Journal

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...

October/November 2016 News from Santa Rita Abbey How did the year zoom by so quickly that Thanksgiving Day is next week?! Yet here we are! Fr. Casimir will return for another stint as our chaplain just in time to celebrate Mass for us on Thanksgiving Day. He will stay for all of Advent, Christmas and into the New Year, leaving on January 9, 2017. We are looking forward to having him here, and are grateful to his abbot and community in Utah for lending him to us once again. In mid-October we had our annual seven-day community retreat with Fr. John Denburger of the Abbey of the Genesee in New York....

September/October 2016 News from Santa Rita Abbey What beautiful weather we are having at Santa Rita Abbey right now! There's something special about blue skies in October. Thanks to the rain in September the grass is still green, and there are yellow wildflowers, of all sizes, in bloom everywhere. Last spring we planted muhly grass in the old rosebush beds at the retreat house. Thanks to the good rains this summer, the grass has thrived and is already blooming! In the evening sky the planet Venus is glowing brightly to the West over the Santa Rita Mountains. In the dawn sky the planet Mercury is making a brief appearance in the...

Here at Santa Rita Abbey we celebrate a Sister's feast day, that is, the feast of her patron saint, more than we do her birthday. In August we have two feast days: Sr. Clare's on August 11 (the feast of St. Clare of Assisi), and Sr. Esther's on August 15 (the feast of the Assumption of Mary.) The feast day Sister has the privilege of choosing her entire dinner menu, and most especially the dessert. Sister Clare requested angel food cake for her special day, and Sister Esther asked for Mother Vicki's wonderful homemade creme puffs.  Yum! Fr. Casimir of Holy Trinity Abbey in Utah was our chaplain...