For This We Give Thanks…

Spring – Summer, 2020

In 1950, Albert Einstein wrote a beautiful letter of consolation to a grieving father whose  young son had just died of polio. Einstein said: “A human being is a part of the whole called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and
feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature inits beauty….

Creativity: Sister Monika Ellis and the Priory Fiber Arts group have been making lovely Santas and Angels, Gnomes & Crones, jewelry, mugs, decorated boxes, magnets, and Christmas tree ornaments that included peace doves and small Santas. These products were sold at the Olympia High School Bearzaar on November 23rd. The group made their largest sale ever!

Communion—Friends: We very much enjoyed a visit from Sister Redemista Ngonyani of the Chipole Benedictine community in Tanzania for a few weeks last Fall. While here, she spoke of a possible altar bread ministry that her sisters in Tanzania might engage in. Sister Maureen O’Larey worked with Sister Redemista and the Chipole Connection and found an altar bread making machine in Germany. It was shipped to Italy and then on to East Africa. We are truly one with the Bread of Christ.

Connections: On November 10, during the monthly Oblate meeting, new connections were made! Thanks to the research and hard work of Sister Raphaela Cady, Novice Camille Wooden and Sister Lucy Wynkoop, the technology of Zoom was used to include Oblates who were unable to attend the meeting in person. Our Oblate Suzanne Johnson was able to join in the meeting from China through the use of Zoom! Connections far and wide are now possible, connecting hearts and souls.

More Connecting: Sister Paula Hagen, OSB, joined us for 3 months this past Fall from St. Paul’s Monastery in Minnesota. Sister Paula is enjoying a much deserved sabbatical following her years of service as Prioress of St. Paul’s. We enjoyed Sister Paula’s enthusiasm for
community life, especially playing games with community members, taking walks, and extending her helping hands in every way she could.

And Still More Connections: A couple has begun to join us for Saturday Evening Praise each week. They have shared with us how very important it is for them to be with us. And we in turn respond how very important it is for us to be with them. Communion. Connections.

Creation: Several Sisters have spotted a barred owl in a tree near the east wing of the monastery. Sometimes at sunrise, other times at sunset, the owl made its appearance known with its unique call. The owl’s eyes and the Sisters’ eyes remain fixed, each on the other. What
spectacular creatures God has made!

Compassion: A homeless man who came to the monastery told this story. He approached a local bus and told the bus driver, “I am hungry and do not have any money to go downtown to the soup kitchen.” The bus driver gestured with compassion, “Yes, come on board.”

Communion—the saints: We are grateful for our participation in the communion of the saints—the People of God, both living and deceased. Our friends and relatives who recently passed on:

† Jim Johnson
† Terri Swan
† Jim Wynkoop
† Michael Aaron McKinney
† Don Hoffman
† Fr. John Renggli
† Janice Meile
† Ione Raden
† Dan Shaw

For all this evidence of Communion, Connection and Creation we give thanks!