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Welcome to our Sacred Stones, Sacred Stories blog site. Through it we hope to post updates on our monastery renovation project so you can follow its progress from beginning to end.

Click here to read Sr. Pat’s welcome

“Cleanse us, Lord, by the saving baptism of your Son’s Passion,
 so that on the Feast of Saint James,
 whom you willed to be the first among the Apostles 
to drink of Christ’s chalice of suffering,
 we may offer a sacrifice pleasing to you.
 Through Christ our Lord.”

We wish to thank everyone who helped celebrate the beautiful life of Sister Lupita.

The chapel was overflowing with those there to witness her ministry and devotion to religious life and her community. The attendance reflected the many categories of people Sister Lupita touched: members of the Knights of Columbus, priests, deacons, seminarians, religious sisters, young women discerning a calling, her family and her Benedictine community.

“Sister Lupita touched many people and groups with her quiet interest in them,” Sister Joan said. “She tended relationships and that was evident in all who showed. I have rarely been so moved by the quality of liturgy and the whole assembled congregation.”

Monsignor Raul Trevizo, Sister Lupita’s spiritual advisor, was the main celebrant and delivered a beautiful homily emphasizing Sister Lupita’s three great loves: God, her family and her community. Father Miguel Mariano, former vocations director for the Diocese of Tucson and one who collaborated with Sister Lupita for many years, was also instrumental in planning the service.

The bilingual service also included a letter written by Bishop Kicanas and a Mariachi band comprised of her nieces and nephews. Sister Joan placed the cross on her casket, Sister Ramona placed the Rule of Benedict and Lucia Ann the Scriptures.

We are so grateful to the Knights of Columbus who provided food and parked cars. It was a difficult day made easier by the compassion, love and gifts of good friends.

In honor of the small community of Carmelites who call our Clyde, Missouri, monastery home, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel today.


O, most beautiful flower of Mount Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, blessed mother of the Son of God, Immaculate virgin, assist me in my necessity.

O, star of the sea, help me and show me herein you are my mother.

Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who turn to you.

Blessings to Sister Mary Joy Heinlein, OSB who was honored for her 60th jubilee of monastic profession on Saturday at our Tucson, Arizona, monastery. We celebrated her 60 years of faithful prayer and service in our Congregation.



Thoughts from Prioress General Sister Dawn Annette Mills, OSB on the Solemnity of St. Benedict

My favorite antiphon from Lauds of July 11: “Wisdom gave her holy ones the recompense of their labors and conducted them by a wondrous road and became a shelter for them by day and a starry flame by night, alleluia, alleluia.”

This is taken from the Book of Wisdom 10:17. It refers to the people of Israel being led out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. As you know, they were led by a cloud by day and a fire by night.

I have often considered the spiritual life a journey. Christianity was originally known as “The Way.” Our vocation is the particular road that God has called us to walk. Benedict, himself, speaks of this road, “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.” (Prologue: 49-50)

I know Benedict and St. Paul speak of running. Paul goes on to speak of his life as a race. But I believe that we are not so much in a race as on a pilgrimage, and that we are meant to travel as a group.

True, some are rushing on ahead to something they see ahead of us. Others lag behind, looking to where we have been. Others, footsore and weak-kneed are just looking for a place to stop and rest, maybe enjoy the scenery here and now. And that is OK. We are not marching together in lock step. We are a band of the faithful on pilgrimage together.

We don’t need to be going at exactly the same pace or even be here for exactly the same reasons. What is vital is that God has called us to walk together, to encourage each other when the road is hard, when we are weary, when we just want to quit. We are to go together to make sure no one is abandoned or left behind.

The antiphon mentioned above promises us that Wisdom will guide us, giving us shelter by day and light by night. Now in the original story that shelter was a pillar of cloud; sometimes I think that is the Cloud of Unknowing. We don’t know exactly where we are going much beyond some vague notion of “the kingdom” or whatever name we have for union with God.

Sometimes the cloud seems more like a fog, and we may not be able to see the road or the scenery but only the person in front of us. In the darkness we sometimes find overtaking us we can sometimes see the starry flame of hope and trust that gives us direction. Sometimes we can only trust in the internal illumination of those who lead or are up ahead in one way or another.

But this we are promised, by a God who rides on the clouds and who came to live among us as Light from Light, that we are being conducted by a wondrous road in recompense for our labors. Our labor is not in vain. God sees our hearts and behold, in His loving kindness the Lord shows us the way of life.



The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration’s general council has announced the following appointments:

Sister Nancy Rose Gucwa

Sister Nancy Rose Gucwa, OSB has been promoted to director of development. She replaces Sister Dawn Annette Mills, OSB who was elected prioress general in June. Sister Nancy Rose, who began working in the development office in 2008, will manage donor relations and other development duties. She will also manage duties in the correspondence department.


Sister Ruth Elaine Starman

Sister Ruth Elaine Starman, OSB, who was recently elected to a second consecutive term on the general council, has been re-appointed as congregational director of vocations. She will help women discerning a call to religious life and attend conferences related to vocations.

In late May, the Knights of Columbus and their families joined our San Benito Sisters for a day of projects at our monastery in Dayton, Wyoming.


We were overjoyed by all the work the 40 helpers accomplished: sawing and removing fallen trees, cleaning of the gutters, weeding the garden and flower beds, shingling a roof and mowing and caring of the lawns. The hard workers were treated with a picnic.

“It was a cool, lovely day,” Sister Hope Rodenborn, OSB said, “a perfect day for outside work. We can never express enough of our gratitude for all that the Knights and their families do for us.”

We are pleased to announce the winners of our recent raffle:

Barbara McGrane of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the Amish quilt.

Bob Stubblefield of Savannah, Missouri, won the tin tile mirror, and Dorothy Blum of New Washington, Ohio, won the gift box from Monastery Scents.

We thank all who participated in the drawing and who continue to support our Sisters. We understand that you have a choice in the organizations and the people you support financially, and we are so grateful that you include us in your charitable giving.

God has blessed us, and we are joyful in our ministry of prayer for each of you.

The Spring Auction at our Clyde, Missouri, monastery was a wonderful success!

“God blessed our efforts,” sale co-organizer Sister Jane Heschmeyer, OSB said. “It was a terrific event, thanks to all the hard work by our employees, our Sisters and the auction staff. We especially enjoyed meeting new people and learning about the auction culture. It was also nice to find new homes for all the stuff we no longer needed or used.”

The Sisters especially thank auctioneers Paul Spiking, Rod Dollars and Leon Messner and their staff for volunteering their professional services. We are blessed by their friendship and compassion.

Hundreds of bidders turned out for the two-day sale

Sisters and volunteers preparing lunch for auction attendees included (from left) Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist, OSB, volunteer Wanda Goodspeed and Sister Jane Heschmeyer, OSB

Benedictine friend John Richmond and Sister Cathleen Marie Timberlake, OSB

Novice Maria Gara, Auctioneer Paul Spiking and BSPA lay employee Larry Jensen

Sister Laurentia Doyle, OSB and BSPA lay employee Don Combe

Sister Wilmarie Ehrhardt, OSB is all smiles on auction day

Auctioneer Paul Spiking handles the bids

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