Friday, May 22, 2015

"Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living"

Convent front porch, currently decked out for Memorial Day

We're getting ready for the retreat weekend next month. I've just been given the topic of lectio divina and assigned Sunday's Eucharist - preaching and celebrating - so it's time to move into gear. I suspect the others already have a clear idea of what they're doing, but I'll catch up. I'm looking forward to hearing what the other sisters have to say. 

Join the Sisters of St. Margaret for a weekend retreat:

“Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living: Insights from the Rule of St. Benedict.”

This residential retreat, June 12 to 14, 2015, at our convent in Duxbury, offers an exploration of some key aspects of Benedictine spirituality. Participants should plan to arrive after 2 pm Friday and depart before 3 pm on Sunday. The program begins with Evening Prayer at 5 pm on Friday. Complete schedule available upon registration.

Accommodations: private rooms; shared bath. Cost: $200 which includes room and board, as well as program materials. To register, send a check for $100. When registering please let us know if there are dietary or mobility restrictions. Also please indicate your expected time of arrival.


St. Margaret’s Convent, 50 Harden Hill Road, BOX C, Duxbury, MA 02331

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P.S. - You really do need to put in the Box C part when you mail things to us. The post office won't deliver to the house. 

Convent, St. Marina's Guest House, Duxbury Bay

Friday, May 15, 2015

summer mission opportunity in Haiti

Camp 2014

Mini-camp at St. Vincent's 

Let me say up front that I don't know the people who run the camp, but I do know someone involved who sent this to me (and to her mailing list). And I KNOW that St Vincent's School for the Disabled is an amazing place, and not just because it was founded by our Sr. Joan.  I meant to post something on this last summer, but I don't think I ever did. Maybe on Facebook... Anyway, there are people who have asked me about going to Haiti, and I never know of any groups. Well, here's your chance. You couldn't ask for a better group of kids to work with.

Also, if you just want to donate money to St. Vincent's, that would be great, too. Last I heard they were having real trouble feeding the kids.  Talk about basics. If you'd like to donate to that, go to this website:  I gather you can indicate if you want it to be for food (or medical care or...).

* * *

Dear Haiti friends,
If you are interested in a summer camp opportunity to work with the kids at St Vincents this summer, read on......


If there is enough interest, I (Tom Landry, the founder of Jacob’s Color Link Initiative)  thewill host a mini-camp at St. Vincent's in the latter part of August 2015.  This camp will be 5 days in length (3 of which will be spent at the Center with the children).  I would like to have a group of no less than 10 persons.  My tentative plan would be to stay at the Le Plaza near St. Vincent's so that we can walk to St. Vincent's each day and avoid costly travel to and from Petion-Ville.  Breakfast and dinner will be served at the hotel and lunch will be catered at the Center for the residents (70-80) or we cook together as group as I have done in the past.  The activities will commensurate with the experience of those in attendance. I am quite fluid with this given we have done so many different activities with the children.  I would however, like to focus on a few necessary life skills like teaching them how to cook in addition to fun- play activities.  

If anyone is interested in this or knows of anyone, please send me their names and contact information.  This is very informal at this time because I don't want to spend too much time planning if there is not enough interest.

Executive Director   Jacob's Color Link Initiative
201 St. Charles Avenue Suite 114-255 | New Orleans, Louisiana 70170
M: 504 520 9626  |  L: 800 921 7839  |  F:  504 910 8342

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about the camp via their website:

campJacob is an annual retreat offered to the residents of St. Vincent's Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Campers are brought to a resort on the northern coast of Haiti and instantly become guests of JCLI. The organization creates a fun-filled environment that also offers a variety of holistic therapies and programming to develop life skills. Volunteers from the United States and Canada host the camp over the course of eight days.
campJacob removes the barriers of the campers' day-to-day lives that are restricted due to lack of accessibility, social stigma and funding. The program provides life skills and self-care training that builds confidence and inspires them toward independence. We work with the youth year-round to ensure the skills they have learned are being further developed and applied in their daily lives. The medical programming offered provides much needed physical and occupational therapy, setting the groundwork for independent living.
The cost for each camper is approximately $1,600 USD. This includes travel expenses to and from the resort, accommodations at the resort, three full meals and two snacks a day, and a backpack filled with necessities for the week and supplies for the camp. Your generous donation funds a life-changing week for these children.

June retreat offering

Our next retreat is coming up in June. We'd love for you to join us as we focus on aspects of Benedictine spirituality for modern living. 

Accommodations include private rooms; shared bath. The cost is $200, which includes room and board as well as program materials. Participants should plan to arrive after 2pm Friday and depart before 3pm on Sunday. The program begins with 5pm Evening Prayer on Friday. Complete schedule available upon registration. Email us for further details and registration (address above).

Thursday, April 30, 2015

...she was born into the poem...

“More Beautiful than the Holy Locust Tree Are the Words of the Lord”
by Mary Oliver (Thirst)

The deer came into the field.
I saw her peaceful face and heard the shuffle of her breath.
She was sweet enough for merriment and not afraid,
            but bold to say
Whose field she was crossing: spoke the tap of her foot:
“It is God’s, and mine.”

But only that she was born into the poem that God made, and 
     called the world.

Monday, April 27, 2015

lightning tour of Cincinnati

Just how fast can you retrieve baggage, get picked up by your nephew and his girlfriend, eat lunch, and get a lightning tour of the University of Cincinnati area and still arrive in time for vespers at your conference nearby? Well, I found out! And I didn't even get rained on much in the process.

Welcome to Cincinnati!

I recommend Graeter's ice cream wholeheartedly. Good fuel for a speedwalking tour.

Welcome to the University of Cincinnati!

Interesting campus architecture and lots of tulips - it's spring here!

more interesting campus architecture

delighted to see them

They don't make pools the way I remember them... and this is just the recreational swimming pool on campus. They also have a lap pool (which may or may not be the competitive swimming pool; I forgot to ask).

UC architecture class final projects on display
I would love to know what the assignment was.

How's this for some high school architecture?

quick view of the outside of my father's doctoral alma mater with a picture taken just for him
(I love you, Dad!)

My nephew pays a whole $200/month rent for a room in this house. Toto, we're not in Massachusetts anymore...

Whew! We made it!
And it was a great conference, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

more signs of spring

I am ready for spring, and I think it may finally be happening. Or almost. I see some buds on the trees. There is still snow in some places, but it's disappeared from our little campus completely. And summer birds are returning!

Here are some my first-of-the-season birds.

Tree Swallows are back!

first Great Egret of the year, hanging out north of Duxbury Harbor

my first *ever* Piping Plover - Duxbury Outer Beach

Because I've never seen Piping Plovers before, I'm including several pictures. You're welcome. (-:

Piping Plover Peeping

By the way, they run very fast.

No, I wasn't chasing them. Grateful for a zoom lens. (Wish I'd had this in Haiti! Not that it would have been practical.) Actually, other than the first one I saw down by the water, the rest were behind a roped-off (well, with plastic tape) area so they won't be disturbed. One hopes dog walkers will obey the leash laws on the beach; so far the only off-leash dogs I've seen have been very much under vocal control, so that's good.

Stay back!

As you were...

I went down to the picnic table near the water to work on a sermon this afternoon and saw my first laughing gull of the season, as well. This is not a good picture - it was very far away - but I'm happy to see their return. I assume there are more around somewhere nearby, as gulls seem to hang around in flocks.

The winter birds are building their nests.  I've seen a couple of red-tailed hawks trying to build in or near our grove, and they keep getting chased off by the crows, who seem to work well in groups. The crows are building, too, of course, and they have their future offspring in mind.

I went to the North River Sanctuary and found new little things pushing their way through the dirt, undeterred by the few piles of leftover grey snow here and there.

Anyone know what these are? Bulbs of some kind? The ones below are coming up all over the wooded area where I saw this little group.

OK, there is nothing summery about this seal from the North River, but I've never seen one on the East Coast, so I'm excited.

I hope the happy news, happy sights, and hope of spring in the air help you and I and all of us to sleep well tonigh and wake refreshed and ready to go - with a spring in our step.

Monday, April 6, 2015

rainbow 'round the sun

I was praying and got distracted by the crows chasing a red-tailed hawk out of our grove. Not very nunlike, I suppose... You've heard the joke about INFP's at prayer... "And, God, thank you for... oh, look, a bird!... all this beauty..." Anyway, I looked out the window, and this is what I saw! A round rainbow! Wow. 

Actually, I think it was God who "distracted" me... Seems to me that God loves to share the beauty of creation with us, and so many times when I see such a thing, I catch my breath and move into a place of greater thanks and praise. God is so good and so beautiful! 

It seems especially appropriate during Eastertide, when we're celebrating God's salvation and promises, of which the rainbow has been a sign. 

Genesis 9:12-16
God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’

What makes a halo around the sun or moon? | Science Wire | EarthSky