Thoughts from the Prioress on Advent

Thoughts from the Prioress on Advent

The season of Advent is here. On Saturday evening we lit the first Advent candle. Its brightness in the midst of a darkened chapel was a reminder that Christ the Light is coming. We will continue our vigiling on the next three Saturdays when each successive candle will be lighted at our Evening Vigil which begins at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel. You are welcome to pray with us in this beautiful service and watch the light get brighter as Christmas draws near.

In her book,The Liturgical Year, Sister Joan Chittister writes: “. . . Advent, the season that teaches us to wait for what is beyond the obvious . . . [the season] that trains us to see what is behind the apparent.” For us, it is monastic mindfulness that helps us see what is beyond the obvious and behind the apparent. The monastic term for mindfulness is “memoria” — the “memory of God.” Becoming mindful of God’s presence as it permeates our daily lives is what monastics have done for centuries.

I invite you to join with us in the desire to grow in monastic mindfulness. As we engage in this time marked by waiting may our anticipation of Christmas be animated by monastic mindfulness, a mindfulness that enlivens us to seek God in the daily — a process that is as profound as it is simple. May all of us become more mindful of the signs of Emmanuel, God-with-us.

Blessings to you during this Advent season.

Sister Anne Wambach, OSB, the twenty-first prioress of the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Pennsylvania is a native of Philadelphia. She moved to Mount St. Benedict Monastery in 1992 to respond to a desire to experience the monastic way of life. Previously a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Chestnut Hill, Sister Anne began the formal transfer process to the Erie Benedictines in 1993 and made her monastic profession in 1997.

Sister Anne has served the people of the Diocese of Erie as a teacher at St. Gregory's School in North East, Pa., from 1992-1995, and at the Neighborhood Art House in Erie, beginning as program director in 1995 and as executive director since 2005. She served on the Monastic Council from 2006-2010.