News

Karst Investigation – Continuing

The COVID-19 crisis has slowed all of us down; perhaps it has also helped everyone to pray more and recognize God’s presence in the world – something we tend to miss when we are living according to our usual routines, so often at breakneck speed. The virus has also slowed down our fundraising as well as our Karst evaluation, but it has not stopped either. If all goes as planned (something we can never count on, admittedly), by mid-June we will have the definitive results of the investigation. In the meantime, we continue to pray and to work and to unite ourselves with all who are suffering.

Calm in the Midst of Chaos

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Our Abbot General in Rome gave us these words from Psalm 46 as a reminder of where our focus should be during these days of trial. As great as the suffering is, God is still with us and is guiding us through it all to greater union with Him and communion with each other. Amidst the reports of suffering, there are also many bright and shining lights, examples of charity, of greater concern for one another – many reasons to give thanks.

Due to the generosity of our bishop and vicar general, we are still able to participate in the daily celebration of the Mass. With this enormous privilege comes great responsibility, which we take very seriously. Our prayer, our work, all the little sacrifices we can make, and especially our participation in the Eucharist, are ways we join ourselves more fully to you and beseech God’s grace and blessing upon each of you, and upon everyone in the world.

Our hearts go out to those who cannot participate in the celebration of the Mass. In a recent message to the faithful in the diocese, our bishop included a link to an Act of Spiritual Communion, posted by EWTN. You can find it here: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/act-of-spiritual-communion-339

The publishers of the widely read Catholic periodical, Magnificat, are also providing free access to many of their resources. You can find them at: www.magnificat.com

You can also find further resources and the opportunity to join in the liturgies of our brother monks in Dallas at: https://www.cistercian.org/abbey/news/abbey-news/

In the midst of all this uncertainty, we have not given up hope for a new monastery; indeed, times like these only confirm the need for ongoing prayer and further efforts to ensure that the monastic life will continue. We are still working on the campaign quietly in the background as we can and hope to send further updates soon … as we also wait and watch to see how our Lord works through the current crisis.

Please keep us in your prayers and be assured of ours for all of you. If you have any particular prayer requests, please send them to us.

Fundraising Event in St Paul, MN

On February 20, 2020, Sr. Bede and Sr. Joanna traveled to the Twin Cities, where they both grew up. Archbishop Bernard Hebda graciously joined the sisters and about 50 guests at WA Frost in St. Paul for an evening presentation about the community and our project. The guests were able to view renderings of the new monastery, learn about our contemplative vocation and plans to build and move, watch the video of our life, and ask questions. The Archbishop spoke warmly and movingly about the need for prayer in our world, the vital importance of the contemplative life, and the wonderful opportunity we all have to work together to build something beautiful for God. As always, we are grateful to God for His many blessings and to all who continue to help us on our way.

Karst Investigation – Almost Complete

The karst investigation has in fact revealed some underground adventures: nothing serious, no large voids under the foundations, but enough anomalies that we are still exploring and awaiting the final analysis.

Karst Investigation

Deep underground investigations are underway at the new property. Because of the topography and geology of the area, we were advised to test for karst (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karst). Beyond simple borings, these tests will reveal what lies below the planned site.

Many lengths of cable must be laid for the investigation.

The joys of corn-surfing: An ATV saves lots of time traversing the ¾-mile-long property with cables and equipment.

The cables and electrodes are connected to the ‘brainbox’, a computer that sends signals through the soil-rod electrodes and analyzes them for a 3D view of the strata below the monastery building site and a portion of the entrance road.

Bishop Donald Hying describes the beauty and value of the contemplative life as he addresses the guests who gathered at the monastery.

Bishop Hying Endorses Project

On September 5th, 2019 we welcomed Bishop Hying and a small crowd of guests for an evening of prayer and conversation about our new monastery project. We began by praying Compline (night prayer) together, followed by refreshments and a presentation by the Bishop and a sister on our community and our need. We are grateful to all who joined us, especially our new bishop.

Visitors climb Saint Peter’s Rock to get a bird’s-eye view of the sisters’ new property.

Experiencing the Property

We’ve made several adventurous trips to the new property lately. On June 24th, our fundraising committee reconvened for an update on the progress of the campaign. In between rainstorms and thunderstorms, and maneuvering through layers of mud, we made it out to the new site again, for a beautiful view of the site in its lush summer green.

Early in July, some family members and benefactors also spent an afternoon traipsing through the property, bravely scaling the heights of a craggy rock formation.

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