The Benedictine life is both ordinary and human, extraordinary and divine. It is ordinary and human because St. Benedict in his Rule encourages us to get on with the business of monastic life; it is extraordinary and divine because it is a response to a call from God and it is a life lived for others. Welcome to St. Scholastica Priory, a community of sisters located in Petersham, Massachusetts.

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OUR BELOVED SR. MARY HERBERT WALSH HAS ENTERED ETERNAL LIFE. HERE IS HER OBITUARY.

Sr. Mary Herbert Walsh, OSB

Sr. Mary Herbert Walsh, OSB

Sr. Mary Herbert Walsh, a nun of St. Scholastica Priory, Petersham, Mass., died July 30 at the priory following a brief illness. She was 98 and in her 80th year of profession.

Born on October 31, 1915 on the family farm in Alpine (Connorsville), Ind. to Herbert and Julia (Tieman) Walsh, she received the name Mary Lucille at baptism. She was from a family of six children, all of whom became Benedictine priests or sisters. Their remarkable story is told in her delightful biographical book God Calls the Walsh Family. After completing the eighth grade, she entered the Academy of the Immaculate Conception, Ferdinand, Ind. in 1929, and on Sept 13, 1931 she was invested as a novice of that Benedictine community, taking the name Sr. Mary Herbert in honor of her parents. She professed her simple vows on Oct. 18, 1933 and made her perpetual vows on June 14, 1936.

Sr. Mary Herbert taught at Catholic grammar and high schools throughout southern Indiana, as well as at St. Benedict College, Ferdinand, Ind. By attending classes at Incarnate Word College, San Antonio, Tex. and Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., she earned her master’s degree in education and her principal’s licenses. She served as principal and superior at St. Meinrad Public School and at the St. Ferdinand Public School. To her great joy in old age, devoted former students remained in touch with their beloved former teacher.

After serving as subprioress for the Ferdinand community from 1971-1974, Sr. Mary Herbert left Indiana and active Benedictine life to join the contemplative monastery her siblings had founded in Durham, N.C. They later moved to Labadieville, La., and finally to Tickfaw, La. where she was superior of their Our Lady Queen Monastery from 1985-2003. The last surviving member of her immediate family, in 2009 Sr. Mary Herbert and the other members of her monastery moved to Petersham, Mass. to form one community with the nuns of St. Scholastica Priory.

Her nearly forty years of teaching were followed by forty years devoted to prayer, but by her deep faith and cheerful courage and joy in the limitations of old age, she never stopped teaching by example those who knew her. Despite loss of sight and hearing, she remained fully engaged with her community, family and friends. A recipient of Worcester Diocese’s 2011 Retired Religious Award, her fidelity to monastic contemplative life is an enduring legacy. A prayer she composed for Pentecost 2014 captures her own spirit: “Dear Beloved Spirit of Divine Love, please inspire my intellect to think, say and do whatever is the most pleasing to the Blessed Trinity.”

She was preceded in death by her parents and her three brothers and two sisters. Surviving are cousins Regina Mitchell, Regina Leising, numerous other much-loved cousins, her community of St. Scholastica Priory and the monks of St. Mary’s Monastery, and a host of friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 6, in the Church of St. Scholastica Priory and St. Mary’s Monastery. Visitation is from 3:00-8:00 p.m. Tuesday at the monastery and from 8:00 a.m. Wednesday until the time of the funeral. Memorial contributions may be offered to St. Scholastica Priory, 271 N. Main St., Petersham, MA, 01366.

MONASTIC EXPERIENCE WEEKENDS

In 2014 St. Scholastica Priory will host two Monastic Experience Weekends for young women interesting in discerning their vocation by living with the community for a few days to see their life at close hand: from August 8-10 and from October 10-12. For information on the weekends please click here.

If you are a single Catholic woman between the age of 18-40, and would like to discuss and discern a monastic vocation, dates can be arranged outside of the Monastic Weekends.

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On April 20, 2013, two public conferences for the Year of Faith were hosted by St. Mary’s Monastery and St. Scholastica Priory. To listen to them click here:

Giving a Reason for the Hope that Is in Us

by Fr.  Robert Imbelli

Does What I Believe In Affect My Life?

by Mother Mary Elizabeth Kloss, OSB

 

October 26, 2014 —

This coming we have some big feasts: on Tuesday, October 28th we celebrate the great apostles Sts. Simon and Jude. Their names appear together in the Canon of the Mass and that may be the only reason they are coupled together on this feast day. They seemed to have done their apostolic work before their martyrdoms in Mesopotamia and Persia. Simon Zealot was the one who welcomed Jesus in his home and Jude is called by other names in the lists sometimes especially Thaddeus. Here’s a link: Sts. Simon and Jude.

On Saturday we celebrate the great harvest feast – the Solemnity of All the Saints! It is such a glorious feast because it celebrates not just the saints we know are canonized and are listed in books – but all those human beings who have entered into heaven. We all know people who are certainly there but have not gone through the process of canonization. Canonization doesn’t “make” anyone a saint. A person responding to God and giving themselves to loving and following Christ in whatever walk of life they live is how a saint is made. The canonization process is simply the Church’s way to speak with certainty about a particular individual who could inspire others in the Church to live a life of holiness. So when we celebrate that day we include all those who are in heaven, who have reached eternity and are living the fullness of life.

Every blessing to you in this week as we approach All Saints on Saturday! May the Lord pour on you every blessing, grace and good health!

Mother Mary Elizabeth and All