Vol. 40, No. 3


November, 2011

Keep Vigil With Gods Word and Transform Your Life

In Seven Sacred Pauses, Sister Macrina Wiederkehr invited read-

ers to experience the spirit of the Liturgy of the Hours. In her latest book,

Abide: keeping vigil with the Word of God, published by Liturgical Press in

September, she invites them to make the Word of God their home through the

practice of Lectio Divina, or holy reading. Sharing the wisdom she has gained

through living monastic life for more than fifty years, she mentors readers who

are just learning about Lectio and brings new insights to those who practice

Lectio regularly.

Sister Macrinas column, “Romancing the Word,” for Stepping Stones,

Little Rock Scripture Study’s newsletter, was the springboard for her latest

book. She used her columns, praying over each one again and making extensive revisions, adding prayers and ques-

tions after each of the forty scriptural meditations. The questions may be used for individual reflection or faith sharing

in small groups.

In his review of her book, Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB of Subiaco Abbey wrote: “Sister Macrina invites us to

enter into the biblical Word of God as if coming into the warm shadows of a sanctuary to spend time with God ‘in the

silent cathedral of our beings.’ She makes us conscious of a living presence as she opens selected passages with

beautifully written meditations, sharing her own daily journey of faith. With her help we learn to slow down and listen,

waiting patiently and confidently for the Lord to speak to our hearts.”

Sister Macrina will direct several retreats on Lectio Divina at St. Scholastica Retreat Center in 2012—a one-

day retreat on March 8; a weekend retreat May 4-6; and a five-day silent Lectio retreat on September 23-29. A

complete list of the retreats she will lead across the United States next year will be available at www.stscho.org. She

is currently visiting Australia and New Zealand, presenting retreats based on themes from her current book and her

previous book, Seven Sacred Pauses.

Her latest book, along with her 2012 inspirational wall calendar, “A Year of Grace,” based on themes from

Abide, are available at the monastery gift shop. Abide is also available on Amazon.com and other online and retail


St. Scholastica Retreat Centers 2012 annual brochure

is included in the centerfold pages of November Horizons.

Our 2012 program will include a variety of spon-

sored retreats in time formats ranging from one to five

days; hosted retreats for organizations and parishes; and

weekly Retreat in Daily Life groups.

The Center also welcomes visitors to structure

their own private retreats, with or without spiritual direction.

Private retreats can also be scheduled at Hesychia House

of Prayer in New Blaine.

Save the enclosed brochure, and consider making

a retreat at St. Scholastica next year!

Sister Macrina signs Debbie Bentley’s book.

A Message From the Prioress

Dear Friends of St. Scholastica,

The month of November brings about changes in our day to day lives. We remember the saints, those of

our loved ones who have gone before us, who are hopefully now enjoying eternal peace.

We enter more deeply into the autumn season of the year; as trees begin to shed their leaves, the days are a bit

nippier and shorter. These are all the changes we take for granted and let happen without much notice. Amid all of

this we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King and a day of giving thanks for all good gifts, ‘Thanksgiving.’

We know that on the first day of Advent we will experience another kind of change--one that has not made some

of us comfortable or happy. I am referring to the change of words in the Liturgy of the Mass. One writer commented

by telling us not to focus on the “new” words but to grasp the opportunity to engage in seriously renewing our un-

derstanding of the Liturgy. We are encouraged to embrace this change in our faith life and move on because when we join together

to celebrate Eucharist we will find that only the words, and not the substance, have changed. Perhaps after the newness wears off

all will be well!

We here at St. Scholastica are experiencing change daily as we grow older and as more of our elders move to the infirmary to

be cared for by a loving staff of caregivers. St. Benedict tells us in Chapters 36 and 37 that “care of the sick must rank above and

before all else, so that they may truly be served as Christ.” Of the elderly he says, “their lack of strength must always be taken into

account and they should be treated kindly... .” It is because of this we are moving ahead with our consultants from the REALM

Group to continue to move realistically to the future and what that holds for us. Whatever that will entail, we will act with faith and

hope, knowing that God will assist us through what the future will bring for us as a community. We are grateful to all of who have

generously assisted us as we journey together. We hold all of you in our daily prayer.

So, we wait in joyful hope during the holy season of Advent as we remember the change that was brought about by Mary’s “yes”

to the request of God. Marys “yes” brought forth the Word Incarnate, Jesus, into a world of unrest, similar to the unrest we experi-

ence in today’s world. May we all, in this holy season of Advent, move with hopeful assurance to the changes that we embrace,

welcoming with joy the Incarnate One into the new Liturgical Year.

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


Oblate Josie A. Sponer Hartman,100, of St. Vincent, passed away August 4, 2011.She was born September 10, 1910, in

Hattieville, the daughter of Michael and Mary Ruffiner Sponer. She was the widow of Theodore Henry Hartman, a homemaker, a

member of St. Mary Catholic Church and its Altar Society. She is survived by one son, Clemens, four daughters, Louise, Verena,

Rose, Emma and their spouses; 32 grandchildren; 64 great-grandchildren; and 19 great-great-grandchildren.

She became a Benedictine oblate on March 10, 1985. Her funeral Mass was held on August 6, 2011, followed by burial in the

parish cemetery.

Oblate Jane S. Harrison, 73, of Little Rock, died August 14, 2011. She enjoyed a long career as an office manager in the

insurance industry. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Mary Catherine McDougal; and three sons, Jerry Thomas

Griffin, Michael Anthony Griffin and James Nicholas Griffin.

She made her Benedictine oblation on September 17, 1989. She is survived by her husband, Donald M. Harrison, who is also

an oblate; a stepson, a granddaughter, a step-grandson, brother and sister-in-law, many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. In

addition to their service as oblates, Jane and Don volunteered with the Legion of Mary for more than 15 years. Her funeral was

held August 17 at St. Marys Catholic Church, Altus.

Oblate Hilda F. Kleck, 91, of Fort Smith passed away September 14, 2011. She was born August 20, 1920, in Morrisons Bluff,

AR to the late Joseph William Kleck and Ida Agnes Werner Kleck. She was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church,

the Ladies Auxiliary, and a former file clerk for Weldon, Williams, and Lick. She made her oblation at St. Scholastica Monastery

on October 20, 1991. She was preceded in death by two brothers, Wilford and Lawrence Kleck.

She is survived by five sisters, Loretta Crawley, Mary Walbe, Gertrude Huck, Agatha Lensing, JoAnn Lehnen, a brother, Charles

Kleck, their spouses, a sister-in-law, Mag Kleck, and several nieces and nephews. Her funeral was held at Immaculate Conception

Church on September 17.

Vol. 40, No. 3


November, 2011

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

From the Development Office By Sister Elise Forst, OSB

In this season of Thanksgiving our hearts are full of gratitude for all the blessings in our lives. As I am writing

this, beauty abounds all over our grounds. Trees that were brown from the hot, dry summer are now radiant in

reds and yellows. The days of excessive heat are forgotten as we delight in day after day of cool mornings and

warm afternoons. The goodness of people all around us helps alleviate the pain we feel when hearing of the

many tragedies in the world.

Your generous response to the appeal letter you just received in the mail is a powerful example of that good-

ness. We depend on your care and support to continue praying and living together here at St. Scholastica’s.

You help us care for our dear senior Sisters who have given their lives in service. Many of you have experienced

their loving care at some point in your lives. They continue serving you through their ministry of prayer.

Your help also enables us to extend hospitality to our many guests. Among these are retreatants, those in training to be spiritual

directors, and young women visiting to see if this way of life matches the call they sense for their lives. We are blessed by the

presence of all of our visitors.

Our gratitude is often expressed in our prayers for you and your intentions. We realize that these are challenging times for many

who are unemployed or worried about providing for retirement. Knowing the challenges that many of you face intensifies both our

gratitude for your generosity and our prayers that your needs are met.

May the days of Advent and Christmas increase the hope and joy in your lives as we celebrate again Jesus’ coming to show

His great love for us and to show us how to spread that love throughout the world.

Please remember us when revising or

making your will. Our legal name is

St. Scholastica Monastery,

Fort Smith, Arkansas.

If you know any people who may

enjoy seeing Horizons, please send

their names and addresses to

Sister Elise Forst, P.O. Box 3489,

Fort Smith, AR 72913 or

e-mail [email protected].



In September, the Retreat

Center welcomed a new

Director, Kathy Schmelzer

of Fort Smith.

Kathy is a

member of Christ the King

Catholic Church and active

in Cursillo and Charismatic

Renewal. She has managed

her own business and brings energy, enthusiasm,

and creativity to her new position.

Several of the sisters have received new as-

signments in the monastery as well. Sister Kim-

berly Prohaska has been appointed sub-prioress,

and will be assisted in vocations ministry by Sis-

ter Barbara Bock. Sister Rachel Dietz will work

full-time in the growing spiritual director formation

program, now offered in Fort Smith, Fayetteville,

and Rogers. Sister Hilary Decker is teaching in

formation and in the Spiritual Director Formation


Wish List

For the monastery:

Five (5) 20" (minimum) Flat Screen Monitors

For the Infirmary:

Headphones w/foam padding

around the ears (the old fashioned kind)

X-tra long twin sheets - colors

and flowered patterns

Bed pillows


Shampoo, Lotion, Bath powder,

Toothpaste (non-whitening brand)

A new computer w/XP or Vista 7

2 Wii controllers

For the gift shop:


St. Scholastica’s Kitchen and Housekeeping staff members put the “happy”

in Hallowe’en with their colorful costumes. (L to R) Sue Burton as Super

Mario and “flower children” Linda Pinkerton, Jodie Edgar, Sandra Sharp and

Bridgette Smithson.

Vocation Center News

Sister Kimberly Prohaska, St. Scholastica’s vocation director, has used technology in innovative ways to

reach women who are discerning a call to religious life from all over the country. In the past few months, discern-

ers have visited from Florida, California, and Texas, as well as Arkansas. Through vocation chats, video vocation

stories, and Facebook, she tells the story of the Benedictines who came to Shoal Creek in 1879 and are living their

vocations today.

On April 28-May 2, Sisters Kimberly, Elise Forst, and Dolores Vincent Bauer attended the American Bene-

dictine Vocation Conference in Schuyler, Nebraska. Sister Kimberly was elected to the Core Team of the American

Benedictine Formation Conference, and attended a core team planning meeting September 17-22. She will serve

as web coordinator for the group during her four-year term.

With her assistant vocation director, Sister Barbara Bock, Sister Kimberly attended the National Benedictine

Vocation Conference in Beech Grove, Indiana October 18-24. The theme of the conference was “Vocation Ministry

Within a Monastic Context.” She gave a presentation to new vocation directors, entitled “Vocation Directors: Tech-

nology and Promo Tips, Where Are They?”

Sister Kimberly has just set up a new Facebook fan page especially for discerners called Vocations Page for

St. Scholastica Monastery Fort Smith Arkansas.” Twenty-one sisters vocation stories can be accessed on You Tube

under the name “StSchoMonastery.” She has a blog on blogspot.com which can be accessed through our www.

stscho.org website. She appreciates the opportunity to share her technical knowledge with other orders, because,

as she sees it, the real role of a vocation director is to help women discern where God is calling them, whether that

ultimately turns out to be St. Scholastica Monastery, another religious order, or to the lay apostolate.

On January 13-14, for the very first time, the Vocations Office of the Diocese of Little Rock will hold a Wom-

en’s Vocations Retreat at St. John’s Catholic Center in Little Rock. This 24-hour retreat is dedicated to a woman’s

personal reflection of God’s will in her life. Sister Barbara Bock, assistant vocation director, will represent the mon-

astery at this retreat. Discerners can contact Maria Izquierdo or Liz Tingquist at 501-664-0340.

Next March, the Western Deanery of the Diocese of Little Rock will hold its own Fifth Grade Vocation Day.

When Fifth Grade Vocation Days were discontinued by the diocesan vocations office in 2010, elementary school

principals in the western deanery decided to continue this outreach program for fifth graders in area schools. St.

Scholastica Monastery, Subiaco Abbey, and other clergy and religious will participate.

Come and See Experiences:

January 6-8, 2012

Monastic Live-in Weekend

February 17-19, 2012

Monastic Live-in Weekend

July 5-9, 2012 Consider Your Call

Summer Discernment Retreat

St. Scholastica Monastery Monastic Experience

Come and See Weekends and the Consider Your Call

Summer Discernment Retreats are open to young Catholic

women between the ages of 18-45 who want to learn about

Benedictine life. There will be times for prayer, ministry,

getting to know the Sisters and participating in monastic

life. For more information, contact our Vocation Director:

Sister Kimberly Rose Prohaska, OSB

St. Scholastica Monastery

P.O. Box 3489

Fort Smith, Arkansas 72913

(479) 783-4147

vocationdirecto[email protected]ho.org

Core Team Formation Conference members (L to R) Sister Jen-

nifer Horner from Beech Grove, IN, Sister Kimberly, Sister Agatha

Muggli from Bismarck, ND, Sister Rose Wildeman from Ferdinand,

IN. Not Pictured: Sister Gabrielle Oestreich from Norfolk, NE.


Retreats and Programs

St. Scholastica Retreat Center

1205 S. Albert Pike, P.O. Box 3489, Fort Smith, AR 72913

(479) 783-1135

[email protected]g


St. Scholastica Retreat Center is a ministry of the monastic community of St. Scho-

lastica Monastery. Located in the foothills of the Ozarks and in the heart of Fort Smith,

Arkansas, it is a perfect place to come and renew your spirit. Retreatants are always wel-

come to participate in the Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist with the Benedictine Sisters. A

labyrinth is located on the grounds.

In addition to the retreats and programs listed in this brochure, the center hosts

many retreats throughout the year for outside groups. Some groups who have held retreats

here in the past include Leadership Fort Smith, Via de Cristo, Beginning Experience, Good

Leaders Good Shepherds, Catholic Campus Ministry, Hispanic Cursillo, Little Rock Dea-

cons, and many others.

Many people enjoy private retreats at the Center for one or two nights or longer peri-

ods. Private retreats are $50 per night, including meals. Retreatants can structure their own

retreats and may incorporate spiritual direction into their retreats. The suggested donation

for spiritual direction is $30 to $50 per session.

A weekend retreat or day of recollection can be extended, allowing more time for private prayer and

reflection, by adding on private retreat time.

General Information:

The Center is wheelchair accessible.


Arrival-Departure: Unless otherwise noted, weekend retreats begin with 6:30 p.m. registration on Friday and close

with lunch on Sunday. Saturday workshops run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Swimming Pool: An indoor pool is open May through October.

Visit the Gift Shop located in the monastery.

The Center offers a limited number of retreat scholarships to qualified applicants. In keeping with the

Rule of Benedict governing hospitality, those who have been blessed with more may wish to contribute more,

and those who have less give less so that “all may be at peace in the house of God.” If you need scholarship

assistance to attend a retreat, please contact the Center office at (479) 783-1135 to apply.

At St. Scholastica, we treasure our volunteers. Whether they volunteer in our office, in our hospitality

ministry, or for special events, they are an integral part of our retreat center. If you can help us, please call

Kathy Schmelzer at (479) 783-1135.

Mission Statement

St. Scholastica Retreat Center strives to nourish the whole

person by enabling quality education, spiritual growth, and

development, by caring for the beauty that surrounds us,

by providing a sense of order and harmony, by sharing our

resources, our selves, and our way of life.


January 5-8

Silent Directed Retreat with Sister Rachel Dietz, OSB and other qualified spiritual directors

Sister Rachel Dietz, OSB, and other spiritual directors throughout the diocese will serve as directors for a Thursday

through Sunday Silent Directed Retreat based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Individual sessions with a retreat

director will begin Thursday evening after dinner and continue through Sunday. Participation in this kind of retreat leads to a

profound discovery of how deeply you are loved by God. Cost is $235, with a $35 non-refundable deposit, which includes three

nights accommodations and nine meals.

February 4

Caregivers Day of Recollection

presented by Sister Rachel Dietz, OSB and Social Workers from Peachtree Hospice

Come renew your spirit. Relax and receive the love and care you give all day every day. Learn that you are not alone

and that the load you carry can be made lighter.

Sister Rachel Dietz, OSB, a licensed clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist, has given workshops

and retreats for women and groups for more than 20 years. Currently she directs the Spiritual Director Formation program

in the St. Scholastica community and has a counseling practice. Social workers at Peachtree Hospice will co-present with

Sister Rachel. The $10 cost includes lunch.

March 8

9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

ABIDE—a day of recollection directed by Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

Give yourself the gift of a day apart. On this day of recollection Sister Macrina will encourage you to collect all

the good things that have eluded you when you were too busy doing the things you thought were so important. She will

encourage you not to neglect “the vital” for “the important,” and to seek out ways to gather up some of the things that have

escaped you due to the busyness of your lives. She will teach you to abide, to remain centered in Christ even in the midst

of the important tasks of daily life.

Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, a member of St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, is well known for her writings

and her retreat ministry. Her latest work, Abide: keeping vigil with the Word of God, was published in September, 2011. Cost is

$50 with a non-refundable $15 deposit and includes lunch. (You are welcome to extend your retreat by staying at the Center

Saturday night and attending Morning Praise, Mass, and breakfast with the sisters. A small charge will apply.)

March 23-25

Centering Prayer directed by Nick Cole

This retreat, which will be conducted mostly in silence, is designed to be helpful wherever one is on the spiritual

journey. We will review the method of centering prayer, experience a taste of the psychology behind the prayer, and expose

ourselves to the Divine Therapy by having opportunities to practice the prayer. In preparation for this retreat read Open

Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating and/or Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Borgeault. Practice the

prayer before the retreat. Father Thomas is fond of saying, “The only way to do the prayer wrong is not to do it.”

Our director, Nick Cole, MD, has been practicing centering prayer since attending his first ten-day retreat in Snow-

mass, Colorado in May, 1990. In 1991, he was commissioned to teach the prayer and has presented numerous introductory

workshops. He began serving retreats at Snowmass (St. Benedict’s Monastery Retreat Center) in 1993. Cost is $175 with

a non-refundable $35 deposit which includes two nights’ accommodations and five meals.

April 5-8

Holy Week at St. Scholastica

Join the monastic community of St. Scholastica to celebrate Holy Week/Triduum. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus

to Calvary and share in the joy of His resurrection. We will begin this commemoration of the Paschal Mystery with orienta-

tion at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday and conclude with the Feast of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Cost is $200 with a non-

refundable $35 deposit and includes three nights’ accommodations and meals.

May 4-6

Nurturing your Soul with Monastic Wisdom directed by Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

In seeking God, St. Benedict found his way to a cave in the hills of Subiaco that became his ‘SACRO SPECO (sa-

cred space). Each of us, in seeking God, needs to find a Sacro Speco, a place where we can learn to abide, a place to listen

to the wordless voice within our own hearts, a place to be transformed. Throughout this retreat you will be invited to nurture

your seeking heart with monastic wisdom. Sister Macrina will be drawing from the treasures of Christine Valters Paintner’s

book, The Artist’s Rule, as well as from her own latest work, Abide: keeping vigil with the Word of God. Cost is $175 with a

non-refundable $35 deposit and includes two nights’ accommodations and five meals.

September 23-29

Keeping Vigil with the Word of God: a 5-day silent Lectio Retreat directed by Sister Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

In silence we grow in knowledge and awareness. During this retreat themes will be drawn from Sister Macrina’s

latest book: Abide: keeping vigil with the Word of God. Each day will draw us deeper into the Scriptures, as we learn the

Lectio Divina prayer method. In these days of silence you will be encouraged to allow yourself to be drawn like a magnet to

the deepening places of God’s love. You will be asked to contemplate the beautiful struggle of daily life. You will be invited

to return to your original love. Although we will primarily maintain the discipline of silence, there will also be times for faith

sharing, journaling, walking the labyrinth and meandering through the sacred grounds of St. Scholastica Monastery. This re-

treat may be just what you need for soul-renewal. Cost is $400 with a non-refundable $50 deposit, which includes five nights’

accommodations and nine meals.

October 26-27

Practicing Sabbath: Rediscovering Gods Design for Rest directed by Cari Kaufman

God’s design for the rhythm of our life is not to run until we are empty, collapse in a heap and then force ourselves

out of bed the next morning and do it all again. To run on God-batteries is to learn to take time to plug into the Great Re-

charger. To rest. To restore. To revitalize. We are called--no, commanded-- to observe the spiritual discipline of rest--of

Sabbath. But how do we do that? In this one and one-half day women’s retreat, we will spend time discovering what God’s

word says about Sabbath, why it is vital to our spiritual path, and how to find creative and sustainable ways to attain it.

Cari Kaufman, former Army officer, stay-at-home Mom, and professional speaker, is the founder and director of Strings

Attached Ministries, which brings groups and teams together to common ground to build up womens ministry groups all over

the world. Cost is $115. with a non-refundale $35. deposit which includes overnight lodging and two meals.

November 16-18

Walking with Jesus to the Heavenly Jerusalem directed by Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB

At a pivotal moment in his ministry, Jesus left Galilee and set out for Jerusalem. He predicted that his journey would bring

suffering, death, and resurrection. Each disciple must take up the cross of hope and walk with Jesus to the heavenly Jerusalem.

The Scriptures and Christian spiritual classics provide guidance for this journey of moving through darkness and suffering into light

and transformation.

Abbot Jerome Kodell, OSB is the Abbot of Subiaco Monastery, a founding member of Little Rock Scripture Study and the

author of Twelve Keys to Prayer, The Eucharist in the New Testament, and Don’t Trust the Abbot: Musings from the Monastery.

Cost is $175 with a non-refundable $35 deposit which includes two nights accommodations and five meals.

December 6

Waiting for Mary: An Advent Day of Recollection directed by Sister Rachel Dietz, OSB

Mary symbolizes the people of God that includes you and me. Mary is the symbol of all humanity in need of God

- this also includes you and me. Mary waited. It was a pregnant wait. Scripture doesn’t tell us about her plans; it only tells

us what she did in in response to each experience of Gods intervention in her life. When God seems to interrupt our plans,

perhaps we need to wait with Mary and allow God’s intervention to guide us.That is the focus of this retreat as we await

anew the coming of our Savior.

Sr. Rachel Dietz, a licensed clinical and social worker and a licensed marriage and family therapist, has given many re-

treats and workshops for individuals and groups for more than 20 years. Currently she directs the Spiritual Director Formation

program at St. Scholastica and has a counseling practice. Cost is $50 with a non-refundable $15 deposit and includes lunch.

For a small charge, you may extend your retreat by including a private retreat night, and join the sisters in Morning Praise,

Mass, and breakfast the following morning.

*NOTE: If a registrant needs to cancel her registration, non-refundable deposits can be applied to future retreats.

Visitors Praise St. Scholastica Retreat Center

Our Hospitality

“I felt welcome and welcomed into your community.

“So helpful and hospitable.

Our Accommodations

“I could stay forever!

“When I’m here I feel such peace.

“Loved the rocking chair in my bedroom.

“Comfortable, kind, and serene.

Our Retreats

“An invitation to continued growth toward love, respect,

and becoming ones true self.

NAME OF RETREAT:________________________________________________

DATE: ____________________________________

REGISTRANT’S NAME: ________________________________________________________________________________GENDER_____

ADDRESS: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

CITY: __________________________________________________STATE: _____________ ZIP CODE: ___________________________

TELEPHONE NUMBER: ________________________________ E-MAIL: ____________________________________________________


Incorporate Retreat Living into Your Daily Life

Retreat in Daily Life

A seven-month experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, the retreat is offered October to May under the

guidance of St. Scholastica Retreat Center. This form of retreat involves giving time each day to prayer, committing to the

method of the Exercises for one hour each day. Small groups of 6-8 persons are led through 30 weekly sessions. Persons

doing the retreat will likewise have a spiritual guide for 15 one-to-one individual sessions. If you feel the Lord calling you

to this kind of spiritual journey please register in July. Time is needed to prepare for this prayer experience and to be eval-

luated as to the readiness for this commitment. There will be no admittance after September 1.

The Retreat in Daily Life is a prerequisite for those who may feel called to continue training in spiritual direction. The

training program consists of five (5) levels of preparation:

Retreat in Daily Life

Introduction to Spiritual Direction

Spiritual Classics

Practicum I

Practicum II

These courses are not offered every year, but are offered as students have completed courses and are ready for the

next level.

For more information, contact Kathy Schmelzer, Retreat Center Director, at (479) 783-1135 or Sister Rachel Dietz, OSB

at (479) 783-4147.


CREDIT CARD #: ______________________________________________



SIGNATURE : _________________________________________________

3 DIGIT CODE_______

Please send this form and deposit to St. Scholastica Retreat Center, P.O. Box 3489, Fort Smith, AR 72913-3489.

You may also register online at www. stscho.org or by phone at (479) 783-1135.

Hesychia House is a haven for any adult who wants to

spend time alone in prayer. Four hermitages--three for short

term stays and one for longer terms--are available in scenic

New Blaine, AR, where St. Scholastica’s Benedictine com-

munity was founded in 1879.

Retreatants are invited to participate in the prayer life

of the core community, have a scripture-based retreat, or

spend their time in solitude. Hesychia, located in a rural

area amid pastures of grazing cattle and surrounded by

mountain ranges of exquisite beauty, has 200 acres of trails

for guests to explore.

Each hermitage has limited cooking and refrigeration facili-

ties, a full bath, air conditioning, and electric heating in addition

to a wood-burning stove. Retreatants prepare their own breakfasts and noon meals in their hermitages. They are invited to share the

evening meal with the core community, or if they prefer, they can also prepare that meal in their hermitage.

Suggested donations are $50 per night for the first week; $35 a night for longer stays; and $20 for a single day. Call for reser-

vations at: Hesychia House of Prayer, 204 St. Scholastica Road, New Blaine, AR 72851; Phone: (479) 938-7375;

h[email protected]; Sister Louise Sharum, OSB, Director.

To view a slide show of Hesychia House of Prayer, visit www.stscho.org


Nonagenarian Party

Fourteen nonagenarians and one cen-

tenarian celebrated at the annual Nonagenar-

ian Party October 20th. They enjoyed cake, ice

cream, and punch with their community.

Celebrating were Sisters DeChantal

Hyland (105), Annella Reginelli (96), Columba

Moseley (92), Hermana Siebenmorgen (94), Irma

Twenter (99), Richard Walter (95), Vivian Luyet

(93,) Corinne Lange (92), Valeria Moellers (96),

Jovita Stengel (93), Josita Nahlen (94), Herbert

Huber (91), Anne Heim (98), Frances Anne Brad-

dock (92), and Rose Ashour (94).

Clockwise from upper left, Fr. David McKil-

lin, chaplain, enjoys cake with Sister Catherine

Markey; Sister Stephanie Schroeder socializes

with Sisters Vivian (L) and Herbert (center); and,

in the bottom picture, from left, Sisters Frances

Anne, Valeria, Corinne, Vivian, Herbert, Josita,

Annella and Richard sit around the table deco-

rated in their honor.

Sister DeChantal Celebrates 105 Years--October 7, 2011

The St. Louis Cardinals won their division on Sister DeChantal’s birthday, and, just as they had the

year she turned 100, took the World Series Championship two weeks later. She blew out her “105” candles

on the first try, and brought her favorite baseball team luck. Sister DeChantal, who celebrated her 85th Ju-

bilee in 2010, enjoyed fried chicken and birthday cake with her community.

At right, Oblate Marie Gordon of Leamington Spa, England bids farewell to Sister Annella Reginelli

after a month-long visit volunteering with the sisters.

Blessed by a Visit to Guatemala,

Sister Kimberly Extends Blessings

to the People She Meets

When Sister Kimberly Prohaska, Jennifer Verkamp, and Oblate

Kathy Jarvis visited Guatemala July 28 - August 5, they were touched

by the people’s hunger to be blessed. “We stayed at Abadía Jesucristo

Crucificado (Abbey of Christ Crucified) in Esquipulas,” Sister Kimberly

said. Every morning the townspeople would wait outside the Abbey for

the Benedictine monks’ blessings, and I was asked for blessings by al-

most everyone I met.”

The Abbey, which houses the Black Christ (El Christo Negro),

has been visited by pilgrims from all over the world, including Pope John

Paul II, who, in 1996, said that El Cristo Negro was “This ‘most perfect

and complete image of Christ on the Cross” The statue was sculpted by

artist Quirio Catahyo in 1594, paid for by the Guatemalan people’s cot-

ton farms. After centuries of exposure to burning incense and candles,

smoke and resin turned the statue darker. In the third photo, Sister Kim-

berly and Jennifer stand by the chair Pope John Paul used during his


The group visited a “senior asylum”, operated by the Abbey,

where the elderly and infirm are treated with love and respect for their

dignity. They also visited an orphanage run by Franciscan sisters (see

second photo.) “We took a long bus trip on a very crowded bus to get

to the orphanage,” Sister Kimberly said. “The area around us was just

destitute, and the muddy trails were lined with tin shacks. In the midst of

all this extreme poverty, we came around a curve and entered a walled

gate to the Franciscan orphanage. There were beautiful gardens and

children from infants on up, well-kept buildings, and a chapel on top of

the hill. The orphanage is supported by donations. The sisters were so

gracious and delightful, and the children were happy and well-cared for.”

The parents of diaconal student Aroldo Zacarias, a native of

Guatemala, offered their hospitality to the group as well, and they en-

joyed having dinner and good conversation with them. Sister Kimberly,

of course, blessed them as she left.

“After visiting Guatemala, I gained a better understanding of His-

panic culture,” Sister Kimberly said. “I realized how important it is when

we sisters attend the Hispanic Masses as a visible sign of faith. The

Church is their whole life, and they hunger for religious brothers and

sisters and priests to be part of their lives. When the monks go out to

bless the people each day, they bring buckets full of holy water and just

shower the people with it. I am grateful to come to a greater understand-

ing of their culture, and realized how blessed I am.”

As the sisters learn Spanish with Trinity teacher Haymeé

Giuliani, pray in Spanish, gain a deeper understanding of Hispanic cul-

ture, and interact in many ways with the Hispanic Catholic community,

they, too, both bless the community and are blessed by their friendship.

Sisters Barbara Bock, Magdalen Stanton, and Stephanie Schroeder wish the

in Fort Smith, Springfield, Columbia, Texas, and throughout the world peace, joy,

Christmas season.

oblate groups

and love this

Sisters Stephanie and Regina Schroeder visited with the oblates in Springfield, Missouri.

Each of the oblates shared her experience of living the rule and the present moment in her every

day life experiences. The meeting closed with Evening Praise and renewal of their oblations.

The oblates in Fort Smith have listened to presentations by Sisters Therese Moreno, Hilary

Decker, and Kimberly Prohaska at their first three meetings. They have enjoyed dinner outings at

Calico County and Las Americas, and are looking forward to visiting the new Crystal Bridges Mu-

seum in Northwest Arkansas in the near future. They will once again be sponsoring a Fair Trade gift

sale during the monasterys annual bake sale December 10 and 11, and will donate the profits to St.

Kizito Babies Home in Mbale, Uganda.

Oblate Marie Gordon from Leamington Spa, England made a second visit to the monastery

and spent lots of time praying with and ministering to the sisters in the infirmary. We are thankful

for Marie and our oblate volunteers in the monastery office, the retreat center, and gift shop, as well

as those who assist at meetings, volunteer at special events, and pray for the sisters and for one

another daily.











at the Retreat Center

Saturday, December 10

8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 11

10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Be sure to visit the Fair Trade Gift Sale, sponsored by St. Scholastica Monastery Oblates, for reasonably

priced ornaments, jewelry, Nativity sets, and small toys hand-crafted by artisans all over the world.

Through their witness on the first Sunday of each month

at 12:15 p.m. at Creekmore Park, Justpeace members pray for

world peace.

Through their film series on the first Monday of each

month at 7 p.m., Justpeace members educate the community

about human rights issues. In October, Sister Mary Jo Swift

gave a presentation on human trafficking. In November, the

group showed “Gospel Without Borders,” a film on immigration.

Through their attendance at Hispanic Masses, festivals,

and posadas, and through their ministry to the Hispanic com-

munity, they are practicing the ministry of accompaniment.

Through study and letter-writing to elected officials,

they are committed to learning about issues, developing a posi-

tion, and participating in the democratic process.

All are invited to the monthly witness and the Justpeace

film series, which will be held on December 5, 2011; January 2,

2012; and February 6, 2012.

Non-Profit Organization

U.S. Postage Paid

Fort Smith, AR

Permit: No. 429

St. Scholastica Monastery

1301 South Albert Pike

P.O. Box 3489

Fort Smith, AR 72913-3489

[email protected]


To view Horizons in large print, visit www.stscho.org

Christmas is the time

for love to be expressed

and joys to be shared

Your love and sharing

are given every day

And that gives every day

a Christmas glow

Because through you

the love of Christ shines for us.

- Sister Scholastica Vogelpohl


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


Sister Maria De Angeli, prioress, at-

tended the Leadership Conference of Women

Religious Meeting in Garden Grove, CA from

August 8-13.

Sisters Maria DeAngeli, prioress;

Stephanie Schroeder; Corinne Lange; Adrian

Wewers; Rachel Dietz; and Hilary Decker vis-

ited Nazareth, TX September 3-5 where they

were honored by Holy Family Church for 90

years of service to the parish and school. Holy

Family parishioners honored the sisters with a

parade and dinner and displayed photos and

memorabilia commemorating their service.

Sister Stephanie gave vocations presentations.

Sister Kimberly Prohaska attended

the Meeting of Benedictine Subprioresses in

Ferdinand, IN on September 26-27.

Sisters Kimberly Prohaska and Bar-

bara Bock attended the National Vocation Di-

rectors Meeting on October 18-24.

Sister Regina Schroeder, procurator,

and CFO Ravi Thiagarajan attended the Re-

source Center for Religious Institutes Confer-

ence in St. Louis, MO from November 7-11.

Sister Maria DeAngeli attended the

Board Meeting of the Federation of St. Ger-

trude Council from November 15-19.