Vol. 39, No. 3


November, 2010

Thanks to the talents of Sister Louise Sharum, St. Scholastica Monastery has a two-volume history--Write the Vi-

sion Down, covering the first hundred years of monastery history, and Until the Morning Star Rises, covering the next 25.

As a companion to these two books, Joyful Gifts features the poems and prose of 27 sisters, the musical composi-

tions of seven more, original artwork, and nostalgic photos gleaned from yearbooks, academy newsletters, old Horizons,

and photo archives covering a roughly seventy-year period from 1940 to the present.

While Sister Louise’s books present a factual history, Joyful Gifts, in beautiful, reflective verse perfect for bedtime

reading, reveals the hearts and souls of the holy women who taught so many of us, nursed us back to health, and were our

spiritual mentors in parishes, on retreats, and through their friendship.

- Sister Simon Edelhuber, a gifted nurse and water colorist, brought a whimsical, joyful vision to her nature poetry.

- Sister Cabrini Schmitz, alumna, teacher, journalist, and prioress, in sensitive reflections and centennial speeches,

chronicles the many emotions and challenges of a sister’s daily walk with God.

- Sister Consuella Bauer, principal, superintendent of schools, and diocesan director of religious education, brought

imagination, sensitivity, and craftsmanship to her prolific writing.

Whether she is writing about spirituality, nature, community, friendship, or family, each sister’s contribution--from

the music of Sister Stephen Smreker, who passed away in 1944, to the poetry of Sister Cecelia Brickell, who made her per-

petual profession in July--is as unique as the jigsaw puzzle pieces the sisters fit together in the community room, forming a

perfect--and compelling--picture of twentieth century monastic life.

The “Joyful Gifts” committee--Maryanne Meyerriecks, Communications Director; Sisters Christine Eckart and Cabri-

ni Schmitz; and alumnae Dorothy Sullivan and Debbie Bentley--spent many hours reading and selecting poetry, poring

through old photographs, and shedding an occasional tear or two to assemble a book that will be treasured and read,

laughed, cried, and prayed with for years to come. Through the miracle of print on demand” publishing, the monastery is

able to offer “Joyful Gifts” for only $18.75 a copy at our Gift Shop, at other local Catholic bookstores, through Amazon.com,

by contacting the sisters at www.stscho.org or by calling (479)783-4147.

A Message From the Prioress

As I begin sharing my thoughts with you in this issue of Horizons, I recall and ponder

Psalm 148 in praise of God’s creation. We have been blessed in many ways this spring,

summer, and autumn.

Spring was filled with repairs to our monastery building. So, for the plaster,

dust, cement, sawing, hammering, and noise of all kinds, we praise you, God, that all is


Last winter we, as a Chapter, voted to hire the Realm Group from Minnesota

to help continue the work we had begun with Sister Barbara Dannhausen to look to our

future. Sister Judith Jewison, O.P. and her partner, Mrs. Robin Eggert have been with us, directing us to

look beyond our fears into the future. They have held monthly on-site meetings with us since April. No

sister is left out of the Circle of Sharing, contributing her piece of wisdom. We have come through some

painful but growing times with them. So, for the growing pains, tears, and honest sharing, bringing us all to

a joyful spirit of hope, we praise you, God.

Summer brought hot weather to our area with little rain. It also brought the usual and traditional

time for vacations, renewing family ties, and other sundry things that summer brings. Among those was a

perpetual profession, jubilee celebration of eight of our sisters, the entrance of a postulant, and the cel-

ebration of Sr. DeChantal’s 104th birthday. We praise you, God, for all these wonderful happenings.

In a few weeks we will come to the end of the Church Year of 2010. The last Sunday in November

begins the beautiful season of Advent. We LISTEN to the CALL of the Prophet Isaiah inviting us to walk

in the ‘light of the Lord’ and to be AWARE of the signs of the coming of the One who will fulfill the promise

made long ago. This beautiful season is intermingled with feasts of Mary, who gave her humble “yes” to

the mystery of the Incarnation. May the Season of Advent bring us all to a joyful Christmas Season.

“Hope is the power behind love.” -St. John Climacus

Welcome, Postulant Sandra!

Sandra Nelson of Campbell, California, who entered St.

Scholastica Monastery as a postulant on September 14, felt drawn

closer with each succeeding discernment visit to the monastery.

“There was and continues to be a beautifully mysterious presence of

reassuring peace and comfort that touched upon all my senses,” she

said. “During each visit to the community I was blessed with a true

purpose as to what God was asking of me revealing himself to me in

very significant ways as I experienced life with the sisters.’

“The structure of prayer, community time, ministry and per-

sonal time for learning, meditation/reflection and recreation is bal-

anced in such a way that I had recognized it in myself and the manner

in which I feel called to live this gift of life to be quite similar to these

sisters who had been chosen by God.”

Postulant Sandra is currently studying Benedictine spiritual-

ity, the Rule of Benedict, and Scripture with Sister Dolores Vincent

and other instructors while sharing in the daily work and prayer life of

Vol. 39, No. 3


November, 2010

HORIZONS is published three times a year by the: Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery P.O. Box 3489, Fort Smith, AR 72913. Phone: 479-783-4147.

E-mail:[email protected] Website: www.stscho.org FAX: 479-782-4352. Anyone is welcome to be on the mailing list at no charge.

Maryanne Meyerriecks.........Managing Editor

Sister Elise Forst, OSB.........Editorial Advisor

Calvert McBride........Printers


the community.

L to R: Postulant Sandra Nelson is welcomed to the commu-

nity on September 14 by Sisters Maria, prioress; Kimberly,

vocation director; and Dolores Vincent, formation director.

Join us in welcoming Sandra as she begins her monastic


From the Development Office By Sister Elise Forst, OSB

As I sit in my office these fall days, I am observing the gradual transformation of the red

maple tree outside my window. Last week only a few red leaves graced some of the outer

branches. The changes from day to day have been hard to detect, but after a week a great

transformation is obvious. Now various shades of red and orange are all around the tree and

creeping ever deeper into the inner branches.

A wonderful image for the way transformation works in each of our lives and in the life

of our community. From day to day change isn’t dramatic, but when we compare the present to some point

in the past, we are amazed at the difference. As we work each month with Sister Judith Jewison and Robin

Eggert from Realm Group, we here at St. Scholastica have a strong sense of being involved in a transforma-

tional process. They are guiding us in looking with loving eyes on all the changes we have experienced and

foreseeing with hopeful hearts some possible changes that will enable us to move into the future with greater

zeal and vitality. At this point we are like the maple tree daily changes are occurring, but they are so slight

that we don’t recognize them. We trust that the Spirit at work among us will lead us to a future as glorious as

the maple tree is becoming. Our main call right now is to make the next best step.

As our steps into the future become clearer to us, we will be sharing more with you, our faithful friends. You

have been and continue to be our loyal companions on this journey. We are grateful for all the ways you assist us

your prayers, your volunteer service, your advice, your financial support, your love and encouragement.

You have recently received our fall appeal letter asking for your continued help. We thank those of you

who have already generously responded. This issue of Horizons gives you an additional way to help us. We

are presenting a wish list for your consideration. See the shortened version below. A longer version is on our

web site, www.stscho.org under Ways to Help. Thank you for considering helping us with any of these items.

The coming season of Advent calls us to transformative waiting for the presence of Christ to be re-

newed in each of our lives. We pray that your spirits will be renewed these coming days and ask your contin-

ued prayer for us as we grow into the transformation awaiting us.

Please remember us when revising or making your will. Our legal name is

St. Scholastica Monastery, Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Come to our Bake Sale

at St. Scholastica Retreat Center, 2nd Floor

Saturday, December 11 8:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 12 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

All our recipes contain

a cupful of blessing

leavened with prayer

and wrapped in


New this year:

Beautiful Fair Trade Gift Items at the

Oblate Table. Oblate Table proceeds will

benefit St. Mary Orphanage,

Mbale, Uganda



Sister Cordelia Lange, OSB

Sister Cordelia Lange, OSB of St. Scholastica Monastery, Fort Smith, entered into eternal life on

August 10, 2010 at the age of 94. She was born on May 4, 1916 in Nazareth, Texas to John and Louise

Lange. She entered St. Scholastica Convent in 1931 and made her monastic profession on June 24, 1932.

She received her state elementary school teaching certificate in 1942. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree

in Education from Marymount College, Salina, Kansas, in 1957 and her Master’s Degree in Theology from

St. John University, Collegeville, Minnesota, in 1963.

She taught from 1934 through 1997 except for a one year period, 1941-42, when she worked at

St. Joseph Orphanage. She taught in St. Joseph School, Paris; St. Benedict, Subiaco; St. Joseph, Center

Ridge; St. Mary, Barling; St. Joseph, North Little Rock; St. Augustine, Dardanelle; St. Mary, Altus; and St.

Scholastica Academy, Fort Smith. She spent the last thirty years of her teaching career in St. Joseph School, Amarillo, Texas.

In her nine years as a high school teacher at St. Scholastica Academy, she assisted the formation director in training aspirants

and novices. She retired to St. Scholastica Monastery in 1998. An accomplished seamstress, Sister Cordelia made vestments

and assisted in the monastery gift shop after her retirement.

Sister Cordelia is survived by her sister, Sister Corinne Lange, OSB, the members of her monastic community, and many

nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers and four sisters.

Sister Jane Fladung, OSB

Sister Mary Jane Fladung, OSB, formerly known as Sister Mary James, 87, of St. Scholastica Mon-

astery entered into eternal life Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, in Olathe, Kansas. She entered St. Scholastica

Convent as a postulant, August 28, 1938 and made her first profession on June 24, 1941. She received

a Bachelor’s Degree in French from Mount St. Scholastica College, Atchison, Kansas and taught at St.

Mary School, Barling; St. Joseph School, Paris; St. John School, Brinkley; St. John School, Fort Smith;

St. Joseph School, Ada, Oklahoma; St. Joseph School, Billings, Missouri; St. Gabriel School, Kansas City,

Missouri and St. Pius X School, Moberly, Missouri. In 1969, Sister Jane was among the founding members

from St. Scholastica who started a new monastic community, Our Lady of Peace Monastery, in Columbia,

Missouri, where she served as sub-prioress. In 1976 she became a Vista volunteer and co-founder of Koi-

nonia House, a place for women in crisis situations. In her later years, Sister Jane taught others how to live

in the present moment, teaching by example. She was a present to others reminding them of the presence of Christ with them

always. In 2010, Our Lady of Peace Monastery was dissolved, and Sister Jane transferred to St. Scholastica.

Sister Jane is survived by two sisters, Margie Korte and Rosemary Hogan, both of Ottawa, Kansas; two brothers,

Gene Fladung of Louisburg, Kansas; and John Fladung of Olathe; many nieces and nephews and her religious community.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters and one brother.

Oblate Karen Munsil

Karen Anne Munsil, 59, of Mena, Arkansas died Wednesday, July 21, 2010 in Hot Springs. She was born October 9,

1950 in New York City. She was a service dispatcher for the telephone company. Karen began the Oblate program in Septem-

ber, 2009 and enrolled in May, 2010. She is survived by her son, Brien Munsil of Houston, Texas; two sisters, Ellen Estevens

of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and Norma Nordenstrom of Houston, and a grandson.

Oblate Regina M. Chase

Regina Weiss Taylor Chase, 88, of Fort Smith passed away on July 1, 2010. She was a member of Immaculate Con-

ception Church and made her oblation on September 18, 1988. She moved to Fort Smith in 1947 with her husband, Ken O.

Taylor, who preceded her in death in 1966. She chose to remain in Arkansas and raise her four children there, remarrying Bob

Chase, Engineering Department Head at St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, in 1973. Regina Chase was best known publicly

for her nursing career. She graduated from the nursing program at Grasslands Hospital in New York, and became instrumental

in developing the surgical recovery room at Columbia Medical Center. Locally she worked as an R.N. in Fort Smith until becom-

ing the Director of the LPN School based at St. Edward Mercy Medical Center, a position she held more than twenty years.

Living to the age of 88, she enjoyed over 25 years of retirement with her beloved family, her volunteer work, her prize-winning

crafts and her garden room.

She is survived by four children: Fort Smith residents, Doug Taylor and CharMaine Beleele; California resident Ken

Taylor; and Joe Taylor of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been a joyous grandmother to thirteen grandchildren including Fort Smith

resident Jennifer Taylor Ervin who has presented her with three great grandchildren.



St. Scholastica Monastery places no geographical boundaries on prospective oblates. Marie Gordon and Jean

Daly, volunteer visitors from Leamington Spa, England, decided to become Oblates after spending several months in the

monastery. They have kept in touch with the sisters, and Jean even accompanied Sister Hilary Decker on her summer

teaching assignment to three monasteries in Kenya and Uganda.

Sister Magdalen Stanton, Oblate Director, tries to visit groups who are far from the monastery at least once a year.

There are now two large Oblate groups active in Missouri--Springfield Oblates, directed by Sister Stephanie Schroeder, and

Columbia Oblates, directed by Sister Barbara Bock. Both Missouri groups have active lay leaders who organize meetings,

prayer gatherings, and ministry work. Last month Sisters Barbara, Stephanie, and Regina traveled to visit their respective

oblate groups to pray and share with them.

Columbia, Missouri: Sister Barbara Bock attended the October 9 gathering of the Oblates who were associated

with Our Lady of Peace in Columbia, Missouri. The meeting began with a meditative prayer service and closed with evening

praise. The theme was Justice. Maureen Doyle, a former staff member of St. Francis Catholic Worker House in Columbia,

spoke about the Catholic Worker movements and the work of St. Francis in giving shelter to homeless men. She shared

that the poor have taught her about compassion and generosity.

Springfield, Missouri: Sisters Stephanie and Regina Schroeder, who started the group of Oblates in Springfield

in the early 1980’s, attended an Oblate meeting there last month. The first Springfield Oblate group made oblation in 1984

and are affiliated with the monastery here in Fort Smith. Five of that group are still living, with some able to be quite active

in their parishes. There were 34 Oblates when Sisters Stephanie and Regina left their Springfield parish to return to the

monastery, and the sisters continue their close relationship with the group. Sister Stephanie visits Springfield whenever

possible, to meet and pray with the group, give presentations on the Rule, and preside over enrollments and final Oblations

for those who cannot travel to Fort Smith. Marie McCann is the local Oblate contact.

Presently there are 29 members including two enrollees and two inquirers. The members are from the five parishes

in Springfield. They come together for meetings at the Paulette Center which is part of the Diocese’s Catholic Center.

The Springfield Oblates have always been and still are very active in their parishes. Many took their turn working in

the “Kitchen” serving three meals a day to the poor every day for years and now several meet every Tuesday and Thursday

to bag doughnuts from the stores and bring them to the food pantry to be distributed to the poor. Many come together at

St. Joseph Church each morning of the week to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Two groups meet at Marie McCann’s house

each week throughout the year for Scripture Study and prayer.

Fort Smith, Arkansas: In addition to their monthly Oblate meetings, the oblates who attend monthly meetings

at the monastery have started taking occasional group day trips. Their first trip was to Hesychia House of Prayer in New

Blaine, where they enjoyed visiting with core community members Sisters Louise Sharum, Andrea Loran, and Ethel Marie

Sonnier, touring the property, seeing the hermitages, and meeting the 30

head of cattle Sister Louise affectionarely dubs “our lawnmowers.” The

Oblates are going to sponsor a Fair Trade Gift Item table at the monas-

tery bake sale December 11 and 12, donating the proceeds from their

sale to St. Mary Orphanage, Mbale, Uganda, a desperately poor institu-

tion that Sister Hilary visited in August.

Individually, the monastery has been blessed by its many oblate

volunteers. In the picture to the right, Oblate Haymeé Giuliani brings her

Trinity Junior High School Religion class to the monastery cemetery on

All Souls Day to pray for all those who have died. Haym also teaches

Spanish to a number of sisters every Monday afternoon in her Trinity


Although St. Scholastica Monastery Oblates are sometimes separated by distance, they still form a community of

prayer with the sisters. Let us remember to pray for one another this Advent and Christmas season.

O Loving God, I ask your blessing this day on all the Oblates of Saint Benedict and those with whom we are affiliated.

Help us to become people of prayer and peace.

Though scattered far and wide, help us to be together in the spirit of your love. Give us hearts wide enough to embrace each

other as well as those whose lives we touch. Enable us to listen and to learn from each other and those around us each day.

May we be models in our homes, neighborhoods, and communities of wise stewardship, dignified human labor, sacred

leisure, and reverence for all living things.

Above all, O God, may our presence among others be a constant witness of justice, compassion, and hope to all. Amen.

(Alliance for International Monasticism prayer; adapted by Sue Walkoviak,oblate of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, MN)



Scho Girls


July 16-18

Photos by Charmaine Beleele

St. Scholastica Academy’s youngest alumnae--the Class of ‘68--are now 60 years’ young, but,

like the sisters who taught them 42 or more years ago, they have the energy, vitality, and spirit of wom-

en who are much younger.

During their triennial reunion, they partied, prayed, and visited the weekend away--beginning

with a wine and cheese party Friday night, continuing with lunch, a business meeting, and a banquet on

Saturday, and concluding with Mass concelebrated by Msgr. John O’Donnell and Father David McKillin

and a farewell brunch on Sunday.

The sisters enjoyed reminiscing and socializing with those who traveled from all over the U.S. to

attend the reunion as well as local alumnae whom they are able to see more frequently.


Sister Maria DeAngeli attended the Lead-

ership Conference of Women Religious annual

meeting in Dallas, Texas August 9-14.

Sisters Kimberly Prohaska and Rachel

Dietz attended the 60th anniversary of Assumption

Abbey, a Cisterian community in Ava, Missouri.

Sister Elizabeth Rossi attended the Subpri-

oress/House Coordinator Meeting at Sacred Heart

Monastery, Cullman, Alabama from September 17-





Meyerriecks attended the National Communications


Network for Women Religious Conference in Denver,

Colorado September 21-24 and the Catholic Press

Association Workshop in Little Rock October 20-21.

Sister Kimberly Prohaska ran a Vocation

Booth at Youth 2000, Marche, on October 10; spoke

at a Catholic Campus Ministry Adult Vocation Call

on October 14, and led monastery tours for Trinity

Junior High School students on November 5.

On November 12-14, Sister Kimberly, Di-

rector of Catholic Campus Ministry at University of

Arkansas Fort Smith, attended the CCM State Re-

treat in Subiaco.

2011 Retreat Schedule

January 6-9

Silent Directed Retreat

Directors: Sister Rachel Dietz et al.

February 11-12

Thomas Merton

Presenter: John King

February 12

Caregivers Day of Recollection

February 26

Lenten Day of Recollection

Presenter: Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

March 18-20

Labyrinth Retreat

Presenters: Clara Jand Rubarth and Sr. Macrina

Wiederkehr, OSB

April 21-24

Triduum Retreat

April 28-May 1

Centering Prayer Retreat

Presenter: Nick Cole

May 13-15

How to Deal With a Prickly Porcupine

Presenter: Fr. Matt Linn, S.J.

July 15-20

A 5-Day Retreat on the Psalms

Presenter: Sr. Hilary Decker, OSB

September 16-18

Moving Beyond Fear to Hope

Presenter: Cackie Upchurch

October 28-30

Celtic Spirituality

Presenter: Sr. Therese Elias, OSB

December 2-4

Advent Retreat: There Is So Much Grace in Waiting

Presenter: Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB


2011 Retreat Preview

St. Scholastica Retreat Centers 2011 schedule will bring back some fa-

vorite presenters from previous years as well as introduce visitors to some new


The Center begins its retreat year with the popular Silent Directed

Retreat. Eight Directors will be available to work with up to 25 retreatants.

Through daily prayer, reading, journaling, spiritual direction, and silence, partici-

pants grow closer in their relationship with God. The sisters will also welcome

guests to spend the Triduum in silent prayer with them on the Triduum Retreat,

Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday (April 21-24.)

Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, whose upcoming book will be going to

the publishers in 2011, will present three retreats. In the Labyrinth Retreat on

March 18-20, she will co-present with Clara Jane Rubarth, a master gardener,

retired professor, and President of the Fort Smith Historical Society. Clara Jane

was instrumental in building a labyrinth on Fort Chaffee Grounds adjacent to the

Cooperative Extension building.

Sister Macrina will also present a Lenten Day of Recollection February 26

and an Advent Retreat, “There is So Much Grace in Waiting,on December 2-4.

Sister Hilary Decker will lead the five-day summer retreat this year, focusing on

the Psalms through the modalities of community prayer, meditation, and creative


Nick Cole, whose “Centering Prayer” retreat was well-received last

year, will lead a three-day retreat in 2011. All who participated in his 2010 retreat

requested that this retreat be offered in a longer time format next year, and we

are sure that it will bring blessings to the retreatants.

Father Matt Linn, SJ, who taught a large and enthusiastic gorup how

to reverse the aging process in 2009, will return in May to teach rejuvenated

retreatants how to deal with prickly porcupines (aka difficult people.)

John King will once again offer a Lenten retreat on Thomas Merton in

a shorter mini-weekend format.

Our two new presenters are Cackie Upchurch, Director of Little Rock

Scripture Study, who asks the question, “Where does hope come from and what

could it look like when we allow hope to be the ‘anchor of our soul’ (Hebrews

6:19)?” on September 16-18.

She will be followed on October 28-30 by Sister Therese Elias, OSB,

a Benedictine sister from Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, Kansas, who will help

retreatants reclaim their forgotten Celtic legacy as they celebrate the goodness

of creation, the nearness of the Saints, and the power of the Trinity in our midst.

Presentations will utilize ancient poetry, art, song, storytelling, and Celtic Chris-

tianity’s beautiful legacy of prayers and blessings.

The Center will continue to offer Retreat in Daily Life and Spiritual Direc-

tor Formation. In Fall, 2011-Spring, 2012, Retreat in Daily Life, Introduction to

Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Classics, and Practicum II will be offered.

With her award-winning book, Seven Sacred

Pauses, Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB teaches us to

live mindfully through the hours of the day.

Now, with the release of her 2011 limited edition

inspirational calendar, A Year of Beauty, she gives us the

opportunity to live mindfully and prayerfully throughout

the year.

The calendar, whose proceeds will benefit the Re-

treat Center, is available for $10 at St. Scholastica Gift

Shop, on our website at www.stscho.org, or by phone order

at (479) 783-4147 ext. 334.

Purchase Joyful Gifts and A Year of Beauty to-

gether for $25 and save $3.75.

Justpeace is continuing its month-

ly witness at the southeastern corner of

Creekmore Park on the first Sunday of

each month from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. to

pray for diplomatic solutions in the war-

torn countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the

Holy Land.

During October and November, Just-

peace dedicated its film series to educating the

public about “fracking.Fracking is hydraulic

fracturing for natural gas drilling, an unsafe en-

vironmental practice which can negatively im-

pact water, air, soil, and human health.

In October, the monastery showed

“Gasland,” a Sundance Film Festival Award

winning documentary covering fracking

damage all over the United States.

In November, members of Arkan-

sans for Gas Drilling Accountability (AGDA)

brought slides and footage of Arkansas

properties damaged by fracking.

Tentative dates for future films are

Monday, January 3 and Monday, February 7.

Keep informed about our events at

Facebook.com. Our fan page is “St. Scho-

lastica Monastery Fort Smith.”

Non-Profit Organization

U.S. Postage Paid

Fort Smith, AR

Permit: No. 429

Tapestry by

Sr. Roberta

Hyland, OSB

St. Scholastica Monastery

1301 South Albert Pike

P.O. Box 3489

Fort Smith, AR 72913-3489

[email protected]


Mary sings softly to the Babe within, Who is waiting to be born anew

In every soul through the gentle silent Word. - Sr. Maria De Angeli

May love and peace be born anew in your hearts as we rejoice in Christ’s coming to be one with us.

You will be remembered with gratitude in our Masses and community prayers during this joyous season.