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One Heart and One Soul: Stories from our Monastic Home

"And so we are going to establish a school for the service of the Lord...For as we advance in the religious life and in faith, our hearts expand and we run the way of God's commandments with unspeakable sweetness of love." Rule of Benedict, Prologue 45-49

The Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

Greetings,Sacred Heart of Jesus Icon Author Mary Charles references Yankton Benedictines Sacred Heart Monastery Sisters

Tonight we begin our celebration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the patronal feast of our monastery.  We will begin this evening with first Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours.  The celebration continues on the day of the Feast with our prayer and Eucharist being celebrated in the Bishop Marty Chapel.  The Psalms and antiphons all echoing the reminders of Christ’s great love for us poured out through His Sacred Heart.

“Let us love one another with fervent love, endure one another’s infirmities; patiently serve and obey one another, and prefer nothing whatever to Christ.”
~ Vespers Antiphon

“Thus says the LORD: When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son.  Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love
~ Hosea 11

The day of prayer is accented with little joys to join in the celebration:  flavored coffee during the day and time to gather for laughter and recreation.  These little joys are part of our family tradition too.  Tradition runs deep in our Benedictine life.  The mosaic of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (below) in the Chapter room of the monastery.  He has was designed by the artisan sisters in our community; each sister in our community joined in the art by placing individual tiles within the design.  The lintel block of our name (below) was placed above our early convent doorway over a hundred years ago.  When we rebuilt the monastery in 1999-2000, the lintel was preserved and still declares our presence.  Today, it is built into the retaining wall of the flowerbeds in front of the monastery.

We invite you to join us in Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel for our celebration of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

~ First Vespers ~ Thursday, June 22nd at 5:15 PM
~ Lauds ~ Friday, June 23rd at 6:30 AM
~ Celebration of the Eucharist following prayer at approximately 6:50 AM
~ Vespers ~ Friday at 5:15 PM

Sacred Heart of Jesus Chapter Room Theology Institute Icon

…Community Prayer of Dedication to the Sacred Heart…
God of all creation, and God of our hearts,
on this feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
we remember the love with which you first loved us.
We remember the gift of your Son,
Jesus Christ who brings us to birth and feeds us
with the blood and water flowing from his side, pierced on the cross.  

Inspired by the Spirit of Love, we desire to give our hearts to you,
and to make the heart of Jesus our own.
Through his most Sacred Heart
we consecrate to you our monastery, the life and work
of each member of this community, and our beloved sick.
We ask you to receive this offering, which we make through Christ,
in the power of the Holy Spirit, one with you forever and ever.  Amen.
  

Blessings to you,

May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her ~ Sister Pierre

To Paradise now may the angels bring you,
and may the martyrs now come to meet you on your way,
and may you be led into the holy city Jerusalem.
All the choirs of angels make you welcome there,
and with Lazarus once so ill and poor,
may peaceful joy be now forever yours.
~In Paradisum
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Blessings to you,

May Perpetual Light Shine Upon Her ~ Sr. Leonette

To Paradise now may the angels bring you,
and may the martyrs now come to meet you on your way,
and may you be led into the holy city Jerusalem.
All the choirs of angels make you welcome there,
and with Lazarus once so ill and poor,
may peaceful joy be now forever yours.
~In Paradisum
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Blessings to you,

Chapter Meetings, Prioress Installation, and Pentecost Joy

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.
 .
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.
 .
Prayer schedule changes during Monastic Chapter…
 .
Thursday:  Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel
8:30 AM ~ Lauds, morning prayer
8:50 AM ~ Celebration of the Eucharist
4:45 PM ~ Vespers, evening prayer
 .
Friday:  Bishop Marty Memorial Chapel
8:30 AM ~ Lauds, morning prayer
8:50 AM ~ Celebration of the Eucharist
5:15 PM ~ Vespers, evening prayer
 .
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
.
Blessings to you,

Peace Chapel Renovations

Greetings,

Over the past year, our sisters have been meeting with liturgical advisers and artists, seeking to renew our Peace Chapel space.  We desired to keep many of our original sacred elements: the hand carved legs of the altar and ambo, the simple black iron candle stands, as well as the tabernacle, eternal light, and stands designed by one of our sisters.  We were also planning for our sisters; chairs with arms to support our elders, chairs with padding to warm the color of the Chapel and absorb the echo from the brick and sandstone walls.

Our central worship space was back-lit by our beautiful stained glass windows.  However, the light from the windows and open walkway space distracted our focus of vision and prayer from the altar, the center of our Eucharistic Celebration.  It was advised to create a solid wall to backdrop and draw due honor to the altar, ambo, and presider’s chair.  Both pictures show our Chapel during the Easter Season, and the Easter banners and Candle highlight the joy-filled season in our new Peace Chapel.  As the Church seasons change, our sisters will bring different artwork, banners, and statues to highlight the space and draw our prayers together at the altar.  You are welcome to join in the prayer of the Divine Office and the Celebration of the Eucharist with us weekdays in the Peace Chapel.

Let the oratory be what it is called, a place of prayer; and let nothing else be done there or kept there. When the Work of God is ended, let all go out in perfect silence, and let reverence for God be observed, so that any sister who may wish to pray privately will not be hindered by another’s misconduct (Rule of Benedict, chapter 52).

Easter in the Peace Chapel before renovation.

Easter in the Peace Chapel after renovation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Peace Chapel’s new chairs warm the room, soften the sound, and even sport new book-holders for our prayer and Mass books.

We have also been renovating the chapel set aside for the reservation of the Eucharist.  The tabernacle has always held a place of honor in the center of the space, but the pale curtain did not fully highlight the tabernacle.  The renovation changed the curtain out for another wall, this one with a slight curve and a warm and rich color to draw our eyes to the center.  The deep wine of the wall brings an even greater shine to the tabernacle peak and causes the contrast of the oak and iron to stand out.  You are welcome to take time in your day to rest and pray with our Lord.

And at other times also, if anyone should want to pray by herself, let her go in simply and pray, not in a loud voice but with tears and fervor of heart. She who does not say her prayers in this way, therefore, shall not be permitted to remain in the oratory when the Work of God is ended, lest another be hindered, as we have said (Rule of Benedict, chapter 52).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings to you,

 

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ARCHIVED Stories of our Monastic Life

 Bishop Marty Chapel Stained Glass Nuns Sisters Scribe Writing Yankton Benedictines Sacred Heart Monastery

Monastic Horarium

Our weekday schedule at the Monastery.
6:00 AM ~ Early Breakfast
6:30 AM ~ Lauds in Peace Chapel
6:50 AM ~ Mass
7:30 AM ~ Breakfast
* Ministry and Service
12:00 PM ~ Lunch
12:45 PM ~ Noon Praise
* Ministry and Service
5:15 PM ~ Vespers in Peace Chapel
5:45 PM ~ Supper Evening
* Recreation and Compline
blog image- Wooden door inside Bishop Marty Chapel

The weekend horarium allows for a reflective start to the day.

7:00 AM ~ Breakfast
8:30 AM ~ Lauds
         Saturday in Peace Chapel

         Sunday in Bishop Marty Chapel

* Ministry and Service
12:00 PM ~ Lunch
12:45 PM ~ Noon Praise
* Ministry and Service
Saturday Evening
         Supper, Vespers, and

         Recreation in Living Groups

Sunday Evening
5:00 ~ Vespers Bishop Marty Chapel
5:30 ~ Supper
*Recreation and Compline

 

Prayer for Vocations

Prayer for Vocations God of Love,
You call us to live in your love through the grace of our baptism.
Bless us with the courage to carry out the mission of Jesus.
Grant us open and generous hearts to see the needs of others
and to respond with compassion.
May the Church be blest with women and men who are dedicated to you through marriage, the single life,
the diaconate, priesthood, and the consecrated life.
It is in Christ and through Christ
that we offer ourselves to you now and forever. ~Amen

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I entered our Monastery on January 3rd, 1998. After professing my temporary vows, I began to teach high school English and speech. During this time, our community accepted me into Perpetual Monastic Profession. Now, I am teaching Theology while living on ‘mission’ in a city not too far from the sisters at the Monastery. Benedictine life is filled with opportunities to learn from the constant call to minister to each other. My stories and tales grow out of these opportunities to serve and learn within community life. blog

Eucharistic Love

Pope Francis said, “The Eucharist affects the way we see others. In his life, Christ manifested his love by being with people, and by sharing their desires and problems. So, too, the Eucharist brings us together with others–young and old, poor and affluent, neighbors and visitors. The Eucharist calls us to see all of them as our brothers and sisters, and to see in them the face of Christ.” ~ February 14, 2014 General Audience.

God Bless You for Visiting!

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