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listen_jpgAugust 28, 2016 -21st Sunday in Ordinary Time SIR 3:17-18, 20, 28-29 • Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11 • HEB 12:18-19, 22-24ALK 14:1, 7-17 – From the 1st Reading, “An attentive ear is the joy of the wise,” reminds me of the Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue, “Listen with the ear of your heart.”  I’ve been battling this guideline for many years, and have come to the conclusion that it is only by God’s grace that I can do this.  To listen is to be silent.  To be silent is to listen.  The flow of silence can bring joy, less stress and the opportunity for the other to be more receptive.  It’s always the how and the when to listen and to be silent, don’t you agree?  It takes humility and wisdom to know when to speak out.   Maybe the steps of being attentive is to be calm within, and not be judgmental.  During the upcoming fall season, may you take the time to look at the beauty of the changing creation. Blessings of peace to all of you.  SK

SUMMER NEWSLETTER 2016 – Dear Friends,   We hope that you are having a joyful summer with perhaps a visit to our National Parks for the 100th Anniversary Celebrations. We enjoy taking guests to Navajo Lake (13 miles from the monastery) and Aztec Ruins (47 miles from the monastery). We’d love to share these national treasures with you during your stay at our guesthouse!

bulto_mary_2For the 26th Anniversary of our founding, February 2, 2016, a dear friend of the monastery gifted us with a Bulto of Our Lady of the Rosary, to add to our collection.  Bultos are wooden carvings of Santos (saints).  This primitive form of art is part of our state’s history, brought to New Mexico by the early Spanish Conquistador settlers.   “We put all our confidence in you, oh Lady of the Rosary, since your prayers before God are most powerful. For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus, your loving Son, hear and grant our prayers.   Sweet Heart of Mary, pray for us.”

In November 2015, we applied for a $5,400, grant through the Bishops Annual Appeal, Gallup Diocese, to refurbish our St. Joseph Center, especially the flooring, which due to peeling tile, is a growing safety hazard.  We received a check from Bishop James Wall in the amount of $2,000.00, for the renovation.  We use the Center for various lay groups,  hospitality, spiritual renewal, evangelization, ongoing education and large groups for Sunday Mass.  Could you please consider helping us to complete the total project which includes chairs, tables and a new heating and cooling unit, with a gift of $25.00?

The sisters are all doing fine.  Rosario Rosario R., from Mexico spent three months with us as an Observer.  She was a a delight and has returned back home to discern her next step.

Our Postulant, Dailesi, loves gardening.  She and Sister Mary attended a “Prescribed Burn for Private Land Owners.”  Tthrough this workshop State Forestry will advise us regarding restoration of our land to its original natural habitat and grasses.

Mother Julianne continues to inspire us with her wisdom and always manages a smile!   Sister Hilda and Sister Guadalupe continue to lead the liturgy and are doing a great job.  Sister Agnes Le tends beautiful vegetable and flower gardens.  For three months, Sister Agnes Le took care of Rosco, our Chaplain, Father Thomas Benedict’s dog while he was away helping at St. Benedict’s Abbey near Polokwane, South Africa. He assisted with formation classes and generally filled in.  This gave, Father Jeffrey, our Chaplain, a time of respite from his duties as Prior of St. Benedict’s Abbey and his first visit to the USA.  Welcome back to Father Thomas-Benedict!  Sister Kateri spent two weeks with her parents as they need continued assistance.  She also enjoyed a short visit with  her 7-year-old grandson, Andrew Thomas.  On my birthday I landed up in the hospital for two days with a blood clot in my leg.  Not to worry all is well with modern treatment. This experience gave me a greater appreciation for 63 years of good health and a deeper understanding of St Benedict Rule to keep death always before us.

Sister Kateri and Mother Benedicta presenting a check for the new building of the St. Rose of Lima Parish Hall, to Father Jim Walker, Pastor, after Mass on Father’s Day, June 19, 2016.
Sister Kateri and Mother Benedicta presenting a check for the new building of the St. Rose of Lima Parish Hall, to Father Jim Walker, Pastor, after Mass on Father’s Day, June 19, 2016.

Our 6th Annual Ice Cream Social in June was a fun event with over 400 people, sharing a meal, auction, raffle, door prizes, entertainment and the special Bingo organized by the Knights of Columbus.  Thank you to all who participated and especially those who volunteered.  The grand prize of a Pilgrimage to Rome for two (donated by an anonymous donor) went to Madeleine M., from Farmington.   $22,322, was raised for the joint fundraiser with St. Rose of Lima Parish, half of the proceeds went to support the building of a new parish hall for St Rose in thanksgiving for the 1 ½ years we lived at St Rose Of Lima Church as we set up the monastery in Gobernador, 2007-2009.

Know that we continue to pray for you and your loved ones.   God bless you with peace and joy! Mother Benedicta Serna, OSB, Prioress

Prayer for Vocations:  God, Our Father, Thank you for your son, Jesus, our Good Shepherd, who leads us to fullness of life.  By our baptism, we are called by name to continue the mission of Jesus.  Give us the grace to listen with an open heart to the voice of Jesus and to respond generously with a joyful spirit. Strengthen the men and women you called to serve through marriage, the single life, the diaconate, priesthood, and consecrated life. Guide all who are discerning their Christian vocation. In gratitude we offer this prayer through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, united with you forever. Amen.

Picture taken on the 26th anniversary of our Founding, February 2, 2016, Presentation of the Lord
Picture taken on the 26th anniversary of our Founding, February 2, 2016, Presentation of the Lord.

The Year of Mercy December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2016          james_wall_door From the Bishop: Opening the Door to the Year of Mercy

This Year of Mercy does not mean that Christ is suddenly more receptive to us than before. He has always loved us and desired us to know, love, and serve Him. Rather, this year is meant to stand in stark contrast to violence and evils committed by human beings which at times can be overwhelming. We must remember that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Heb 13:8). This is the ongoing pilgrimage of the Church: to move always toward Christ. What better way for a fallen world to make that pilgrimage than through a door, a symbol of hope, of grace, and of mercy.  In Christ, Bishop James S. Wall”                                                                             (from “Voice of the Southwest,” December 15, 2015)

BISHOP’S ANNUAL APPEAL, GALLUP DIOCSE – The Bishop’s Annual Appeal of Gallup has undertaken to raise the funds necessary to fulfill the mission of the Catholic Church in the Diocese.  We are very thankful to have received recently a check for $2,000.00, for our “Welcome Center” Project (new flooring), St. Joseph Center.  We are excited to get the project going  since the tile at the St. Joseph Center is a growing safety hazard.  

 MISSION STATEMENT – The Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert is a monastic community of women in the Benedictine tradition.  We profess vows of stability, conversion of life and obedience.  Our primary mission is to seek God through a life of prayer, silence and solitude.  Our way of life frees us to give glory and praise to God, intercede through prayer for the needs of the world and hospitality.