Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rule of St. Benedict ~ for beginners


"Hearken continually within thine heart, O son, giving attentive ear to the precepts of thy master. Understand with willing mind and effectually fulfil thy holy father’s admonition; that thou mayest return, by the labour of obedience, to Him from Whom, by the idleness of disobedience, thou hadst withdrawn. To this end I now address a word of exhortation to thee, whosoever thou art, who, renouncing thine own will and taking up the bright and all-conquering weapons of obedience, dost enter upon the service of thy true king, Christ the Lord."

St. Benedict starts his Rule off as a welcome to comers to the monastery. 
We are looking forward to welcoming a new Postulant on Monday. 
So lets give the Lord the ear of thine heart, and listen to what is calling us to for the greater glory of His Kingdom. 

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels

May our Guardian Angels always look after us and protect us from the Evil one, and sing us to sleep.

Someone suggested that I should name my Guardian Angel, so that when I need a little extra help (who doesn't) I can call him/her by name.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Prayer of His Holiness Benedict XVI

Ground Zero, New York
Sunday, 20 April 2008

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Friday, August 16, 2013

G ~ is for...


Am I one whose prayer is all petition, asking for everthing and giving thanks for nothing?

Am I grateful to God for all His gifts to me ~ gifts of body and soul?

Do I acknowledge that many contradictions and disappointments have been blessings in disguise?

Am I really grateful fo God's gift to me of a religious vocation?

Spiritual Gem Selections Grand Central Annex New York, N.Y.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

F~ is for....

Looking down into the Easter Holy Water vase. 

Am I one who would see without believing,
 rather than believe without seeing?

Do I see the authority of God in the authority of my superiors?

Do I accept failures and reverses in a spirit of faith?

How can I increase my spirit of faith?

Spiritual Gem Selections Grand Central Annex New York, N.Y.

Monday, August 12, 2013

E~ is for ....

Exercises of the Rule

Do I appreciate the sanctifying effect of the exercises of the Rule?

Is my interest in active works balanced by my fidelity to spiritual exercises?

Do I make an honest effort to resist drowsiness during prayer?

Spiritual Gem Selections Grand Central Annex New York, N.Y.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 8

O Lord, show me what your will is in my life and help me to do it.

I continued to work at various jobs, at one point I had three part-time jobs and one weekend off a month, which I spent at the monastery.
I loved being a teacher, working at the nursing home, and also working with the mentally and physically handicap in their homes.  But I knew that I wasn't called to stay working in this way for life.
I have always tried to figure out what God was trying to teach me in this part of my. I started to think this way since I started my first job as a hostess at King's Family Restaurant when I was 18.
I just kept working and praying that God would find some way to make this work because I couldn't do this on my own, and that is what God was teaching me at this point in my life.
I remember someone coming up to me after Mass one day and said that I have too much faith in God and that he didn't want me to be devastated when God doesn’t answer my prayers. Now I know where he was coming from and that he didn't want to see me hurt, but I took it as a wonderful comment.  This meant that he could see what I couldn’t; I have struggled with my faith in God and still continue to “work” on it.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

D~is for....


Am I excessively concerned about my good name, so much so that I become greatly annoyed by the slightest criticism? 

To whom or what am I attached, and how can I succeed in breaking this detachment?

If God should ask me to give up any article I possess, or friendship I enjoy, or occupation which pleases me, would I, for love of Him, surrender it?

Spiritual Gem Selections Grand Central Annex New York, N.Y.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

C~is for...


Would Our Lord bless each one of my friendships in the degree in which it exists?

Am I sound in my attitued toward holy chastity ~ free on the one hand from scrupulosity and on the other from carelessness?

Is all my external conduct consonant with holy chastity?

What steps am I making to acquire greater chastity of heart?

Spiritual Gem Selections Grand Central Annex New York, N.Y

Monday, July 29, 2013

B~is for...


Do I wish well to all ~to those who have been kind to me and to those who have not? 
If I am not well disposed towards some, am I trying to better my attitude towards them?
Am I sensitive to the faults of others and indifferent to their virtues?

Spiritual Gem Selections Grand Central Annex New York, N.Y.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 7

Yes, You......

Now, after hobbling back to my room, I sat there with my foot up wrapped in ice. The chair was positioned so that you could look at the crucifix on the wall.
I just started to laugh and no I had not taken any pain meds at this point.
I just kept looking at the crucifix and thinking is this the place that God wanted me. Then I would laugh some more.

That same peace came over me again as when I first thought about becoming a religious sister.

But I couldn't tell anyone at this point, after all I had just finished my teaching degree and was a lot more in debt.

I just thought that this situation was funny and out of my control, because if God wanted me here then He would have to work some wonders to make it happen.

And He did...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Happy Name Day Mother Mary Anne

May God continue to bless you in all that you do.
We give thanks to God for the blessing that you have been to this community!

Your Daughters in Christ. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A~ is for...

Acceptance of Grace

May procession 2013 

Am I living a life which God's grace is the principal moving force?

Am I alert to perceive the inspirations of grace in my soul?
Do I take seriously the obligation of striving toward perfection?

Spiritual Gem Selections Grand Central Annex New York, N.Y.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monastic Immersion Experiences

Is Jesus Calling you to follow Him as a Benedictine nun at St. Emma Monastery?

Have you been wondering if you have a monastic vocation?

Do you want to experience the ore et labora of our monastery?

Do you desire a closer look?

Do you want to share our life for a few days but without a commitment to enter on your side?

Single Catholic women, between the ages 16-38, are invited to join us at various times throughout the year to experience our Benedictine monastic life for themselves.

We host several “formal” Monastic Immersion Experiences each year, please see the schedule below for our upcoming dates.  Additionally, individuals are welcome to come for informal Immersion Experiences as their schedules permit.

During these visits, vocation guests have the opportunity to explore the possibility that Jesus Christ might be inviting them to follow Him more closely through a monastic vocation with our community.

Participants take part in our daily schedule of prayer – the daily Eucharist and The Liturgy of the Hours – and in our work in the monastery, in caring for guests and in our gift and book shop.  Recreational time together belongs also to the monastic day.

Time is also provided to spend in silence, reading and reflecting.  Talks with Mother Prioress and the vocation director also offered.  The Monastic Immersion Experiences normally begins with arrival in the afternoon on the opening day and closes after lunch on the closing day.  For those desiring a longer time, arrangements can be made.

Please contact Sr. Mary Clare at 724-610-7586 or email for additional information or to register or an upcoming Monastic Immersion Experience.

Upcoming Monastic Immersion Experiences

Thanksgiving Weekend - 
November 29-December 1, 2013
New Years - January 3-5, 2014

Besides these weekends, you are welcome to come for an informal Immersion Experience at a time that is convenient for you; please let us know about your desire to visit.

Some thoughts shared with us from a participant in one of our Immersion Experiences

The first three days I spent on the Monastic Immersion Experience, all I could think was:  Is this it?  Is this where I’m called?  I found myself growing frustrated and resentful.  Why don’t they give me time to think?!

Kneeling before Him in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, it hit me:  This is a Monastic Immersion Experience.  If you want time to think, go on a silent retreat!

I have seven days here, I thought.  I’m here to experience monastic life the way it really is.  If I’m going to really have that experience, I need to have it in my heart, too.  I will have plenty of time to reflect on the experience from a discernment perspective once I get home.  For now, just live in the moment.

Why is it important to wait on the Lord?  Because I cannot possibly know where I am called by my own power.  Real discernment is too complex to “figure out” on my own.  Once I had seen monastic life from the inside, I understood why you can’t approach discernment as if it were a hunt for the right college.  You have to chill out, and wait on Him.

But like pretty much every other discerner, I want to know where I will be in one year, five years, twenty-five years…  That day before Our Lord at St. Emma’s, I realized that my desire to know — especially to know NOW — is a desire for control.  I want control over my life.  I want to know because the predictability will give me a sense of peace and comfort.  But in having control, I fail to hand my life over to Him.  In finding my peace and comfort in my own power, I fail to find it in Him.

After that hour in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, things got much better.  I felt instantly less frustrated, drained, and impatient.  In fact, I started to have a pretty good time.

When I got home, I was not the same discerner that I was.  These wonderful women gave me a place to stay, three meals a day, an opportunity to learn to pray the Divine Office, great conversation, some wonderful spiritual direction, and loads and loads of love.  But much more importantly, they blessed me with an experience that taught me to wait for Him, and in so doing, they gave me peace.    - JES

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fiat Days , Harrisburg Diocese PA

Vocation retreat for young women, who are keeping their hearts open to the possibility religious life. 

This event was wonderful and all of the young women where very prayerful and willing to ask questions, and the best of all they making connections with the different religious communities.

God bless all who participated in this retreat.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 6

I spent the first part of the week walking and praying. They were having their first Auction /Flea Market. I made the “mistake” of asking if they needed any help. I seemed to kind of fit in with them. I observed how they interacted both in prayer and at work. The day of the Auction I was asked to be at the welcome tent, I had only been there for 4 days at this point, did I mention that I was lost a lot of the time and they wanted me to direct other people....

The Lord works in strange ways. 

This was the first week that I was with out an ankle air cast, I thought that this time of rest and prayer would also help my ankle. I was walking up to the welcome tent carring a hot dog and drink when my ankle slipped off of the sidewalk...yes the same ankle. I hobbled back to my room with an ice pack. Just to let you know I didn't spill a thing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 if they were sacred vessels of the altar, including our Flea Market items.

Let him regard all the vessels of the monastery and all its substance, as if they were sacred vessels of the altar. RB 31 

Yes even at our annual Flea Market. 

Giant Indoor-Outdoor Flea Market Friday, June 14 (10 a.m. - 7 p.m.) & Saturday, June 15 (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.).  Early Bird Evening, Thursday, June 13 (4-7 p.m.); admission $5.00/person.  Air conditioned & handicapped accessible.  Items include Dishes, Glassware, Children’s Items, Furniture, Seasonal Items, Books, CDs, DVDs, knickknacks, tools and much, much more.  Also enjoy halupki, haluski, pierogies, pizza, fish sandwiches, homemade cookies.  Donations welcome, Volunteers needed – please call 724-834-3060.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 5

At this point in my life I stopped looking for an order to join. After all I did spend a long time looking and exploring communities. I spent my 21st birthday picking cherries in Wisconsin with the Franciscans. Now how many people can say that? I then felt the need to find out where God wanted to be. I spent the weekend at the Passionist in Pittsburgh, so I could spend some quality time in prayer. I wanted to figure out if I should go on to be a Teacher or a Physical therapist.  The easiest way for me to make the decision was whatever program I got into the first. I ended up being accepted into the Teaching program at the University of Pittsburgh first so I went on to get my teaching degree.
After going to school, working at a nursing home, and student teaching, I found that I had a week off!
I asked about going back to the Passionaist again but they were full. A priest friend of mine said that he knew another Mother Mary Anne, but she was at St. Emma Monastery. Both of the Superiors had the same name. The only thing that I needed to know was if I could take a bus there.

 I arrived on Monday morning just getting of the midnight shift at the nursing home, the cab driver stated that he was concerned about me when he dropped me off, he just happened to be the same one that took me back to the bus station. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 4

  I became very involved with the undergrad program offered by the Catholic Campus ministers, run by the Fathers of the Oratory. When I say “very involved” at one point one the Fathers stated that I was here at the Newman Center more than the Fathers who lived upstairs. I kept the thought of becoming a religious in the back of my mind and heart. I had a wonderful relationship with a young man from CMU. I was keeping all of my options open. While we were dating I just keep feeling like I was taking away time that I should be giving to the Lord. After a while we ended the relationship and He is happily married with children. I learned a lot about myself during that time, I became aware of the Love one could have for another, but I still felt called to give myself completely to the service of the church as a religious. I started looking into orders, I looked for 6 years.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 3

 I just sat there and pondered where that came from.  I thought that how funny it would be if at this same time next year I would be Catholic and looking into joining an order. I tried to put it out of my head and focused on becoming a medical missionary. But the thought kept coming up, It still gave me greatest sense of peace about what I was going to do with my life.  Everyone asks the famous question, what are you planning to do with your life. The one thought that kept popping up was that I was to join a religious order but I couldn't say that to anyone. The greatest problem with this was that I wasn't catholic and had never met a religious or had even talked to a priest.  So when the RCIA program was announced at the cookout, I knew that I had to join.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 2

 I went to the University of Pittsburgh for my undergraduate degree of Biology. There was only one other person from my graduating class that was going to go to Pitt, main campus in Oakland. She just happened to be Catholic. I went to the Wednesday night cookout during orientation and heard about the RCIA meetings the next week. I just showed up on the door step and asked about converting. 
 I remember that one day while doing laundry the summer before going to Pitt, I was reading a spiritual book by a nun in the basement doing laundry (it was cooler down there)  and then the thought/ image came to my mind about being a religious sister.  

Friday, May 24, 2013

Conversion to Vocation ~ from a Nun at St. Emma part 1

My vocation story starts when I was interested in converting to Catholicism, in my senior year of High School.  I had a friend who was Catholic but hated everything about it, and would complain to me about what went on in the Church and other religious traditions. I wasn't raised in a particular church. I did end up attending the Methodist Church with my mother and step dad when visiting them on weekends. I became very involved in the youth program and went on a mission trip down to Appalachia, and loved it. As I became more and more involved with the Methodist Church I felt like there was something missing. God and thus religion had been around longer than John Wesley and where was the history. So I was listing to what my friend was saying and thinking there is something more in her Church. So I became very interested in the Catholic Church.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pentecost, and the Gift of Tongues

This is the second reading from Vigils Saturday of the 7th week of Easter.
This is a great reading and it explains how we all have the gift of tongues
 if we are willing to share the Gospel in our own language. 

Second reading
From a sermon by a sixth century African author
The Church in its unity speaks in the language of every nation

The disciples spoke in the language of every nation. At Pentecost God chose this means to indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit: whoever had received the Spirit spoke in every kind of tongue. We must realize, dear brothers, that this is the same Holy Spirit by whom love is poured out in our hearts. It was love that was to bring the Church of God together all over the world. And as individual men who received the Holy Spirit in those days could speak in all kinds of tongues, so today the Church, united by the Holy Spirit, speaks in the language of every people.

Therefore if somebody should say to one of us, “You have received the Holy Spirit, why do you not speak in tongues?” his reply should be, “I do indeed speak in the tongues of all men, because I belong to the body of Christ, that is, the Church, and she speaks all languages. What else did the presence of the Holy Spirit indicate at Pentecost, except that God’s Church was to speak in the language of every people?”

This was the way in which the Lord’s promise was fulfilled: No one puts new wine into old wineskins. New wine is put into fresh skins, and so both are preserved. So when the disciples were heard speaking in all kinds of languages, some people were not far wrong in saying: They have been drinking too much new wine. The truth is that the disciples had now become fresh wineskins, renewed and made holy by grace. The new wine of the Holy Spirit filled them, so that their fervor brimmed over and they spoke in manifold tongues. By this spectacular miracle they became a sign of the Catholic Church, which embraces the language of every nation.

Keep this feast, then, as members of the one body of Christ. It will be no empty festival for you if you really live what you are celebrating. For you are the members of that Church which the Lord acknowledges as his own, being himself acknowledged by her, that same Church which he fills with the Holy Spirit as she spreads throughout the world. He is like a bridegroom who never loses sight of his own bride; no one could ever deceive him by substituting some other woman.

To you men of all nations, then, who make up the Church of Christ, you, the members of Christ, you, the body of Christ, you, the bride of Christ—to all of you the Apostle addresses these words: Bear with one another in love; do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Notice that when Paul urges us to bear with one another, he bases his argument on love, and when he speaks of our hope of unity, he emphasizes the bond of peace. This Church is the house of God. It is his delight to dwell here. Take care, then, that he never has the sorrow of seeing it undermined by schism and collapsing in ruins.

To pray the office of Vigils follow the link

Liturgy of the Hours Vol. II:
Proper of Seasons: 1004
Psalter: Saturday, Week III, 1472