Preparing Classrooms – and Hearts – for School

Whew! July has been a very busy month, with 3 conferences and a visit with my family up in Dubuque. All of it was wonderful, but I am so glad to be back home and getting ready for school! 🙂

St. John Bosco is helping me. He wrote, “It is not enough that young people are loved. They must know that they are loved.” Continue Reading


Summer means BINGO!

Or at least it did today, in our dining room.:)

During the school year, I’m never home during the day for events featuring speakers or performers. Usually the only Sisters who attend are our elders and those who work in administration. And I rarely am home for Mass (I go with my class at school). Continue Reading

Retreat Day #4: Wrestling in the Wilderness

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

The scent of coffee fills the dining room as the Sisters gather, by foot and by wheelchair, for our 4th day of retreat. Today we are treated to the story of Jacob, which we are reminded to read as our own story.

Jacob, whose name means “to grab,” spends a goodish portion of his life taking advantage of others, and controlling whatever he could control. Indeed, when God visits him, Jacob says he will worship Him if God makes good on his promises. Continue Reading

Retreat Day #3: Trusting our Guide along the way

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

Overhead lamps cast a warm glow in the dining room where we have gathered for Day #3. It’s been raining, gently and intermittently, for 2 days. Sister Mary Schmidt’s lettuces are thriving!

Abbot Jerome opened our session this morning by saying there are 2 steps to accepting a vocation. The 1st is to ACCEPT it, but we can get stuck there when we accept it with bitterness or halfheartedness. Continue Reading

Retreat Day #1: The Wilderness is the Way

By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB

At long last, retreat time has arrived at St. Mary Monastery. A profound quiet fills our hallways and rooms. Many smiles and pats on the shoulder replace conversation. The sense of relaxation is palpable.

What do we do during retreat? In some ways, nothing different from usual. We follow our same schedule, give or take an hour. That is, we gather for Lauds, Noonday Prayer, Vespers and Eucharist. We pray Lectio Divina. We take our meals together at noon and 5:30. Continue Reading