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Greetings,

This weekend is TRIPLE the celebration for the monastery.  We will be gathering for our Monastic Chapter, installing Sr. Maribeth as our fourteenth prioress, and celebrating the descent of the Spirit upon the Apostles with Pentecost Sunday.

It is wonderfully appropriate that our June Monastic Chapter should coincide with Pentecost, for we rely on the wisdom and guidance of the Spirit as we discern the needs of our monastic community. We also ask for your prayers as all of our sisters, from prioress to novice, travel home to discuss the “important business [that] has to be done in the monastery” (Rule of Benedict 3:1).

Whenever any important business has to be done in the monastery, let the Abbot call together the whole community and state the matter to be acted upon. Then, having heard the brethren’s advice, let him turn the matter over in his own mind and do what he shall judge to be most expedient. The reason we have said that all should be called for counsel is that the Lord often reveals to the younger what is best.

Let the brethren give their advice with all the deference required by humility, and not presume stubbornly to defend their opinions; but let the decision rather depend on the Abbot’s judgment, and all submit to whatever he shall decide for their welfare. However, just as it is proper for the disciples to obey their master, so also it is his function to dispose all things with prudence and justice (Rule of Benedict 3).
However, it isn’t all work and meetings.  All throughout the weekend, we visit with our sisters: catching up on news, sharing joys and sorrows, taking walks and playing favorite games. We also take time to celebrate significant anniversaries.  One evening we will honor our Jubilarians of 50, 60, 70, and even 75 years as professed sisters.
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After two days of meetings, we will celebrating the installation of our Sr. Maribeth as prioress of our monastery.  The Sister President of the Federation of St. Gertrude will present her to the community and install her as prioress according to Canon Law and our Tradition.  “The prioress-elect shall take the oath of office, assume office, and obtain the right and duties of the office of prioress on the day of installation” (General Norms). The prioress’ oath includes several questions.  Two of these are close to the heart of our Benedictine life.
Sister Maribeth, do you promise to encourage your sisters to love God, to live the Gospel, and to observe the Rule of Benedict?
Sister Maribeth, are you resolved to encourage your sisters to be faithful to the traditions of the monastic way of life by example as well as by words?
The new prioress will then be given the Sacred Scriptures and the Rule of Benedict to guide her in the Office of Prioress.  The Federation President will then ask us if we “promise to accept, support, obey, and pray” for our prioress.  If we do, we also pray that “We look to you, our prioress, to unify, teach, heal and minister by your love and service…[that] through prayer and work, we may extend the reign of God in peace and justice that in all things God may be glorified”.  Then Sr. Maribeth, newly installed, will be blessed by the presider of the Mass and our sisters gathered to receive her.
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Prayer schedule changes during Monastic Chapter…
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Thursday:  Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel
8:30 AM ~ Lauds, morning prayer
8:50 AM ~ Celebration of the Eucharist
4:45 PM ~ Vespers, evening prayer
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Friday:  Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel
8:30 AM ~ Lauds, morning prayer
8:50 AM ~ Celebration of the Eucharist
5:15 PM ~ Vespers, evening prayer
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Saturday:  Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel
8:30 AM ~ Lauds, morning prayer
10:30 AM ~ Celebration of the Eucharist, Installation of Prioress
5:15 PM ~ First Vespers for the Solemnity of Pentecost, evening prayer
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Blessings to you,
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