Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Spring Seattle Visit

Karen had a few days off so we planned a little trip to Seattle to visit Bradleigh and my dear friend, Marcia.  The magic of texting, cell phones, and GPS enabled us to meet Bradleigh in downtown Seattle just as she walked off the ferry from Bremerton.
We spent time wandering around Pike's Market place, admiring all the gorgeous flowers.  I watched as people unloaded the vans and built the bouquets right in front of our eyes.  

We had quite a challenge deciding whack bouquets to buy - I chose some lilacs, Bradleigh wanted a mixed bouquet of lilies and other spring flowers.  She'd warned me that her back yard had several lilac bushes, but I just wanted to enjoy the fragrance while traveling on the ferry to Bremerton.  I can't believe I took not one picture of her sweet home near Olympic College.  The house reminds me of my own, arched doorways, wood floors, a tiny bathroom.  She and Nate bought some new couches and Karen and I bought a TV stand from IKEA so the living room feels more homey now.  Bradleigh's cat, Callie, will miss the old green frieze couch - one that she can dig her claws into.  Callie put on quite a show during our visit, climbing up the couch, set on edge in the dining room, and then backing herself back down to the floor.
 The clouds do not obstruct the great Seattle shoreline - still a glorious view even when it's cold!
Marcia and I enjoyed a great lunch outdoors on Monday.  I haven't seen her since mid-March when she broke her tibia plateau while walking in a dog park in Seattle.
She's manipulated the stairs and hills of Queen Anne while recuperating at daughter, Amy's home.  I miss her wisdom and Sunday night wine parties on the deck.  Please come home soon!!  I't been almost two months.

 We walked to Duke's on Alki Beach and enjoyed some great crab cakes and martinis!

Can't beat the glorious sunset as we walked back to the Condo.  God's creation of the earth, sea, and sky continue to amaze me, especially when shared with my daughter and grand!  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Building Relationships with the Benedictine Sisters from the Monastery of St. Gertrude

Sisters Margie Schmidt and Kim Marie Jordan invited Regina Sullivan and me to partner with them for a Relationship Building event at the parish center at St. Stan's.  We transformed the center into a welcome space to meet and greet our guests! The goal of the event was to enhance Monastery relationships in our area by extending Benedictine Spirituality and building support for the Monastery.

 Regina, arranging the napkins!  Notice the lovely lilac bouquets from her garden.  

Sister Margie lives close to the parish center and after going home to get an extension cord she decided we'd all worked hard enough to celebrate with a beer!  Love that about the nuns!

 Regina and I baked muffins and sweetbreads!
Jack took the picture of all four of us just before the guests arrived!

Margie welcomed all guests and talked about Benedictine Spirituality.  She said,  "spirituality manifests itself in our passions and creativity."  Guests then shared their own spirituality by talking about individual passions and creativity.
Sister Margie visiting with Sharrol St. Marie and Anita LaFrenz and a friend from Coeur d'Alene

 Sister Meg Sass visiting with Mary Kate Myers, Earl Stroshein, and Francis Wittman
Wanda Michael and Phyllis Fromdahl

Sister Kim Marie shared a power point presentation, depicting the history, mission, outreach, and current programs at the Monastery.  All are welcome as the Sisters share their mission of healing hospitality, grateful simplicity and creative peacemaking.
I express my gratitude to the Sisters for helping me grow spiritually and teaching me love and acceptance of all peoples!  Kim Marie mentioned that there are 46 Sisters and 70 Benedictine Oblates affiliated with this Monastery.  I love being an Oblate, learning more about Benedictine Spirituality and having a peaceful place to retreat from life in Lewiston.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sister Mary Henriette Hoene, SSND, Rest in Peace

 Sister M Henriette, born 8/21/1917, died in Anna House, a home for retired nuns, on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.  In the Hoene Family History book, compiled by August "Gus" Hoene in 1984, she wrote, "as small children at home we learned to pray, work and play.  Dad's illness and early death affected all of us and brought other people into our lives, the Schmidt grandparents, also many relatives and friends, who came to our aid and waked the many nights while Dad lay suffering from cancer."   Sister was only five when her Dad died, my Mom, just a year old.  Sister often recalled how challenging it was for Grandma Hoene to give her permission to enter the convent and follow her vocation because she was the oldest at home at the time, and her hands were needed for the farm work.   With the family's blessing she entered the Motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, on Ripa Avenue in St. Louis, MO, on 9/2/1936 and made her first profession of vows on 8/2/1940.  She was a woman ahead of her time, graduating with a BS degree in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1942 from St. Louis University.  She taught school for 11 years and eventually became co-principal of Redemptorist High School in New Orleans.   She served her community as Directoress of Novices for seven years , General Councilor for the International Congregation for nine years traveling extensively from Rome to other provinces in Europe, South America, and the Caribbean Islands.

Dad, Mom, Karen, Sister, Aunt Lizzie Uhlenkott, Mayme Mader.  Joan and Connie stand in front.
When Gonzaga University opened it's theology program to women in 1958, Sister spent five summers in Spokane and was the first woman to receive an MA in theology from Gonzaga University in 1963.  I did not understand the significance of that experience at the time, but had a much better idea when she was featured in the Spring, 2011 Gonzaga Magazine.  The magazine quoted her as saying, "Being a farm girl I never expected to travel.  If someone would have said that I'd live in Room for nine years, I would't have believed them.  I praise God for the many opportunities I was given throughout my life - to experience such a diversity of people and ministries.  It's been a good life."  Yes, she was blessed with a Mother Superior who saw the potential in her, but she also had the courage to invade classrooms filled with men!  

Mom and Dad piled a bunch of kids and some old ladies in the car and drove to Spokane every summer to spend time with Sister at Madonna Hall.  Sister wrote in her memoir, "I looked at a map and saw that Spokane was just not too far from Idaho, so I wrote to Bertha, who was expecting Karen.  When you write to me to tell me that the new baby has arrived, I'll share some good news with you."  One summer Sister invited her mother to travel with her on the train.  Grandma spent 6 weeks with us in Idaho, while Sister completed her coursework in Spokane.  

Sister wrote hundreds, maybe thousands of letters in her lifetime.  I saved a few and found this one yesterday.  Tears came to my eyes when I read her sensitive comments.  She wrote it after Mom told her that Roy and I had separated.  

She quoted her Foundress, "All God's work is wrought through suffering, but then the roots grow stronger and the flowers are lovelier."  I'm sure those words eased my pain at the time and did it help this "little flower" grow lovelier?  Sister paid attention to the details that Mom communicated to her.  She noticed little things and always added a personal comment to every letter.  She wrote about her experiences, but she also took time to comment on our activities and accomplishments.  I found another letter she wrote in November, 1992, congratulating me on passing the Nursing Home Administrator's test!  She wrote, "I know now of one Nursing Home that will be under good management."  Wow, that gave me a lot of encouragement!

This picture was taken at Veronica House when the Kopczynski clan visited her in Sept, 2010.  She'd invited us to come for her 70th jubilee.  Why wouldn't we go - we'd been to her 25, 50, and now 70!  She almost made it to the 75th year celebration in August.  She loved living on the campus built for retired sisters.  She proudly showed us her room, the chapel, the dining room.  Her sewing machine had a place of honor, as did the quilt Mom quilted for her bed years ago.

We also took a tour of the Motherhouse at Ripa, with its lovely gardens and view of the Mississippi River in the background.  

 This picture of the Hoene girl cousins was taken at Martha Habing Stevens home in September, 2010, while still celebrating Sister's jubilee.  She loved to tell her stories and this is where we heard about the "what to expect after you are married" story that Kathy Hartke shared with us.  We laughed a lot that day, but also realized how Sister deeply had enriched our lives.  
I was delighted to be a part of this great group of cousins celebrating Sister's 70th year jubilee.  In November, 2010 she wrote, "for myself and others the happy memories linger.  I think I've done justice to the abundance of my Jubilee mail.  I seldom send just a short thank you because I know what it means if one receives something more personal."  On 8/14/2011 she typed, "As I look forward to my 94th birthday, I think it is only fitting that I celebrate with you and have you celebrate with me. Letter writing has been a valuable asset in our family.  It was the way that Bertha continued to share with the family she left behind--the day after her wedding.  It was also the way for me to share all the new experiences with the family after I left for Ripa on September 2, 1936."  

My sad heart fills with gratitude as I re-read her precious words tonight.  She gifted me with wonderful insight and the joy of family connections.  Maybe I'll get back to writing on my blog because it is the way I continue to share with my family, scattered near and far.