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In the light of recent tensions, Sister Sheila was moved to write the following, which she read at the end of the Sunday Vigil Mass a couple of weeks ago:

“Peace” is the motto of the Benedictine Order, along with “Work and Pray”. Our mission as a contemplative Benedictine community is to provide an oasis of peace and prayer, centered on Christ our Savior, Redeemer and King, in a troubled world.

Especially in times of conflict in civil society, we remind ourselves of St. Paul’s words: “Since you have been raised up to be with Christ, you must look for the things that are above, where Christ is, sitting at God’s right hand. Let your thoughts be on things above, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died and now the life you live is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3: 1-3)

Benedictine communities in Rwanda and the Ivory Coast are admirable examples of monastics from warring ethnic groups making a concerted effort to live together in peace by staying focused on Christ. We would like to propose this model to all who come to worship in our chapel.

Some of us are delighted at recent political developments, others are extremely upset, and then there are those in the middle. We would like people of all political persuasions to be able to find the peace of Christ in our chapel. Christ ultimately is our peace.

To this end, we would like our chapel and the area between the chapel and the sacristy to be a politics-free zone. If you would like to get together with Father or the Sisters to discuss the political situation, we’ll be available to talk at another time, in another place, but please, not before or after this sacred time when we come together to meet Christ in the Eucharist.