Marking the end of the Christmas Season

Sister Stephanie Schmidt leads Holy Hour

On the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus, Sunday, January 10, we end the Christmas season and enter into Ordinary Time. Still in quarantine with sisters who have COVID, the sisters marked the day with a Holy Hour.

Restricted to bedrooms and therefore unable to gather for communal prayer since the quarantine began on December 24, morning, noonday and evening prayer is broadcast over the monastery's PA system. The Holy Hour prayer proceeded in the same fashion. Pictured here, Sister Stephanie Schmidt, prioress, reads the introduction over the system:

For each of us, this Advent and Christmas season, like the past nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been truly extraordinary. Each of us has felt the lack of the ordinary, the usual, the commonplace in a particularly personal way:

  • For some, it has been the isolation and our deepest longing has been for human touch.
  • For some, it has been the fast from the Eucharist, unable to receive the Body and Blood of Christ in a tangible way.
  • For some, it has been the inability to visit and enjoy family and friends beyond our community here in the monastery.
  • For some, it has been the relentless worry of the long-term impact of this disease on our own health and the health of the community.

Whatever our struggle, however unique our individual fasts and deprivations, the Benedictine Sisters of Erie have consistently had the gift of extraordinary care, the love of one another in community and the grounding of our faith and our daily monastic prayer. For this, we can be immensely grateful and pray today for those who have so much less than we have.

And so we move into a time of quiet reflection together, as we pray: God of abundant blessings, as we come to the close of the Christmas season, may this time of silence and reflection fill our hearts with gratitude.