01 January 2009

News From Transfiguration Monastery!

Sister Donald Corcoran, OSB Cam sent out the Christmas newsletter for Transfiguration monastery recently and the news is generally wonderful and, I think, exciting! First, our postulant (Swannee Edwards) will become a novice in February, while another new Sister has joined the community and is exploring a transfer from a monastery in France. She is Sister Sheila Long, an American Benedictine nun who has spent the last 20 years at the Abbey of Maumont. Both are making a considerable contribution to life at Transfiguration.

Secondly, there have been physical changes around the monastery. In the Fall a new hermitage was constructed. This 14' X 30', simple and beautiful monastic cottage is a piece of a masterplan meant to make the two poles (cenobitical and eremitical) of Camaldolese life and spirituality clear at Transfiguration Monastery. It is the first of several new hermitages planned to match the growth of the community as well as a couple of others for guests and long-term retreatants. A second hermitage may be built in 2009, and other plans include the expansion of the meeting area (present day refectory), additional bathroom facilities and a proper ground level entrance.

Upcoming events at Transfiguration include some short term courses and talks open to the public given by Sister Donald, as well as a visit in the Spring from Sister Pascalina, the superior of the Camaldolese Benedictine house in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The hope is this will be the first of a series of periodic visits of African Sisters of our congregation. (Swannee Edwards was able to spend some time at the house in Dar Es Salaam during a trip to Africa this year herself.)

And finally, the sad news (I may have posted on this already): in July a co-founder of Transfiguration Monastery, Sister Mary Placid Deliard, OSB Cam, died here in California after a long struggle with illness. Despite the keen loss, Sister Donald writes that Transfiguration already feels the support of her prayers and intercession.

The entire community, asks that you remember Transfiguration in your prayers. It looks to be an exciting time ahead. Sister Donald asks that you check out the website, especially the photo gallery section which (I believe) has been updated. Pictures of the new hermitage, etc, will be forthcoming here as well as soon as those are available. Hopefully I can get a picture in February of the new novice as well! Those of you who are able to get to Transfiguration in Windsor, NY easily, please do check out the schedules of courses and talks Sister Donald will be giving. She is really fine in these with a depth and breadth of knowledge which are impressive. If you can take one or two of these offerings, I hope you will. Also, as I have encouraged before, do consider making a retreat there once the Winter respite is over.