film crew from the University of Arizona has visited us several times over the last year. We and a group of Sisters in Maryland are the subject of their film "Final Vows."  Vicky Westover has interviewed Mother Vicki and several of our Sisters....

  We've been blessed this summer to have several different visiting priests who have kindly offered Mass in our chapel during their stay. Sr. Hildgard's family friend, Fr. Josephat (pictured above), was here in early July. Not long after, the superiors of seven monasteries of our Order held their pastoral meeting in our family guest house, and the five abbots in the group took turns presiding at the daily Eucharist. In the photos below you see our Sisters enjoying an informal Sunday brunch with the superiors on the last day of the meeting, left to right: Fr. Charles of St. Benedict's Monastery in CO with Postulant Sharon; Sr. Margarita and Fr. Paul Mark of New Clairvaux Abbey in CA; Sr....

Feasts of the Lord All of the post-Easter season solemnities fell in the month of June this year: the Ascension of the Lord, Pentecost (photo above), Most Holy Trinity, Most Holy Body & Blood of Christ, along with the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on the last Friday of the month. In addition, June has two solemnities of its own: the Nativity of St. John the Baptist on the 24th, and Sts. Peter & Paul and the 29th. These are of course beautiful feasts, each with its our proper Office and Mass--lots of singing practices!--and each one a gift from God to draw us further into the mystery of God's love and saving power. Aren't these the...

Laudato Si' Care for Creation Mass Our friend Msgr. Tom Cahalane, along with several members of the Care for Creation Committee at his parish of Our Mother of Sorrows in Tucson, celebrated a Mass for Creation here on Saturday, May 4th. They invited us, too, along with a few of our local friends. We all gathered on the spacious porch of our family guest house for the celebration of the Eucharist. A perfect setting for such an event. Cistercian Altar Breads Sr. Hildgard has been learning to bake altar breads and enjoys it. She's also helping to "score" our 5-1/2" scored concelebration hosts. Baking takes place two or three days a week, while we cut and package our breads four...

Christ is risen, Alleluia! We had a beautiful Holy Week and Easter this year, and we hope you did, too! We are most grateful to Fr. Thomas, monk of New Clairvaux Abbey in CA, for being our chaplain during these special weeks, and to his abbot and community for sharing him with us.  Now as we bask in the over-flowing grace of the Easter season, we'd like to share with you some photos from our recent celebrations. Palm Sunday As Jesus rode along, the people were spreading their cloaks on the road;  and now as he was approaching the slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of his disciples began to praise God aloud with joy for all...

We are happy to introduce two new additions to our community of Santa Rita: Sister Hildgard and Postulant Sharon! Sr. Hildgard Wanjiku Mberere is a native of Kenya. She grew up not far from the Trappist monastery of Our Lady of Victoria and felt called to monastic life from a young age. Her call persisted over the years, and at last the monks in Kenya recommended her to the Abbaye N.-D. de Bonne-Esperance in Echourgnac, France. She entered our Order there in 2002. We are happy to welcome her to Santa Rita Abbey as she continues her monastic journey. ...

Spring has arrived! Remember that huge snow storm we had on February 22nd and how we were buried in snow for three days? Spring arrived within a week! Our ornamental pear tree in the garth south of our church decided it just couldn't wait to bloom any longer. We've never seen it bloom so gloriously, but then again, it has been many years since we've had such a wet winter. We just had another storm March 11-12 which gave us over an inch of rain and dressed the Santa Rita Mountains in a fresh robe of snow. Thank you, God! Ash Wednesday 2019 The liturgical season of Lent began on Ash Wednesday, March 6, this year. Our faithful friend, Fr....

Hi! It's been a while since our last journal entry. Instead of looking back to the Christmas season, which seems like ancient history now, we'll begin this one with current events. The big excitement of the last few days was the huge snow storm which enveloped Arizona. It began with rain last Thursday, Feb 21, which turned to snow on Friday, Feb 22. Wow did it snow! For about twelve hours straight. Photos will describe it better than words can. Friday, February 22       Note that one of our...