Journal

August 15, the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the patronal feast of our Cistercian order, so we always celebrate it with special joy. But this year our joy was doubled as we celebrated our Sister Kate's Golden Jubilee of vows. Three members of Kate's family traveled from Pennsylvania for the occasion. Our good friend Fr. John Denburger from the Abbey of the Genesee in New York presided at the Jubilee Mass. Many of our local friends attended the Mass. Later in the day we had a festive meal just with the Sisters, Kate, and her family. We thought you would enjoy the photos.  We couldn't include every photo of our guests, but the presence of...

Monsoon season is here and the hills and valleys around us are turning a glorious green.   The season began with a bang, quite literally, when lightning struck one of the electric poles on our property, and fried the transformer for our water system. Only a few hours after the electric company fixed this problem, a furious storm knocked out power to a larger local area.  Due to the extreme conditions, it was 10:30 the next morning before power was restored everywhere.  God bless the electric company repair crews!  They work long hours this time of...

On May 5, our good friend Fr. Miguel Mariano, pastor of St. Odilia's Parish in Tucson, brought a group of nearly 50 parishioners for a visit in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life.  Sr. Pam was asked to give them a brief talk about our Cistercian way of life, and then she and Sr. Nettie gave them a special tour of our altar bread bakery and the art studios.  Fr. Miguel celebrated Mass for the Sisters and guests in the monastery church.  Lunch followed, picnic style, in the cottonwood grove behind the bakery.  ...

On April 18th Grand Knight Dean Moulis and five other Knights of Columbus from Council #6842, at Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley, came for a volunteer work day, along with District Deputy Doug Cook from Rio Rico. They were a great help to us with various outdoor jobs--mowing, weed whacking, tree trimming, and cleaning the garage.  Thank you, gentlemen, you were terrific!                       Meanwhile,...

Hello there!  We have some catching up to do, so here is the first installment: To begin, we'll back up all the way to the first weekend of March and the Diocese of Tucson's Catholic Conference, Co-workers of the Vineyard, Thursday March 5 - Saturday March 7.  Bishop Kicanas called the conference for the purpose of fostering the faith growth of all Catholics of the diocese as people of Faith, Hope, and Charity.  Several keynote speakers and numerous workshops offered a wide variety of inspiring topics. We Sisters of Santa Rita, along with other artistic Sisters & Brothers in the diocese, were invited to be part of the Sonoran Spirit Art Exhibit in the exhibit hall during the conference. So with the creative...

Nature is putting on her nicest finery in leaf and bloom in celebration of the Paschal Season.  Everything speaks of joy!  This past week our joy was overflowing with the visit of our  Mary-Ellen of Wrentham on Easter Monday and the arrival of Nettie on Tuesday.  So we had abundant celebration with a wonderful supper together and much reminiscing of past visits.  Here's a group shot of us all: Then on Thursday, we had our annual picnic which our Springtime chaplain, Fr. Matthew and our good friend, Julie Swain throw for us.  Julie brings her two "pups" with her:  Luke and Seurat.  They are search and rescue dogs that Julie has trained -- and totally lovable.  Luke is really four...

Happy Easter! All of us here send our love and prayers for a most blessed and joyous season to all. Spring has definitely come to the high desert here in Sonoita. Banks of purple and yellow iris wave greetings in the sonoran winds that come at this time of the year. Almost all the trees have greened out, except for the pecan, which is a bit more timid about the cooler mornings. But it won't be long. Our forsythia have long since bloomed and our pear and plum trees, too. Such a hopeful, vibrant time of year. It is hard to believe that Lent is over and we are in the Paschal Season. Sometimes time seems to fly like the wind...

Hello, friends! Since our last entry we have been visited by many angels and we'd like to share our joy with you. The first angel to visit us was our dear Pastor Bill of St. Theresa's Parish and Our Lady of the Angels Mission. We celebrated at two tables!       The next angel to drop by was our beloved friend of many years, Fr. Ed from Green Valley.  It had been a while since we had seen him last, so our joy was running over to have him celebrate Mass and visit with us. ...

Our Christmas Chronicle Here we are approaching the last day of the Christmas Season, and we want to share with you our Christmas Chronicle in a little different format this time: in pictures!  It all started with Christmas tree decorating ... and moved on to the refectory ...         Meanwhile in the kitchen, cooks were busy creating all sorts of wonderful Christmas treats to fill our table ...             and Pam, and Theresa our Observer, put up the Christmas lights ... [caption...

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT This evening we light our final Advent Candle, a candle of fulfillment. The fullness of time has come. During this Advent Season, we have tried to respond in love to the divine spark in each person, each circumstance, all creation. We have trodden the Way, who is none other than the person of Jesus, this way that is the path of love. We have surrendered in trust and gentle abandon to a God whose being is joy. And now this week, as we prepare to celebrate once more the earthly coming of Jesus into his creation, a time of fulfillment. The flame of this candle announces that God will fulfill all that he has ordained for...