A few weeks ago two of our sisters headed off to the Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, Texas for a meeting of the Association council. Sr. Mary Catharine is first councilor and Sr. Denise Marie is treasurer of the council. The sisters flew off while the rest of the community was in the midst of a stomach flu epidemic, and we hoped and prayed they wouldn’t bring the bug to our sisters in Texas! (And it seems like they didn’t!)
Meeting in the novitiate’s common room.
Going over the schedule for the 2016 General Assembly.
The Council with Fr. Walter Wagner, the religious assistant.
After their meeting, as the sisters were flying back to New Jersey, they got stuck in North Carolina when their connection home was cancelled due to a snow storm. They did some quick thinking and sent an SOS to the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration at the St. Joseph’s Monastery in Charlotte. Thankfully the Poor Clares were able to take in our sisters for the night! Not only were our sisters able to find beds for the night, but they were also able to pray the Divine Office with the Poor Clares and attend Mass before catching a new flight back home the next day.
A big ‘thank you’ to the Poor Clares for their gracious hospitality!
Back on Sunday, February 8th we had our “Open Parlor” event for the Year of Consecrated Life. Snow was predicted so we were uncertain how many people to expect. Some sisters thought no one would come, others thought it would be packed. We decided to err on the side of too much when it came to refreshments.
(L-R) Sr. Mary Jacinta, Aspirant Tracy, Sr. Mary Catharine, and Sr. Maria display some of the goodies they baked for the event.
Sr. Judith Miryam with her earthquake cookies fresh from the oven.
The sisters who predicted a packed house turned out to be right! So many people stopped by to say hello and to pray with us. We met many, many people who have been coming to our chapel for years and had never met us! They were so grateful for the opportunity, and we were so happy to meet them.
Gathering on our side of the parlor.
Booklets on the history of Rosary Shrine were put out.
Tracy, Sr. Mary John, and Sr. Judith Miryam greet visitors.
Sr. Maria and Sr. Mary Veronica
Sr. Mary Magdalene converses as Tracy and Sr. Mary Jacinta sneak into the back of the picture. (Sr. Maria-Agnes is directly in front of them.)
We were happy to see not only new faces, but also dear friends and family!
Sr. Mary Jacinta, Sr. Maria-Agnes, and Sr. Maria
Unfortunately not all of us were able to come to the parlor. Some had duties elsewhere (such as keeping their hour of rosary in choir!) but others were sick from a bug that’s been going around. If you stopped by for a visit with the Lord in the past few weeks and noticed that the Blessed Sacrament was reposed, it is because so many sisters were sick that we were unable to cover all the hours of ‘guard’. Thankfully everyone is back on their feet and the Blessed Sacrament is back on the Throne!
It’s not easy keeping an old monastery in top top shape, especially not in the frigid weather we’ve been having. Today one of our sisters had, as she calls it, an “adventure” due to some temperamental machinery. We have a “mini-vator” that allows sisters who need it to access the basement level without having to use the stairs. One unfortunate feature is that it is actually on the cloister, enclosed only by screens on the first floor. Today said sister was travelling between floors when the mini-vator abruptly stopped working. Try as she might she could go neither up nor down. Luckily there is a phone installed in the mini-vator for just such emergencies and sister was able to use the phone to call us for help. (Being outside, no amount of shouting would have reached us.)
We promptly called our handy-man….whose voicemail box was full, so we couldn’t leave a message! No worries, Sr. Mary Magdalene has a reputation around here for her strength and facility with all things mechanical. Sister quickly pulled the cover off, picked up the turning stick, climbed a ladder and began working to get sister to one floor or the other. Don’t be fooled by sister’s lightweight jacket (the first thing she grabbed), it was very cold out for New Jersey with a windchill of -6!
Alas, despite her best efforts our trapped sister remained trapped. There was nothing to do but call for professional help.
Once our wonderful local firemen arrived, Sr. Mary Magdalene explained the technicalities of working the manual turner and the firemen took turns on the ladder raising the mini-vator to floor level. Thankfully they were successful and our sister was freed from her temporary prison! She was greeted with a steamy cup of hot chocolate prepared by thoughtful sister.
Not surprisingly, this is not the first time a sister has been trapped in the mini-vator. Nor the first that the firemen were needed to rescue them. Let’s hope, though, that it was the last!
Thank you, Summit Fire Department!