Dean Penny Bridges
Last week at St. Paul’s Cathedral during Holy Eucharist I made my first monastic profession as a solitary Benedictine nun. All were present: you who were able to attend Holy Eucharist last Saturday, and you who were unable to attend; the Communion of Saints, those who came before us at St. Paul’s, and those who will come after us.
I am very aware that this is our celebration — you have played a foundational part in raising a nun! Our lives are forever interwoven, and for that I am filled with gratitude to God and to you.
After signing the Act of Profession and being clothed with the veil, upon returning to the pew after the Peace, I felt powerfully washing over my whole being a commissioning from God to serve each of you.
I am your servant, O Lord,
teach me to do your will.
Together we will see the unfolding of the use of the Little Monastery of the Way (my former home, which has become a monastery). Individuals may come for the deep peace there. Small groups may come for a Quiet Day or a conference. A weekly Holy Eucharist will eventually be offered on a regular basis. The monastic library is available. God surely has more surprises in store!
Bishop Mathes, to whom I am in obedience as a solitary nun, is sending me forth now to spend more time with Religious Orders. This month I will be with the Order of the Holy Cross at Mt. Calvary Monastery in Santa Barbara for a week for Holy Cross Day, then on retreat at the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur for four days. In October I hope to spend time with a Cistercian community, and in November with the Community of the Holy Spirit to learn Gregorian chant, and at the motherhouse of the Order of the Holy Cross in West Park, NY, as well as with another Cistercian community. I will bring all that I learn back to you!
With love, gratitude, and joy from your sister in Christ,
Sister Karla Maria
(Photos from the Aug. 29th Holy Eucharist will be posted on the cathedral flickr page as they become available.)