Return to flip book view

branchingoutfall2020

Page 1

Page 2

BRANCHING OUT Vol 33 No 2 Fall 2020 2 Priory Ties 3 What s a Monastic to Do 5 Coronavirus Activites Around the Monastery 9 Women of Grace 13 What s Happening at St Paul Hermitage 17 Obituary Sr Theresine Will OSB 18 Obituary Sr Mary Lucien Dippel OSB 19 Obituary Sr Mary Gilbert Schipp OSB 20 Dallas a Treasure 24 Staying Safe 25 New Banners with a Time Honored Message INTERNET Website www benedictine com Contact us olgmonastery benedictine com CREDITS Editor Sr Mary Luke Jones Design Layout Michelle Hammond Photography and Contributors Leigh DeNoon Sr Carol Falkner Sr Rebecca Marie Fitterer Sr Sharon Kuhn Sr Mary Ann Koetter Sr Ann Patrice Papesh Sr Mary Luke Jones On the Cover A picture perfect view of our cemetery on a summer day BRANCHING OUT a publication of the Sisters of St Benedict of Our Lady of Grace Monastery informs its readers of newsworthy involvements of the sisters and acknowledges the generosity of donors Mission Statement Seeking God in everyone and everything we Sisters of St Benedict of Our Lady of Grace Monastery live in community founded upon prayer work and hospitality 2 Dear Friends Every year at the end of our summer Chapter each sister is missioned for the coming year In July 2019 as I sent each sister forth in mission she was given a charm in the shape of an anchor to remind her that our anchor our hope is in Christ Little did we know at that time what this year would hold for our community our country our world Now in these days of pandemic and racial unrest I find myself trying to make meaning of all that is going on around and within us Our world is crying out for healing how are we to respond My mind and heart wanders back to our missioning to the symbol of the anchor a sign of hope As we live through this time of isolation and division we are called now more than ever to be an anchor in the troubled ocean of our world Being Benedictine our call to a life of prayer work and hospitality lived in the context of community is a gift that we must share with the world In a time of isolation we offer community an encounter with the other in a time of division we offer a place of welcome We invite you to join us in being a place of encounter and welcome We are all called to share Christ s love with the world This coming year is an important one in the life of our community In March 2021 we will elect a new prioress Please hold us in prayer as we begin this year of discernment It is a sacred time and one that calls for deep listening In this issue of Branching Out you will learn more about what has been going on in our community over the past few months Even though this has not been an easy time we have continued to live out our mission as we trust in the goodness of our God May God bless you and give you the grace you need at this time You can count on our prayers for you each day We are so thankful for the gift of your friendship As we journey through these next months let us continue to place our trust in God who holds us in love In Christ Sr Jennifer Mechtild Horner

Page 3

What s a Monastic to Do Sr Sheila Marie Fitzpatrick tolls the handbell as the community prays in silence B ecause Benedictines have been around since the 5th century collectively we ve seen a number of plagues and pandemics 541 The Plague of Justinian 1346 The Black Death 1520 New World Smallpox 1817 Cholera 1918 The Spanish Flu 2020 Coronavirus Just to name a few Disease and virus spread by birds or insects have attempted to wipe out humanity more than once The pandemic we are experiencing today has driven us to our knees Which when you think about it may be the best place for us to be What do monastic women and men do during such a trial Aside from doing everything you are doing i e wearing masks heightening hygiene maneuvers staying home we are praying and praying and praying 3

Page 4

What s a Monastic to Do In addition to our regular schedule of gathering three times a day to pray the Divine Office and celebrate Mass we have engaged in a number of other practices asking for God s mercy for all the people of the world Taiz services prayer gatherings hosted by Catholic bishops and other denominational leaders increased private prayer etc At the end of July we began tolling a bell for the daily number of Hoosier victims of Covid 19 It is a solemn period of silence at the end of Evening Prayer as we listen to the haunting echo of a handbell ring 3 8 15 25 times We do not know individual names or even from what part of The notice board in the narthex announcing the number of today s Hoosier deaths the State they come All we know is that a Hoosier has died and a family is grieving In the Gospel of John Jesus prayed May they be one That we are one has been made clear as this pandemic has spread across the entire world We are one people One world What happens in United States affects what happens in Australia What happens in Australia affects what happens in Italy What happens in Italy affects what happens in Africa And what happens in Africa affects what happens in the United States As one people we are responsible for each another By wearing a mask for example we help keep other people safe and healthy Even a person in Australia Yep And someone in Italy Yes to that too One lesson we can take from the Coronavirus is the role we play in the human community None of us stands alone We are part of a whole And as some smart person once said if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem What s a monastic to do As monastics who are committed to praying for the world That is what we do Day in Day out Without fail Unceasingly So that as one all people may thrive 4

Page 5

Praying before Our Lady of Grace 5

Page 6

Sr Anna Marie Megel Sr Carol Falkner and Sr Bernardine Ludwig along with many others made over 800 cloth masks And modeled them 6

Page 7

Sr Julie Sewell and Sr Maureen Therese Cooney take on extra responsibilities around the monastery 7

Page 8

Sr Louise Hoeing Sr Norma Gettelfinger and Sr Sharon Bierman helping the kitchen staff 8

Page 9

Sr Jennifer Mechtild Horner attended the annual Leadership Conference of Women Religious LCWR Assembly The Assembly originally scheduled to be held in Dallas was moved to an online format The theme of the LCWR Assembly was God s Infinite Vision Our Journey to the Borders and Beyond Some 900 members attended this year Sr Jennifer Mechtild found the Assembly to be hope filled and future oriented Even though it was not the same as being together it was a blessing to meet in small groups through Zoom It is evident that the leaders of religious communities are excited about the future of religious life Along with eight other members of LCWR Sr Jennifer Mechtild was asked to give a short reflection to be included as part of a prayer service during the Assembly Here she is captured by someone from afar watching her on Zoom 9

Page 10

Sr Julie Sewell 10 Sr Cathy Anne Lepore In the Benedictine world as a final step in preparation for making the final commitment to Benedictine life Perpetual Monastic Profession a Sister in temporary vows participates in BSWR Benedictine Spirituality Workshop and Retreat This is typically an event that moves around the country being hosted by a different community each year This year BSWR was to be hosted in Beech Grove Indiana and facilitated by Sr Julie Sewell and Sr Andrea Westkamp of Bristow Virginia direction during silent retreat days and also fun activities exploring the host community s geographic area Another important aspect of BSWR is that the participants form community and have the opportunity to spend time with sisters in a similar stage of formation being on the cusp of making a life time commitment Of course then the pandemic hit At first there were thoughts of canceling BSWR However this is an important time in the life of a woman religious and we wanted to honor this time by offering some version of BSWR The event consists of talks reflection time spiritual Sr Julie and Sr Andrea were charged with turning BSWR into a virtual experience There were 9 participants from communities in 6 different states Washington Virginia Pennsylvania Colorado Minnesota and Idaho Although the participants did not have the opportunity to experience Indianapolis they did feel the love and support of the host and cohost communities through care packages of welcome letters homemade goodies and retreat supplies Feastdays and fun times were enjoyed as possible through the miracle of Zoom Sr Cathy Anne Lepore helped with that by teaching Zentangling

Page 11

After 48 years in the classroom Sr Karen Byerley celebrated her retirement from teaching with an ice cream social during the July Chapter week Sr Karen speaks lovingly of her years on both sides of the Ohio River in classrooms with Kindergartners to 6th graders Aside from her first years at Christ the King in In July Sr Antoinette Purcell hosted the first ever virtual conference of the American Benedictine Academy ABA as president of the organization Originally scheduled to meet in Atchison Kansas the virtual format reached participants in England Canada Peru and across the U S from Hawaii to New England Three speakers addressed the theme taken from the life of St Benedict by Pope Indianapolis the remainder of her teaching experience was in Southern Indiana and Northern Kentucky I was so lucky to spend these years watching children grow in their love of Jesus said Sr Karen I always told them that if the only thing they learned was that God loved them I was successful Congratulations Sr Karen and thank you for your St Gregory 2020 Vision Seeing the World in a Single Ray of Light by sharing about Benedictine life in Asia Africa and Latin America A fourth speaker addressed Benedictine Time Travel Going Back to Envisage Possible Futures The annual ABA conference ended with a business meeting that included the installation of new officers and board members dedication to your profession and to the young Sr Jennifer Mechtild congratulates Sr Karen on her many years of service For over 10 years Sr Mary Luke Jones has written a Faith Values column that appears in The Indianapolis Star She along with several other columnists represent a variety of faith traditions Unfortunately The Star has announced an ending of this feature Over the years Sr Mary Luke has examined spiritual cultural and timely topics to share with readers 11

Page 12

Sr Sheila Marie Fitzpatrick was appointed by Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley to be part of the City s Greenscape Commission The commission is working with Beech Grove residents and the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful Greenspace Team to design and implement a pollinator garden at the Sarah T Boltin Park Sr Sheila is also on the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Sr Mary Margaret Funk and Professor Kathleen Cahalan of St John s University Collegeville MN are conducting a virtual 100 day retreat for over 200 participants The St Enda retreat is based on the four renunciations of John Cassian Renounce one s former way of life Renouncing one s afflictive thoughts Renouncing one s self made thoughts of God Renouncing one s self made thoughts of self Several times a week either Sr Meg or Kathleen sends a 5 10 minute voice memo to the participants by email 12 Care for Creation Commission The commission has implemented Living Laudato Si Assessments of parishes produced a periodic newsletter promoting the care of the earth published pertinent articles in The Criterion and offered trees and flowers for sale Originally blessed by Archbishop Tobin the commission continues with the endorsement of Archbishop Thompson The participants have been encouraged to have a conversation partner to keep them on message in a healthy mood space and manage the complexity of their lives The participants are a microcosm of our times Clergywomen Benedictine and Cistercian monastics professional musicians physicians pastors spiritual directors business owners and hourly workers who span the globe from South and Central America Europe Australia Philippines and the United States A feature of the retreat is that Mairin O Fhlaithearty who lives near the ruins of St Enda on the Aran Island of Inishmore prays every day at St Bridget s church for the participants Photo of St Enda s ruins

Page 13

What s Happening at St Paul Hermitage A s you can imagine St Paul Hermitage like nursing retirement homes across the country has been hit hard with restrictions during the pandemic In an effort to keep those most vulnerable Covid free State Departments of Health have mandated requirements and specific guidelines about visitors meals services and appointments Over the past months those guidelines have changed rapidly demanding diligence and daily attention As more is known about the virus how it spreads who is most defenseless what might restrict its persistence we have all heard conflicting reports Because they deal with the aged and infirm nursing retirement homes are targeted for very strict procedures The regulations have seesawed as more is known and decisions are made For example last 13

Page 14

What s Happening at St Paul Hermitage March at St Paul s our residents had to stay in their rooms have their meals delivered and could not have visitors No Mass or religious services At another point outdoor visiting with masks social distancing temperatures taken and with scheduled reservations was permitted Then residents could Family outdoor visiting begins with lining up as temperatures are taken and questions are asked by Sr Susan Marie Lindstrom Social distanced family visits 14 walk the grounds and eat in the dining room one per table That was then changed by the State Board because numbers had spiked The beauty shop was

Page 15

opened after many weeks then promptly shuttered The dining room was closed Indoor visitors were not permitted except for end of life visits This of course is particularly difficult for the residents and for their families Each day Sr Heather Jean Foltz administrator of the Hermitage sends out an email to our families updating them on the latest requirements and advising them of the changes It s a revolving door of guidelines for the staff as well Since the Coronavirus all those working at St Paul s must wear scrubs and use disposable masks On more than one occasion since last March the State has mandated testing of all nursing retirement home staffs The religious community restricted from visiting or assisting at the Hermitage wanted to help in some way in solidarity with our residents and staff Anything outside was permitted so sisters have washed the residents windows worked weeding and planting on the grounds and celebrated with the staff when St Paul Hermitage underwent a Covid 19 Inspection Control Survey by the Indiana State Department of Health All the Covid 19 policies and procedures and resident charts were reviewed and the infection One thing we could do from the outside was wash the resident windows for better window visits 15

Page 16

What s Happening at St Paul Hermitage control practices were observed The Hermitage was found in total compliance and declared deficiency free The Department of Health commended the Hermitage for their excellent work We couldn t have been more proud St Paul Hermitage is an excellent facility for the care of those in the autumn of their lives We commend our dedicated staff our loving and caring families and our irrepressible residents who maintain their good humor in spite of it all A parade of sisters declaring deficiency free and congratulations as the Hermitage staff enjoys the view page 9 16

Page 17

Sister Theresine Will OSB S I S T E R S O F S T B E N E D I C T O U R L A DY O F G R A C E M O N A S T E R Y Ferdinand Indiana and graduated in 1948 She received her BS Degree in Elementary Education from St Benedict College and her MS from St Francis College in Fort Wayne Indiana Sr Theresine Will OSB formerly Mary Rose 91 died peacefully of natural causes on May 15 2020 at St Paul Hermitage where she was a resident Sr Theresine was born on September 10 1928 in Evansville Indiana to the late Henry and Pauline Will Sr Theresine entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand Indiana in 1948 She was a founding member of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove Ministry She attended immaculate Conception Academy in She began her career in the classroom in 1951 at Christ the King School Indianapolis In 1956 Sr Theresine began a kindergarten at Our Lady of Grace and taught young minds there for 12 years She also taught at Transfiguration School in Florissant Missouri and St Ambrose in Seymour Indiana After her time in education Sr Theresine worked in the health care area at Our Lady of Grace Monastery and in 1992 she became the housekeeper for the Archbishop She retired in 2006 Sr Theresine was preceded in death by her parents brothers Edward and Bob Will and sister Martha Schnur She is survived by her Religious Community brothers Leo Donald Cyril Mike Marvin of Evansville Indiana and Ramon of Newburgh Indiana Sisters Judy Vogler Jeffersonville Indiana and Elaine Pokorney Evansville Indiana Many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews Christ the King Indianapolis Our Lady of Grace Kindergarten Transfiguration Florissant MO St Ambrose Seymour Indiana Our Lady of Grace Monastery Healthcare Archbishop s Residence Housekeeper 17

Page 18

Sister Mary Lucien Dippel OSB S I S T E R S S T B E N E D I C T O U R L A DY Sr Mary Lucien OSB formerly Doris Mae 94 died peacefully of natural causes on June 10 2020 at St Paul Hermitage where she was a resident Sr Mary Lucien was born on May 12 1926 in Evansville Indiana to the late John and Annette Dippel Sr Mary Lucien entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand Indiana in 1943 She was a founding member of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove her BS Degree in Education from St Benedict College an Associate s Degree from Indiana Central and a BS Degree from Spalding University both in Nursing She began her career in the classroom in 1947 at St Anthony School Clarksville Indiana She also taught at St Mary of the Knobs Floyds Knobs Indiana St Paul Tell City Indiana St Joseph St Joe Hill Indiana and Transfiguration School in Florissant Missouri She graduated from Academy Immaculate Conception Ferdinand Indiana She received Sr Mary Lucien went from the classroom into nursing in 1966 She worked at Clark Memorial Ministry 18 O F O F St Anthony Clarksville IN St Mary of the Knobs Floyd Knobs Indiana St Paul Tell City Indiana St Joseph Sr Joseph Hill Indiana St Paul Hermitage Beech Grove Indiana healthcare Our Lady of Grace Monastery Beech Grove Indiana healthcare Transfiguration Florissant MO St Paul Hermitage Beech Grove Indiana healthcare Our Lady of Grace Monastery Beech Grove Indiana healthcare G R A C E M O N A S T E R Y Hospital in Jeffersonville Indiana in the Healthcare area of Our Lady of Grace Monastery and at St Paul Hermitage She retired in 1996 Sr Mary Lucien was preceded in death by her parents brothers Albert Jack and Daniel Dippel and sisters Joyce Lawrence Gloria Brack and Carol Heines She is survived by her sisters Jean Kruse of Evansville Indiana and Charlotte Spond of Littleton Colorado her Religious Community and many nieces and nephews

Page 19

Sister Mary Gilbert Schipp OSB S I S T E R S O F S T B E N E D I C T Sr Mary Gilbert Schipp OSB formerly Vera Katharine 86 died peacefully on July 3 2020 O U R L A DY She entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand Indiana in 1952 She was a founding member of Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove Sr Mary Gilbert received her MBA from the University of Notre Dame and served as a Bookkeeper at St Paul Hermitage In 1974 she became the Administrator of St Paul Ministry Sr Mary Gilbert was born on February 14 1934 in Ferdinand Indiana to the late Gilbert and Laura Schipp She graduated from Academy Immaculate Conception Ferdinand Indiana She received a BS Degree in Education from St Benedict College and taught at various schools in the Diocese of Evansville Indiana and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis O F G R A C E M O N A S T E R Y Hermitage Sr Mary Gilbert was appointed Treasurer of her Religious Community in 1986 a position she held until her retirement in 2015 Sr Mary Gilbert was preceded in death by her parents and brother Robert Schipp She is survived by her sisters Clarissa Schipp of Ferdinand Indiana Norma Jean Schipp of Jasper Indiana brother David Schipp of Jasper Indiana her Religious Community and several nieces and nephews St Benedict Evansville Indiana Haubstadt Indiana Christ the King Indianapolis St Pius X Indianapolis Our Lady of Grace Academy Beech Grove St Paul Hermitage Beech Grove Our Lady of Grace Monastery Corporate Treasurer Due to restrictions connected to the coronavirus no public wakes or funerals were held Memorial contributions may be made to the Retired Sisters Fund c o Sisters of St Benedict 1402 Southern Avenue Beech Grove Indiana 46107 or online at www benedictine com Little Sons Funeral Home Beech Grove were entrusted with the arrangements 19

Page 20

Dallas a Treasure Our evening began with bestowing a blessing on Dallas O n March 10 1970 a young man named Dallas Matheson began work with the Sisters of St Benedict So it only seemed right that on March 10 2020 we pay tribute to him on the occasion of his 50th anniversary For half a century Dallas has hammered sawed built walls torn them down plowed the parking lot repaired pipes plugged leaks moved rooms moved sisters moved mountains to keep our massive buildings and grounds in tip top shape Not only does Dallas know every nook and cranny of this building he never does anything half way Every job is done with precision and expertise 20 A former Indianapolis Firefighter Dallas worked part time at Our Lady of Grace Academy and Our Lady of Grace Monastery until he retired after 30 years with IFD in 1995 He started full time work with us after his retirement but had been serving as maintenance supervisor since 1980 Traditionally the liaison between the sisters and our co workers is the sub prioress They work most closely with Dallas See the sidebars on the following pages to read what our sub prioresses have to say about him For 12 years Dallas right arm has been Brad Ferguson They are a formidable team Dallas is a very good mentor says Brad he s taught me a lot about how to care for the building but he s also

Page 21

taught me about life His work habits begin as he arrives early each morning to have his coffee and think about the projects that need to be done that day before clocking in Dallas is a good man and I m lucky to be working with him Those projects big or small major or minor often come in the form of a work request placed in the sub prioress mailbox Once it s passed on to Dallas you can expect it to be taken care of with haste with accuracy and with a smile According to his wife Patti before they got married he told her the sisters come first Nothing proved that more than the Valentine s Day night when rather than celebrating with her he spent hours plowing snow from the parking lots to accommodate the 200 people we were expecting for an event on the 15th Our thanks to Patti too for sharing Dallas so generously with us Sr Carol Falkner It was our great joy to honor Dallas on the actual 50th anniversary of his employment By pure blessing the party was held just prior to the lock downs that came with the pandemic Dallas was joined by Patti and his family as we blessed him at Evening Prayer and enjoyed dinner in his honor time in maintenance Dallas Brad Ferguson From the beginning of his had the welfare of the sisters as his main concern He has always shown great respect for the sisters doing whatever was asked of him as well as lending his advice and experience when needed There is no one who knows the monastery s buildings and grounds better than Dallas His work is always well done and his woodworking is beautifully rendered It is evident that he takes great pride in what he does and encourages this attitude in those he supervises One could not ask for a more dedicated loyal and caring co worker than Dallas Sr Rebecca Marie Fitterer As sub prioress there were a few phone numbers that I kept on speed dial Dallas topped my list With a nursing 21

Page 22

background I surely didn t know a thing about boilers plumbing or HVAC and Dallas was my lifeline in dealing with their mysteries No request was ever too big or too small or too crazy I m sure he frequently asked himself What next and he was heard to remark I put that wall up I ll take it down again I m so grateful to have had the opportunity to know and work with Dallas I learned to Sr Jennifer Mectild and Sr Mary Ann join Dallas and Patti with their family our special guests appreciate his skills and work ethic and the care he took in every task but even more his Dallas with his proud daughter Debra Medford generosity and the care he has shown for us through the years I was very blessed to have had him on my team There will only be one Dallas Sr Sharon Kuhn Dallas is a man for all seasons Whether he s dealing with floods from spring rain or broken pipes household equipment or cars falling leaves or ice and snow Dallas handles every task graciously with special care 22 A brass quintet entertained during dinner

Page 23

and concern for each of us I was blessed as sub prioress to have the opportunity to work with Dallas and experience his talents creativity concern and care for all of us our life and our monastic home Sr Mary Ann Koetter I have had the privilege of Sweets for a sweet guy Dallas greeting Sr Sharon Bierman and Sr Louise Hoeing working with Dallas for several years During that time I have gotten to know him as a person many look up to with great respect for who he is and the knowledge he has in so many areas Maintaining our 60 year old buildings has required multiple skill sets and Dallas has them all But what stands out the most to me is Dallas strong sense of integrity When he does something it is done with a goal of perfection in mind He is honest respectful humble and has a wonderful playful way we all enjoy He also values his faith and loves his family dearly Dallas is an immense gift to us and I pray he knows the great respect and gratitude I and all the sisters have for him It is an honor to know and work with Dallas 23

Page 24

Staying Safe D uring this pandemic we have relied upon a faithful few to take care of our temporal needs Early on a friend provided them with appropriate gear They look fetching wouldn t you agree Sr Maureen Therese Cooney Treasurer 24 Sr Jennifer Mechtild Horner Prioress Sr Mary Ann Koetter Sub prioress

Page 25

New Banners E with a Time Honored Message very language has a word for peace The Spaniards say Paz The Slovenians Paks The French Paix For our new banners lining the main drive we chose English Peace Latin Pax and Italian Pace as a way to greet our visitors and passersby In the prologue of his Rule St Benedict reminds us to Seek peace and follow it Because of that and several other references to seeking and making peace Benedictines have always considered living in peace with one another with mother nature and with the world a goal to achieve As is our custom when starting anything new we began with prayer and by blessing our new banners with Holy Water before processing to the drive for their installation Sr Jennifer Mechtild spoke these words of blessing St Benedict s wise words should serve as an inspiration for all of us today Each and every person contributes to either peace or violence In an age when people the world over are grappling with disharmony 25

Page 26

anxiety and unrest may these banners serve as a reminder to passersby and those entering our grounds of the importance of being a peacemaker Let them also remind us of our obligation to seek peace and pursue it to plant peace deep in our hearts as we interact with one another and to freely share the tranquility that is ours Sr Jennifer Mechtild did the honors May peace in every language span the globe touching the heart of each woman and man until there is peace on earth Banner bearers in waiting 26

Page 27

Maintenance co worker Brad Ferguson gave the poles a new coat of paint Those who were able processed with the banners to the front of the monastery For the blessing the banners were hung in the patio 27

Page 28

BranchingOut Sisters of St Benedict Our Lady of Grace Monastery 1402 Southern Avenue Beech Grove IN 46107 Phone 317 787 3287 Fax 317 780 2368 Join us online Our web address is www benedictine com Find us on facebook at www facebook com beechgrovebenedictines If you have received more than one copy of Branching Out find an error in your address want to unsubscribe would like to receive Branching Out in PDF format via e mail add someone or change your address please fill out the form below and send it to us at Our Lady of Grace Monastery 1402 Southern Avenue Beech Grove IN 46107 or you can e mail us at OLGmonastery benedictine com Thank you q Please send Branching Out to my e mail address at __________________________ q Please remove my name q I am receiving more than one copy please send all labels and indicate which is to be removed q Please change my address attach old label q Please add the name indicated below New Information ________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________