Journal

We are so thankful that all our Sisters were fully vaccinated this past spring. We continue to pray for all those suffering from Covid and for all the medical professionals and volunteers who are working so hard on behalf of our global human family. Because the US has yet to achieve herd immunity, we are keeping our chapel and retreat house closed to the public. If you haven't yet been vaccinated, we urge you to prayerful consider getting the vaccine now. We were delighted to have Fr. Mark Scott return here this March for a few more months of sabbatical time and ministry as...

Pictured above are Brother Lawrence, Abbot Pachomius, and oblate Brother Dominique of the former Erlac Benedictine Monastery in a photograph from January 2018. Abbot Pachomius (Kurt) Pirmanschegg passed away in March of 2020. On May 15, 2021 we were at last able to have a funeral Mass and burial for our beloved brother. Fr. Mark Scott, OCSO, presided at the Mass which was attended by our community of sisters, Brs. Lawrence and Dominique, and a very few invited guests.  Below are Mother Vicki's remembrances which she shared after Fr. Mark's homily at the funeral Mass. A few photos from May 15 follow the text. REMEMBRANCES OF OUR BROTHER, PACHOMIUS Father, brother, friend. Lover of the community and of the place....

Happy Easter Season! May our risen Lord Jesus fill your minds and hearts with his peace! Here are photos from our celebration of the Easter Vigil with Fr. Mark, and the Easter Day Mass with Bishop Edward Weisenburger. It was wonderful to share this glorious day with our bishop and Sr. Lois Paha who works closely with him for our diocese. We hadn't seen either of them since Christmas 2019. Easter Vigil Light of Christ! Thanks be to God! . . . Christ is risen! The angels of God are rejoicing, Alleluia! Easter Day with Bishop Weisenburger Very early on the morning after the sabbath, they came to the tomb when the Sun had just risen, alleluia!   As we...

Happy Easter! May our risen Lord Jesus fill your minds and hearts with his peace! Here are photos from our celebration of Holy Week. Fr. Mark Scott, OCSO, returned just in time to celebrate these most holy days with us. Photos from the Easter Vigil and Easter Day will follow in a separate journal entry. Palm Sunday Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord . . . The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark Holy Thursday Sing my tongue the Savior's glory, of his flesh the mystery sing . . . Stay here and keep watch while I pray. Good Friday Christ became obedient for us, even...

April 2, 2021 Dear Friends, May you remain close to Jesus throughout this memorial of his sufferings which he offered with immeasurable love for all of humankind.    

Here are some scenes from our quiet Christmas celebration. With our chapel still closed to the public and our would-be Christmas chaplain unable to travel, it was just the eleven of us Sisters. And Jesus, Mary and Joseph, of course! Below is a link to our Mother Vicki's reflection on Christmas Day. She offered us several such reflections throughout the Christmas season. Visit our Reflections on the Gospel page to read them all. https://www.santaritaabbey.org/2020/12/28/a-child-is-born-to-us/ We continue to keep all the peoples of our country and our world in our very special prayers during the pandemic. This was a difficult Christmas for many, and the new year is off to a rocky start, but we know that God holds all of...

Since early this year we have been praying for the peoples of the world as the COVID-19 virus spread across borders and oceans. We've never stopped praying, but now as the number of infections and deaths rise this winter, our prayer has more urgency to it: that a safe and effective vaccine will soon be available for everyone, that all those who are sick now may recover, that all those caring for the sick--whether at home or in hospitals--may stay safe and healthy, and that those who are struggling to make ends meet will receive they assistance that they need. Lord Jesus, Divine Physician, hear us! Meanwhile, here at Santa Rita we are doing our best to stay safe and...

Our kitchen renovation project, begun on March 9, is now complete. We know we promised to post photos throughout the process, but ... as Mother Vicki often reminds us, our life of prayer comes first before all else. Unless we continually cultivate the intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus to which he invited us, why are we here in the monastery? Kitchen projects, unlike prayer, are easy to photograph, so here are some photos, at last. BEFORE The building which makes up our refectory and kitchen is a jigsaw puzzle of sorts, made up of repurposed buildings that were later extended and connected together. It served us well for over 35 years, but it was time for a change. In...

Our monastic prayer took on greater urgency and sharper focus as the COVID-19 virus reached pandemic proportions this spring. We've never had a Lent, Holy Week or Easter like this before, have you? In the face of all this illness, death, and grief do the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus still mean anything? Like the women watching the passion from a distance and the fearful disciples behind locked doors, we have to live through all the worry, confusion, panic and uncertainty--oh how our securities have toppled!--before we can hear the Lord's words on Easter morning, "Do not be afraid," and at the Ascension, "Behold, I am with you always to the end of the age." ALWAYS. Even now, especially now....

At our community chapter on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, we had the joy of clothing our postulant Sharon in the novice's habit. The simple ceremony took place between the 7:00 a.m. Office of Lauds and our 8:00 a.m. Scripture and Communion Service. (Yes, like the rest of the world, we cannot attend Mass right now, since our would-be chaplain must stay home.) Here...