given at the Liturgy
for our Feast of St. Scholastica
during our Sesquicentennial Year

Sister Anne Shepard, Prioress 
10 February 2013 

Good morning and welcome to the Mount for the Feast of Saint Scholastica. Today, on this feast of our patron,  we celebrate one of our major  events of our anniversary year.  Our theme this year is "with grateful hearts" and we are most grateful to you for being with us.   We welcome Archbishop Joseph Naumann who will be our presider and who is in his eighth year as the primary religious leader of the  Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.  We hosted the priests and monks with whom we work and minister to join us for vespers in November.  We spent a day in the Atchison Catholic Elementary School a few weeks ago and hosted a panel of noted local historians for the city of Atchison last Tuesday. 

Today we welcome you who journey with us as women religious.  Some of you studied at our college and lived on our campus during the 60's and early 70's , since Mount St. Scholastica was  begun as a woman's college.  Other monasteries loved sending sisters here to study since we had an excellent monastic formation program as well as reputable academics in the college.

We welcome women religious from our region of the country who plan with us programs in justice and peace,  formation, spirituality and planning.  We have found ways to work together to bring gospel values to an entire gamut of issues, supporting life by fighting abortion, the death penalty, racism, militarism, exploitation of the earth's resources and more.  In all that we do, we are united in our effort to stay faithful to our vowed commitment to the love of Christ as women religious and to stay faithful to the Church. 

We welcome the president of our the Benedictine Federation of St. Scholastica, Sister Glenna Smith, who joins us from Virginia and who leads 21 monasteries across the Unites States in visioning how to continue living the monastic charism in this millennium. 

Our patroness is known for the fruit of her prayer.  While her brother visited her and told her he wanted to leave, to go back to his monastery, she prayed hard for him to stay, against his wishes.  He couldn't leave because God sent rain.  Actually, it not only rained, it poured.   God answered the prayer of a woman, St. Gregory said, because she loved more.  As followers of this feisty, persistent woman, we try to do the same.

Welcome to this liturgy, the Benedictine sisters' expression of love of Christ in a creative and solemn prayer of the Church.  This morning, together we lift our hearts and voices, in languages which reflect our history, in ritual that praises God in simplicity and cultural respect and with grateful hearts for all of God's gifts.

Welcome and thank you for coming.