Journal

Christmas 2017 at Santa Rita Abbey Happy New Year 2018! We hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas celebration with your loved ones. May 2018 be full of blessings for you and all the world! Here are a few scenes from our Christmas celebrations here at Santa Rita Abbey: the blessing of our Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve; Midnight Mass; Christmas dawn; Day Mass; festive dinner and supper; outdoor Christmas decorations; Mass on the Feast of St Stephen. Enjoy!    

November-December 2017 at Santa Rita Abbey Christmas is just around the corner, but here's a little news from November and early December. We'll publish a Christmas journal entry sometime after the New Year. Thanksgiving Day We hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a lovely day of thanks-giving on Nov 23. Here are a few photos from our own celebration: Fr. Jim at the altar during Mass, Sisters receiving communion, and everyone helping in the kitchen afterward. We shared our Thanksgiving dinner with Fr. Jim, our chaplain, and our Benedictine brothers from neighboring Erlac Monastery. Sr. Clare's 90th Birthday Our Sr. Clare became a nonagenarian on Nov 27! She is the first of us to reach this august age, and...

October 2017 (part 2) at Santa Rita Abbey Annual Retreat & A Little Halloween Fun Our annual community retreat was the week of October 15-21 this year. We stay right here for our retreat, but we take a holiday from our Cistercian Altar Bread bakery production. We never take a holiday from prayer, however, so we got up at 3:00 a.m. for the Office of Vigils as usual, then Lauds at 7:00 and Vespers at 5:00 p.m. (a little early for the retreat). Fr. Francis Michael came from Holy Spirit Monastery in Georgia to be our retreat director this year. Each morning Fr. FM presided at the Eucharist for us, preached the homily, and afterwards gave us a retreat conference...

September-October 2017 at Santa Rita Abbey Mother Vicki was away at our Order's General Chapter for most of the month of September. It is always an extraordinary experience to be among abbots and abbesses of our Order from all around the world--the unity of the Order, of the Church, of the human race, is profoundly felt. A highlight was the private audience with the Holy Father in Rome. See the red circle in the photo above? That's our Mother Vicki among the capitulants in the aula at the Domus Pacis conference center in Assisi, Italy. To see more...

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...