Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Tell God I say yes."

Last evening -- March 24-- at First Vespers for the Annuciation our hymn was very striking for me and so early this morning, I did research on the composer John L Bell. He is a hymn writer in Scotland. He gives quite a twist to the normal text of a hymn and it catches one's attention to the meaning of a feast. Below is the text of the hymn

No wind at the window, no knock on the door;
No light from the lampstand, no foot on the floor;
No dream born of tiredness, no ghost raised by fear:
Just an angel and a woman and a voice in her ear.

"O Mary, O Mary, don't hide from my face,
Be glad that you're favored and filled with God's grace.
The time for redeeming the world has begun;
And you are requested to mother God's son.

"This child must be born that the kingdom might come;
Salvation for many, destruction for some:
Both end and beginning, both message and sign;
Both victor and victim, Both yours and divine."

No payment was promised, no promises made;
No wedding was dated. No blue print displayed.
Yet Mary, consenting to what none could guess
Replied with conviction, "Tell God I say yes."

Would it not be a great thing if we could say YES to all God wants of us today!!!

Below are some photos of a painting that Br. Jerome is using for the Annuciation in the Chapel this year.
Unfortunately the glass covering the painting reflects light, but it also picks up the stained glass windows in the chapel.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 21 -- Solemnity of the Passing of St. Benedict

Last Friday we celebrated the Passing of St. Benedict. There are some saints that the church celebrates as both their birth and their passing. For us Benedict is one of them. Of course, Benedict is a very important saint in regard to Western Monasticism and perhaps two celebrations per year is appropriate. The other day that the universal celebrates Benedict is July 11th. However, for our abbey, this celebration is not as large as March 21st is because, naturally, we have less people here at that time. All students are gone.

At any rate, we did celebrate the Solemnity in style last Friday. And we made special mention of all of those connected to Benedict in name. They are below.

                                                                    Br. Benedict Mary

Senior Bennett Bressman

                                                            Senior Ben Connealy

Junior Ben Borsh

Sophomore Benjamin Benes

Sophomore Benjamin Hynes

Sophomore Ben Kohlmeier

Sophomore Benjamin Nigro

Freshman Benedict Murray

    We get alot of mileage of the Benedict that Jim Classe (alum of 1984) designed for the Bell Tower. I use this one in the bottom hallway and some times in the dining room for Benedictine feasts. Thanks need to go to Jim Classe.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Stations of the Cross in the Gym -- Living Stations

Yesterday, March 19th, we did the Way of the Cross in the gym with all of the students. We used the Stations of the Cross that were originally in the Chapel. Below are some photos. We added one more station to the traditional 14. We had a 15th station -- The Resurrection-- and for that station, Alex Miklas held high the Resurrected Jesus that Bernado Oramas painted for us a few years ago.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Visit to Conception Abbey and Seminary

Most of our extended family know that Mount Michael Abbey was founded by Conception Abbey of Missouri. But since there are not too many monks remaing at Mount Michael that were educated at Conception, the connection is perhaps getting farther away.

However, both Abbot Micahel and I are good friends of the present abbot of Conception Abbey-- Abbot
Gregory Polan. We were all in the theology together in the 1970s.

This past Monday of Spring Break, I paid a visit to the Mother House and was able to take two Mount Michael students with me--Charlie Jarosik and David Uwinganji.

It was prefect weather on Monday and it was great to see the monks and seminarians of Conception Abbey and Seminary. We also had a chance to visit Clyde Monastery, near Conception. The Benedictine Sisters there make scented soap which Br. Jerome sells at the guest house of MM. We had to pick up an order for him.

A great time was had by all! When one visits these two Benedictine Monasteries, one experiences hospitality immediately. A special thank you to seminarian, Michael Brungardt, who arranged the visit for our MM students.
Blessings to you always, Michael!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Albion, Ne -- St. Michael's fundraiser

A few blogs ago, I posted an item that will be auctioned at the Night of Knights for Mount Michael. However, it would not be fair to St. Michael's in Albion, Nebraska if I would not do a blog on some items that will be auctioned at their fundraiser as well.

St. Michael's in Albion is where my home is and where I was educated by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery in Yankton, South Dakota. The school there is still going strong -- almost the same as it was when I was there years ago. We also try to help them to keep it alive and able to give quality education.

Their fundraiser is as near to the Feast of St. Patrick's as possible. The parish was very Irish in its origin. So the fundraiser is this coming Sunday-- March 16th.

Below is a photo of a baby quilt I made for them -- it is the famous 9 patch -- actually I inherited the patches and just put them together and quilted the quilt. It is the very first quilt I have ever hand quilted. My mother would be on me about the large stitiches -- I am learning--Mom!!! Be patient with me!!

Below are a few more items for the St. Michael's fundraiser in Albion-- an Easter table runner and place mats-- table setting for four.

The last 3 photos are: St. Michael's Church, the rectory and the elementary school in Albion, Nebraska.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

First Sunday of Lent

Christ is Tempted in the Desert.

One year during Spring Break I actually went to the desert in New Mexico-- to the monastery, Christ in the Desert. One of my classmates from seminary days was a monk there -- Cassian Heath. It was a great experience.

We have a bit of the desert in our chapel every year as well. Br. Jerome creates it with Br. Luke's cacti. I always enjoy this little setting and it reminds me of my experience in the desert.

   Note the basket with paper in it way to right of this photo. This basket contains all the bona operas of
            the monks. A bona opera is the good works the monks have planned to do during Lent.

The painting above is part of the environment in our chapel as well. A Mexican monk painted this for us while he was with us several years ago. I met him while I was at a Benedictine monastery in Cuernavaca. His monastic name is Nicolas Oramas. He was baptized Bernardo. He left monastic life some time ago. I have always wanted to connect with Nicolas again, but have not been able to do so. Perhaps he might type his name into a search engine some day and his painting will come up.

Nicolas entitled this painting: The Resigned Christ.
Note the cross within the chest of Jesus as well.

It truly is an awesome painting.

Have a good Lent!!
Nicolas wherever you are--thank you for all you did for MM while you were here!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Night of Knights Auction Item

The Development Office personnel like to solicit items for the Night of Knights that are made by the monks.

People seem to cherish these items, simply because they are made by the monks.

Since I garden and have a Farmers Market going almost all the time, produce from the garden and baked items as a monthly delivery are acutioned.

And also since I quilt, this year a hand quilted quilt will be auctioned as well with the garden package. This quilt does have some history behind it, since it is one of the first quilts that I have hand quilted. Until this past year, I always tied the quilts that I put together. But I could hear my mother goading me into finally learning the REAL art of quilting by stitching it all by hand. She used to say that she prayed a prayer for the person she was making the quilt with every stitch she made. Wow! Let me assure you -- that is a lot of prayers.

Here are some photos of Fr. John's auction item!