Sister Placid, foundress of Transfiguration Monastery, along with Sister Donald and Sister Jeanne-Marie, was remembered on her birthday, January 24, at a Mass requested by an old friend of the monastery. Sr. Placid died in 2008, but she is alive and well in the memories of those who knew her.

After two weeks’ “Christmas vacation,” our Scripture study class with postulant Kathy and neighbor John started off on a new tack: the Gospel of John, with two books as our guides: The Genius of John, by Peter Ellis, and The Good Wine, by Fr. Bruno Barnhart, a Camaldolese Benedictine monk who died last Advent. Ellis’s book is very structured and analytical, whereas Fr. Bruno is intuitive, making leaps that are sometimes hard to follow. Together with the Gospel, we are finding much food for thought, prayer and meditation.

Sister Donald spent the last few months researching a different subject: “Benedictine Wisdom and Sacred Humanitas,” in preparation for three talks that she presented to 35 Benedictine abbots, including the Abbot Primate, in Covington, Louisiana, at the end of January. We were privileged to hear the first two before she left and are looking forward to the third. We are making DVDs of her presentations here at the monastery, and we’ll be happy to send you copies if you are interested. We’re going to redo the first one, because our dog was too disruptive.

Sister Sheila has acquired a new Latin student: a young man who is working as a teacher’s aide in a class of autistic children, and who loves learning languages. His French is good enough to allow him to use the liturgical Latin book/workbook that Sr. Sheila made for the novices at Maumont. After studying the first chapter, he posted the declension of gloria on Facebook!

It’s hard to believe, but Ash Wednesday is tomorrow! Kathy is making us crêpes for supper tonight, in honor of Shrove Tuesday. St. Scholastica, whose feast day falls on February 10, has been bumped up to the 11th this year. We’re planning to celebrate with a festive lunch.

On Saturday the 13th, Marsha Eger will be leading us in a Heart Wisdom workshop. Should you feel inspired to attend, please contact the monastery before Friday.

A Happy St. Valentine’s Day to all!.Mindful Heart Image