Journal

July & August 2017 at Santa Rita Abbey After a very bad fire season in the Sonoita-Elgin area this year (the Sawmill Fire in April, the Kellogg Fire in May, and the Encino Fire in June, to name just a few), we then received record amounts of rain in July, bringing fire season to an end at last. Alleluia! Here at Santa Rita Abbey we received just under twelve inches of rain in July, 11.96"! This is nearly five inches above our previous record of 7.11" in...

May - June 2017 at Santa Rita Abbey Friends and Volunteer Helpers This summer at Santa Rita Abbey we have two more women Volunteer Helpers living in our Retreat House for several weeks, participating in our prayer, and helping us with our work. We pray that their time with us will deepen their relationship with the Lord Jesus and overflow with blessings for their daily life! Year round, we also have several local friends who volunteer their time and talents to help us with various projects. Towards the end of Lent this year Art and Valerie of Tumacacori Mesquite Sawmill donated...

Sister Jacqui's Diamond Jubilee Yes, we've just celebrated another Jubilee of Monastic Profession here at Santa Rita Abbey! This time it is our Sister Jacqueline Moor. Sr. Jacqui is a native of England. She entered religious life in 1955 at our great-grandmother house, Holy Cross Abbey, Stapehill, England. There she made her first vows as a Trappistine nun in 1957. Much has happened in the course of those 60 years, including the moving of her community from England to Whitland, Wales in 1991. From 1995 to 2000 Sr. Jacqui served as the English language secretary at our Order's Generalate in Rome. She was abbess at Holy Cross Abbey from 2001-2005. She came to Arizona in 2011 where our dry and warm climate...

Happy Easter! May our risen Lord Jesus fill all hearts with his peace and joy! We had a lovely Holy Week and Easter at Santa Rita Abbey, and we hope that you did, too. This annual celebration of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus strengthens our belief that God's mercy and love are far stronger than any human violence and hate. This is true not just this week, nor at some far distant date at the end of time, but today and every day. Let us be Easter people and live mercy, kindness, gentleness and peace right where we are, through the power of the Spirit of the risen Lord Jesus alive in our hearts! Here are some photos from our...

You may have heard about the Sawmill wildfire which began in our area Sunday, April 23. Here at Santa Rita Abbey, we are all safe. Below the following text, your will find photos of the fire taken from the abbey property. The fire began to the NW of us, moved across the northern end of the Santa Rita Mountains, raced along pushed by strong winds north of our property, and as of Wed, April 26, has reached far across the Sonoita valley to the mountains on the eastern side where it seems to be moving south now with the changing winds. Last we heard 40,000 acres have burned/are burning so far. Here at Santa Rita Abbey, the fire has not come...

Sister Esther's Golden Jubilee The big event this month was our Sister Esther Sawal's Golden Jubilee, celebrated on Monday, March 13, 2017. Sr. Esther began her religious life in her native Philippines where she entered the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master soon after her high school graduation. She made her first vows in 1967. After twenty years in active ministry, the Lord called her to the contemplative life. She joined our monastic community here at Santa Rita Abbey in Arizona in 1986. For the Jubilee celebration our friend Fr. Greg Adolf from St. Andrew's Parish in Sierra Vista, AZ, presided at the Mass and gave a rousing homily. The presence of family and friends added to the celebration. Sr. Esther's...

The Latest News from Santa Rita Abbey Father Bernard Johnson, RIP Our beloved chaplain of many years, Fr. Bernard Johnson, went home to God on February 21. He was our Advent & Christmas chaplain from 2000 to 2012. He served our Order in many capacities over the years: as Procurator General for our Order in Rome, a kind and wise abbot, a highly respected canon lawyer, and for us a dear brother and friend. He will be missed by many people, both within our Order and without. May he rest in the peace of God! His funeral Mass and burial will be at his home monastery of New Clairvaux in Vina, California, on Friday, February 24. His monastery will no doubt...

The Christmas Season is so beautiful, so meaningful. We hope you and your loved ones had a special one! We are composing this journal entry on the last day of the Christmas Season, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, January 9th this year. Here are some glimpses of Christmas at Santa Rita we hope you will enjoy. Meanwhile, outside it was...

Thanksgiving & Advent at Santa Rita Abbey Christmas is just a week away! We plan to publish a Christmas photo journal sometime afterward. In the meantime, however, here's a little update on the last several weeks. Thanksgiving Day was the lovely feast it always is, celebrating God's wonderful gifts to us throughout the year.     On the first Sunday of Advent, our Sr. Clare celebrated her 89th birthday. She had been looking forward to the day with great enthusiasm. The eldest in her family of five children, her younger brother and sisters have been watching closely to see if she would make it past their parents' life span of 88 years. And she did! (In fact, she's shooting for...