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FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT1 Sm 16: 1b, 6-7, 10-13a; Ps 23: 1-3, 3-4, 5,6; Eph 5: 8-14; Jn 9: 1-41

On this 4th Sunday of Lent, one usually recognizes that the celebrant of Mass wearing pink vestments.  I find it refreshing and encouraging so to speak, that it is almost the celebration of the Resurrection of Our Lord, Easter Sunday.  This Sunday is meant to give us hope and encouragement as we slowly progress towards the Paschal Feast.  Even from the Entrance Antiphon, we read, “Rejoice Jerusalem!  Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her, you who mourned for her, and you will find contentment at her consoling breasts.” (Is 66:10-11)

In the Gospel, Jesus uses mud to heal blindness.  Do I really believe that God can be doing this?  How can Jesus spit into the ground and and make saliva and smear it into the blindmans’ eyes?  God is mystery and can do ALL THINGS.  But I ask, maybe the man was not really blind?  Maybe it was all a lie?

May we have the grace to believe in God’s action within our daily lives, and may Our Lord touch your life with seeing with the eyes of Faith!  God bless each of your families during this time of Lent.  SK

MARCH 25, 2017, ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD – Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass in Monza Park for the people of the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy on Saturday during a pastoral visit, reflecting on the annunciation of Jesus as a message of joy at the peripheries of society.  He said specifically during his sermon, “When we open to allowing ourselves to be helped or counseled and when we open ourselves to grace, it seems that the impossible begins to become reality.”  (Vatican Radio)

February 10, 2017, was a very special day for our community in that we received new veils.  We had prayed and discussed this decision and found it appropriate that we wear the very traditional veil with wimple.  Sister Guadalupe spent time after her home visit with the Benedictine Nuns of Vera Cruz, Mexico, to learn how to sew the new veils.   When we made the change on Feb 10th, S. Guadalupe helped each of us with a special time of silence.  We then processed into the Chapel.  The actual blessing  was by Abbot Philip who gave a sermon followed by a formal sprinkling of holy water on our veils. Our Novice continues to wear the original white veil given to her and God willing, in two years, she will receive a new veil as a Junior sister.  Now, can you recognize who’s who?

Effective January 1, 2017, Sister Hilda Tuyuc, was appointed Prioress of our community, a blessing by Abbess Mary Barnes,  of the Benedictine Abbey, Jamberoo, Australia.  Sister Benedicta Serna, will be relieved of her position as Prioress, so that she can have time and space to recuperate.  We are very grateful for the service that Sister Benedicta has provided over the last eleven years.

In 1986, former Sister Hilda entered the Missionaries of the Eucharist in Guatemala and spent ten years doing missionary work.  During that time, she met Benedictine monks in Guatemala, and knew she wanted to be one of them, but there were no Benedictine nuns in Guatemala.  When she found Benedictines in New Mexico, USA, she wrote asking the community to give her an opportunity to visit.  They said yes.  The American Embassy made it very difficult for her to obtain a Visa; not until Sister Julianne Allen, former Superior of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert and Father Christian Leisy, from the Monastery of Christ in the Desert went to Guatemala and helped her obtain the Visa in 1998.

Prioress Hilda quotes from the Rule of St. Benedict, that, “Our life in the monastery is ‘ora et labora’.  We gather to pray the Divine Office seven times a day with daily Mass.”   As any monastery, we have a schedule that allows us to spend time doing lectio divina, individual study, and recreation.  Since building a monastery, everything here is small like our Chapel, Guesthouse, etc.  Guests are usually happy to spend time at the monastery.  Our life in here in Gobernador is very simple like Bethlehem or Nazareth at the time of Jesus.  I am very grateful to God and to the community for allowing me to be a part of this monastic journey.  May God be glorified in everything.”

The Holy Father’s prayer intentions for March 2017:        Support for Persecuted Christians – That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.

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.