Newsletter - Spring 2006


Expect your prayers

to be answered in

wondrous ways.

The dry seasons

in life do not last.

The spring rains

will come again.

                   Sarah Ban Breathnach

Dear Friends of Carmel ,


Robert Fulghum tells the story of one Christmas when he received hardly any Christmas cards. He did not realize this until the February of the next year on a day he needed to feel bad about something. In August of the same year, while cleaning the attic, he found a box of unopened Christmas cards. He went downstairs, turned on Christmas music, read them, and then cried. Hearing Christmas music in August, a neighbor came over to inquire. When she learned what was going on, she , too, cried.


As we file away winter’s happenings in the attic for another year, we take a look at what may have happened in our terribly exciting lives since we last wrote to you. Actually, there are really only three kinds of stories: The stories we live, the stories we tell, and the stories that help our souls fly up toward greater light. (Ben Okri)


We wish to report that the stars are still shining out here in Eldridge. Some of us even know which ones we should refer to as planets. One of our early risers tells us that she saw something like a big orange “harvest moon” setting in the northwest around 6:00 a.m.. We wonder what such a moon might be called. Perhaps it is the “moon of hope and good news”. With the coming of spring, we greet the golden weeping willows on their to turning green, while at the same time saying goodbye to the eagles. We only sing about the eagles, now, knowing that when life becomes challenging, God will bear us up on eagle wings. Isn’t that a nice thought?


We did have a new visitor, recently, a beautiful gray and white turkey wearing a fetching red cap with great pride. We felt bad that Tessie had to go back to our neighbors. However, it sparked a good conversation on how one catches a turkey. The farmers among us surmise that one waits until dusk or darkness, when they go roost. We’re not exactly sure how turkeys roost. We’ll look that up and report in our next newsletter. There are some among us who think it would be a good idea for us to raise peacocks. We won’t go into that discussion, however.


In early February, we welcomed Fe de Torres from the Philippines . When we asked her when they have winter in the Philippines , she told us that they do not have winter. It does make us wonder how they know it is spring. When the temperature rose to 70 degrees, recently, she commented that maybe this is what winter is like in the Philippines . With heartfelt love, we welcome Fe and pray that God will stay close to her on her journey in this very different country.


In the middle of February, Suzanne Schwarz, a wonderful organist, arrived. Suzanne will be with us through Lent, Easter and Pentecost. Suzanne is a native of wide-open Montana and knows all about little towns such as Hungry Horse. Suzanne also plays the harp. She not only plays the harp, but makes them. Presently, she is giving us lessons, taking our minds off raising turkeys or peacocks. This is both exciting and challenging. Even if one plucks just one little string, it is beautiful, due to all those overtones of course. We deeply thank Suzanne for her music as well as for the presence of her person. We will miss her when she leaves. Maya Angelou would say that each favor we extend strengthens the pillars of the world.

We look forward to lighting the Easter fire unter our darkened star-studded skies. You will be there with us. May the blessing that comes to you this Easter be the blessing you wished for - for a long time. Since it is spring, put off until tomorrow whatever worry you might have. Perhaps between now and then, God will have passed your way. Please know that we pray for you every day.

P.S. - As this newsletter was readied for the press, God visited our monastery in a very special way. The angels came to take our Sister Mary Rozanne Heller home. We shall miss our Sister. We extend our sympathy to her family and her many friends.


Love and Prayers,

Your Carmelite Sisters – Eldridge , Iowa

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