Monastic Stability and God’s Transforming Vision

Blessings of Christmas peace to you,

You might be able to relate when we say that this year is not what we hoped it would be. Plans we made were cancelled. The people we wanted to welcome could not come.

As always, what endures is the divine invitation to breathe, to trust, and to allow God to transform our dashed hopes into new beauty and light. We founded an online programs initiative called St. Gertrude’s L.I.V.E., which has served nearly 1,200 people so far with 20 events on prayer and spirituality, poetry and visual art. We are adding new events each month.

This year we took a major step toward our Benedictine future and began the renovation of our 70 year-old residential wing. In October, sisters moved over to the already-closed retreat center (Spirit Center) and crews immediately started on asbestos abatement. Now they are moving into work on demolition and the new framing, electric, and plumbing that will transform the 9’x14’ rooms into larger apartments with private bathrooms. Completion is anticipated for late spring after which we hope to re-open Spirit Center for retreats.

While the chapel, inn, and retreat center have been closed to the public, we have safely welcomed guests to our Welcome Center and Historical Museum that features new exhibits throughout. 

We are also mailing more letters and emails to friends and family, and embracing the greater quiet to deepen our prayers for the world while cherishing those within our own household. Sisters at home and on mission are finding innovative ways to serve in parishes, hospitals, and hard-hit communities.

Saint Benedict founded monasteries in a world of uncertainty and political upheaval. These communities would later endure through the plagues of the Middle Ages in Europe. His vision was a way of life built around prayer and simple precepts that would provide the stability for people to flourish. Now, over 1,500 years later, we remain as witnesses to the power of a life built on simplicity, obedience, and ongoing conversion.

If you are planning on year-end giving, please consider the Monastery of St. Gertrude. You can contribute to our building campaign or in general support of our ongoing ministries.

We look forward to serving you in all the creative ways God is calling us in the coming year.

In Christ,
Sister Mary Forman, Prioress