This late in July, the grounds at Saint Benedict’s are exceptionally beautiful. The lawns are lush, and the trees more majestic than ever. I’ve noted in earlier blogs that the flowers are showing their glory everywhere.
Today, I wanted to see Mother Benedicta Riepp’s grave because Sister Ephrem Hollermann plants lovely pink petunias and bright orange marigolds in a small plot by Mother Benedicta’s tombstone. Mother Benedicta is the foundress of American Benedictine women, and thus S. Ephrem tends it lovingly every year. It was gorgeous and healthy looking.
This month, various sisters have been excited about recent changes in the cemetery. So, as I stepped into the entrance, I was pleasantly met with more light than I have ever encountered in our cemetery. The sisters were right! The grounds have been changed considerably because of many trees that have been removed.
Now I see more space for the sisters all around, but also for the friends of sisters who are buried along the north side closest to the St. Joseph Cemetery. Much more natural light streams onto the grounds. Also, several areas are so much more spacious, giving the impression of expansion. In recent times, I have begun wondering if we might be running out of room in the near future. Will there be room when God is ready for me?
Ah, yes, I am assured that we will have plenty of space. We have meticulous records of sister deaths and where they are buried. In fact, if you visit, a notebook is available at the entrance to help you find any sister’s gravesite there.
Mary Jane Berger, OSB
Photo: Landscaping in the monastic cemetery, taken by Sister Nancy Bauer