The St. Gertrude’s community would like to invite everyone up to the Monastery this Sunday, December 6, 12:30 to 5:00 pm for a Christmas Bazaar at the Welcome Center Gift Shop (in the Historical Museum). Do some holiday shopping and then join us in the Chapel from 2:00 to 3:00 pm for the “True Gifts of Christmas Concert” by Jaime Thietten, a no cost (free will offering) concert.
There is a lot to take in when you enter the Gift Shop. Your eyes catch sight of a compelling book title or hand-knitted baptismal gown. Your hands reach out to touch a carved, wooden angel or artisan-made shawl. All the while your nose navigates through wafts of chocolate and coffee, or herbs from the Nature’s Gifts Herbal products made by Sister Carlotta Maria Fontes.
But the shop’s offerings impress more than the senses. As the Monastery’s commitment to their values extends to every product, one’s heart and mind tend toward delight as well. For example, the Benedictine community decided to offer Fair Trade chocolate and coffee to ensure that third world farmers are fairly compensated. Many of the items are handmade by sisters, oblates and friends of the Monastery. Pricing also follows the guidelines set forth in the 1500-year-old Rule of St. Benedict.
Sister Miriam Mendez, the shopkeeper, quickly summons a copy of the Rule into her hands and flips to Chapter 57, “Artisans of the Monastery”, and reads, “They are to practice their craft with all humility…prices should always be a little lower than people outside the monastery are able to set, so that in all things God may be glorified.”
Sister Miriam runs the shop accordingly. The retired nurse experiences her work with the Gift Shop and its online component as a richly creative process. She hopes people will see it as a resource for Christmas shopping and First Communion season as well as other sacramental celebrations. From baptismal gowns to matrimony crosses, Bibles to inspiring devotionals, First Communion gift packs to children’s rosaries; there are a wide array of meaningful gifts. “Something I hear a lot in here,” says Sister Miriam, “is ‘I didn’t know you could get these things in the Monastery!'”
The shop is located in the Welcome Center in the Historical Museum, 465 Keuterville Road, Cottonwood, and its regular hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 to 4:30 — but the Gift Shop will be open for the Christmas Bazaar this Sunday, December 6, 12:30 to 5:00 pm. The “True Gifts of Christmas Concert” by Jaime Thietten will also be presented that afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel. To learn more call 208-962-5063.