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"Let all who come be received as Christ himself, for he will say: 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me.'"

-- Rule of Benedict,
Chapter 53

Weston Benedictine Monks
Journey to Nicaragua
Winter Retreat, 2001

Sisters Matilde, Yerenia, Carolina, and Fidelina
Sisters Matilde, Yerenia, Carolina, and Fidelina
The Sisters' Community in Barrio Munguia

Looking back from Vermont:
Our Benedictine sisters

(ONE OF A SERIES )

We meditate on the Power of their Presence.

    Four women, two Mexicans and two young Nicaraguans, in this tiny house in the neighborhood, and what a difference they make.

    They have no great evangelizing programs, strategies, or organized apostolate.

    They live a simple community life, based on the Rule of Benedict.

    So many people in this crowded area and so many things happening.

    So little to live on, so little to work with. And yet there is a vital spirit all around them.

    The sisters seem to be just a natural part of all that is happening.

    Not controlling, not directing, not even teaching -- but a center of gentle, prayerful, and supportive presence in an otherwise chaotic space.

    Children and adults come to join the sisters for prayer.

    The sisters reach out, neighbors to the sick, the elderly.

    Reach out to the suffering.

    There is a radiance of care, friendship, and peace that goes out from this little dwelling.

    A great tree that shelters and embraces the neighborhood.

Back in Weston, we reflect on their presence.

Is this what Christianity could be like? What it was intended to be?

Surely what we witnessed there was an authentic expression of Benedictine monastic life.

Next: Looking back from Vermont: Juancito's healing ways

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