Sunrise seen from behind St. Scholastica Monastery
March 30, 2020
Dear Friends of the Monastery,
Thank you to all who have called, written or emailed us at the Monastery to ask how we are doing and to let us know that you are praying for us. We are grateful beyond words for your care and concern.
The bonds of affection and care are mutual. We pray for all of you daily and are moved by all you are doing to reach out to others with reassurance, deep hopeful prayers and powerful reminders that we are all in this together.
We know that the threat of the COVID-19 virus has put you into the crucible of a double challenge, worrying and taking care of your families and friends, while also caring for patients, residents and students who are fearful and isolated. Our prayer for you, as the crisis deepens, is that you will have the energy, tenacity, and spiritual strength to carry on. Your own self-care is important and we hope you will take advantage of times to refresh yourselves. We hold all of you close to our hearts.
We hear daily that the Benedictine values are welcome guides as you plan and make thoughtful, often difficult decisions, in our sponsored organizations. We are elated to know that the values of hospitality, respect, justice and stewardship are alive and well as you collaborate with each other and with civic organizations that need our help. In spite of hardships, we know that many good things are happening to bring people together because of the pandemic. We are proud, as your sponsor, that you are carrying out these good works in our name.
And how are we doing at the Monastery? In two words, very well. We are safe, well taken care of, and keeping our spirits up. There have been no cases of Coronavirus here. Because we live adjacent to the Benedictine Living Community and have a vulnerable population on Benet Hall, we have been in "lock down" for several weeks. Essential staff coming into the Monastery are screened every shift. No guests are allowed to visit Benet Hall, including the Sisters who do not live there. This is the hardest of the separations for us.
We are blessed, however, to have Father Gabriel Baltes, OSB, a monk of St. Precopius Abbey, Lisle, IL on sabbatical with us, providing for our spiritual needs. We are sustained by the rhythm of the liturgy of the hours and devotions which our Sisters on Benet Hall can view through closed-circuit TV. All of us find that the psalms of lament have a deeper meaning and bring us into solidarity with all of you as we pray them. In them we hear the cry for relief rising to heaven (Psalm 90) all over the world, and respond with our own sighing and lament (Psalm 85).
In conclusion, we send you a virtual hug... wrapping our hearts around you in prayer that soon "all will be well and all manner of things will be well" (Julian of Norwich).
Blessings and peace,
Sister Beverly Raway