With Grateful Hearts - 150 Years of Presence
Excerpt from "The Meaning of the Mountain" by Sister Mary Faith Schuster, p. 25-27
The sisters reached Atchison at eleven o'clock on an early November evening, ferrying across the Missouri River. Atchison was a promising town of rapid growth in the midst of a country which had all the problems of growth. That night, an hour before midnight, James Kennedy and Lambert Halling, carpenters for the abbey, were swinging lanterns up and down the street in front of the newly built convent. Their march had several causes. The city had grown to more than 5000 in nine years. It had tasted westward expansion and civil war. ... The war had brought restlessness and fomented all manner of misunderstanding. Mr. Finney, the wharfmaster, had heard of threats to burn down the house if sisters came. The house that stood at Second and Division Street, a stately little building ...had cost $4,150. Besides the personal safety of the sisters, it was important that the house be protected...
But the sisters were aware of no worry that night. To the swinging of the friendly lanterns, they reached the convent ... as long as they lived, they would remember the stagecoach, the river, the singing as they came, and the fact that lights were lit for their arrival.
November 11, 2012, marked the beginning of the 150th year of the Benedictine Sisters' presence in Atchison. Many events are being planned for the Sesquicentennial year to celebrate the boundless blessings of these 150 years with all who have touched our lives. It is with deep gratitude that we celebrate this year of jubilee.
Read the Proclamation by "Abraham Lincoln" and the City of Atchison for our Sesquicentennial Celebration
How we celebrated...
June 10-16, 2012 - "With Grateful Hearts" Retreat - All members of the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica spent the week in prayerful reflection in preparation for the year of celebration. Sister Margaret Malone, Good Samaritan Sister from Australia, led us in the retreat centered on the Rule of St. Benedict entitled "With Grateful Hearts."
November 11, 2012 - Opening of the Sesquicentennial year - Following a special vespers service, the Mount St. Scholastica College alumni class of 1963 hosted the evening meal and entertainment for all members of the community in a private celebration to mark the opening of our 150th year.
November 18, 2012 - Our annual gathering with St. Benedict's Abbey was expanded to include area clergy for an evening meal and vespers.
Jananuary 29, 2013 - A celebration with the Atchison Catholic Elementary Schools (ACES) during Catholic Schools Week. Photos
February 5, 2013 - An historical panel presentation on Atchison in the 1860's was be held at Benedictine College.
March 21, 2013 - We celebrated with Maur Hill-Mount Academy High School and on April 17, we were the keynote speaker for Benedictine College's Discovery Day. Photos
April 14, 2013 - Atchison Day was the first of three days planned for celebration with our families, friends, neighbors, alums and neighbors. The Atchison Day included a picnic lunch, tours and local choirs. Photos
May 25-26, 2013 - The Great Return was an invitation to all former members of Mount St. Scholastica to return for a visit to the Mount to renew friendships and share memories. Photos
June 5, 2013 - Employee Picnic - For our annual employee picnic, we extended an invitation this year to former employees of the Mount to join in the celebration and renew acquaintances. Photos
June 8 - 18, 2013 - The second pilgrimage to Benedictine sites in Italy and Germany.
June 15, 2013 - Benedictine College Alumni Weekend - MSSC and BC alums came to visit the Mount while they were in Atchison for the BC Alumni weekend. There was an ice cream social on Saturday afternoon and a special Mass on Sunday morning.
July, 2013 - During the month of July, we were blessed by the presence of our five Brazilian sisters from Mineiros, Goias, Brazil, (view photos) as well as sisters from our daughter houses in Colorado Springs, Glendora Cal., Mexico City and Torreon, Mexico. Activities for the month included the jubilee celebration for our golden jubilarians on July 7. (View jubilee photos.) On July 13, Wanjira Mathai, who is the daughter of Mount St. Scholastica College alum and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, was a guest speaker for us and for Keeler Women's Center (view photos). While she was at the Mount, we planted a tree in Wangari's memory. Photos
September 15, 2013 - Kansas City Day was the second of three days for celebration with our families, friends, neighbors and alums. The Kansas City celebration started with a special Eucharist at St. Pius X Parish in Mission, KS. A reception followed in the parish hall. View photos of the event
September 22, 2013 - The Fellin Lecture was held at Benedictine College. The lecturer for this annual series sponsored by Mount St. Scholastica was Judith Valente, broadcast journalist, poet and author. Judy spoke on her experience with the Benedictine Sisters while writing the book "Atchison Blue" about contemporary monastic life and its applications for people in the work world. Press release from Benedictine College
An article in a recent edition in The Leaven, "No Place Like Home" is about Judy Valente and her book.
October 5, 2013 - Oblate Renewal Day - This annual oblate renewal day was an opportunity for a Sesquicentennial celebration with all the oblates of Mount St. Scholastica. Here are some photos.
October 13, 2013 - The Seneca Day is the third of three days planned for celebration with our families, friends, neighbors and alums. This celebration, at the site of the Benedictine Sisters' first mission, began with a special Eucharist at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Seneca, KS. A reception followed in the parish hall. View photos of the event.
November 10, 2013 - Closing Celebration - Community members gathered in gratitude for a final celebration as a community on the eve of the last day of our 150th year.
November 11, 2013, marked the 150th anniversary of the founding of our community. To celebrate our actual annivesary, about 60 students, staff, and faculty from Benedictine College walked across town to celebrate with us that evening. This short video captures the event. Photos