August 2022 – A Reflection by Sister Susan Mika, OSB
August is upon us! When we think of August, we think of many things. August is often a time of vacations…it is a time of getting ready to go back to school for teachers and students…it is a time for reflection. The year 2022 is more than half over. When we pause, we often say, “Where did the time go?” Each day is a chance to start over.
We celebrate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Feast of the Assumption on the 15th… It is the date in 1962 that our Sisters moved to Boerne – in so many ways, it was a new beginning. We see photos of those who helped us move from South Alamo Street in San Antonio and get settled into our new home. The new home/estate had not had inhabitants for several decades, so all of that had to be a great cleanup effort. This year we celebrated 60 years in Boerne with a special Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, and Boerne’s Mayor, Tim Handren, honored us and thanked us for our presence. Our monastery has moved three times in those years – to different locations on our property. Many remain amazed at how we incorporated the Kronkosky Tower into the current monastery. It was built in 1911 – a sure sign, that’s the year our monastery started in the Isle of Pines, Cuba.
We are always trying to discern the signs of the times and move forward.
We find ourselves thinking and planning. Events happening in the world intervene… even with our best laid plans. We have experienced so much pain in the last few weeks. In our area of Texas, we have had the massacre of 19 children and 2 teachers the school shooting in Uvalde and the 53 migrants who died in a tractor trailer in San Antonio. No one who woke up on the day those events happened thought that was the way the day would end. We are in the midst of much unrelenting heat and drought – as is so much of our world this summer.
This summer, our Sisters participated in several events. In June, the Federation (new name: Congregation) of St. Scholastica celebrated 100 years and held the Chapter Meeting in Atchison. The monasteries celebrated, remembered those who went before us. Now, we continue to discern what vision is needed for the future. The Colloquium: “Benedictine Life: A Vision Unfolding” had to be held virtually – seekers, monastics, Oblates, and those interested in the future of Benedictine spirituality prayed together, listened to input, discussed ideas on how to live our values into the next 100 years.
In August, we will celebrate the professed lives of two of our Sisters – Sister Victoria Anne Olivares, OSB (60 years) and Sister Mary Lou Hernandez, OSB (45 years) with the Benedictine Sisters. Each has given her life to God and to God’s people in so many ways. We lift up their gifts and talents. They have touched so many lives in their years of ministry. We are so grateful they picked our monastery to be part of their/our lives.
God just asks that we do our best each day. Grace is offered to us and we gladly accept that gift.
We keep all of you in mind each day, as we work on the balance of our lives… balance between our daily concerns, our prayers for each other and the worries of the world and the urgency of the ministries God entrusts to each of us, this day. We hope you are mindful of us, too.