Journal

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...

  Summertime at Santa Rita Abbey What a lovely summertime we are having, overflowing with life!  Two chaplains, newborn fawns, young ravens, fresh tomatoes, rain and more rain, visits from friends of the monastery, and two new volunteer helpers just arrived ... Fr. Francis Michael, a monk of Holy Spirit Monastery in Conyers, Georgia, has been with us for seven weeks as chaplain.  We are grateful to his abbot and community for lending him to us.  When not celebrating Mass with us, he spent many enjoyable hours bird watching and hunting for damselflies and...

Our new Volunteer Helpers program is off to a great start!  Our visit first volunteer was here for the month of June.  She stayed at the retreat house, joined the community for Mass and the Divine Office, and lent a capable hand wherever she was asked--retreat house, altar bread bakery, monastery kitchen (she's a great cook!) and house cleaning.  We are grateful to her for her generosity to our community, and we pray that she has taken many blessings home with her from her time here.  Our next volunteer is scheduled to come in August, and a third volunteer is signed up for...

Rachel Tucci from the University of Arizona's Hydrology Dept. is doing a study of the ground water in the Sonoita Valley.  She took samples from our well on May 14th.  By evaluating isotopes and other things in the water, it is possible to theorize the water's source; that is, did it come from rain falling on the Santa Rita Mountains or from an underground river?  Fascinating!  We look forward to learning about our water from her report on the valley. On May 19th we launched our official Facebook Page!  They say the young people are all on Facebook, and so we are hoping...

We celebrated a double Jubilee on April 23 for our Sisters Margarita and Pamela.  50 years of religious vows for Marg, and 25 years for Pam!  A day of joy and gratitude for all!  Msgr. Tom Cahalane and Fr. Greg Adolf, pastors of Our Mother of Sorrows in Tucson and St. Andrew's Parish in Sierra Vista, respectively, concelebrated the Jubilee Mass. Family members, Sr. Jeanne Bartholomeaux, (Vicar for Religious for our diocese), and a number of our friends joined us for the occasion.  Here are a few photos we want to share with you.                   [caption...

Happy Easter to one and all! We wish you every blessing in this joyous season. Holy Week ceremonies and the Paschal Vigil were rich and deep and we hope that it was the same for you. All went well, with no mishaps – as can sometimes happen! We could write a book about things going wrong during these ceremonies. We have been blest in having Sr. Janice of Mt. St. Mary’s Abbey with us for a week. She will accompany our dear “snowbird” Denise back to Wrentham this Tuesday. Fr. Casimir will be leaving us that day, too. It has been wonderful to have them with us to share in Easter joy and celebrations and they will be missed. Our...

Here it is, the final few steps in the journey of Lent. Already the eastern sky is beginning to glow with the promise of the rising sun. We will soon enter into the holy days of Jesus’ merciful love made manifest. May these days be rich with the mercy and love of God for you!  Our trees and flowering bushes are alive with color, especially the forsythia. Our beautiful Bradford pear tree is dropping its petals in the winds we have been experiencing, but the tender spring-green leaves are covering it now. What a glorious sight!! Now we are busy with Easter preparations: singing practices, all sorts of delicious aromas coming from the kitchen, the grounds around the abbey worked...

Lent began early this year, and so did the warm weather.  Some of the trees and flowers are on the verge of opening, but its way too early for them blossom, since we could have another frost any time.  With the sun rising earlier each morning and the days growing longer, it really does feel like spring.  But its only the middle of February.  Anything could happen between now and Easter!  And we're hoping if it does happen, it will be rain.  We did very well with the rainfall last year: 22.7 inches--that's the most we've had in a year since 2000!  So we are hoping and praying that 2016 will be another good year for moisture.   Our raven...