Mount St. Scholastica, Atchison, KS

In February, Benedictine College art students, while working on a study of the monastery’s St. Scholastica Chapel, organized a liturgy which brought more than 400 students and faculty to celebrate Sunday Eucharist with the sisters. All are hoping to make this an annual event. In addition to this project, Benedictine College students are often present, including: architecture students who come regularly to study and sketch the many beautiful spaces, Prayer Partners who join the sisters for vespers one evening a week, nursing students doing a rotation in Dooley Center, and numerous groups, sports teams, and individuals who come to give volunteer service.

The sisters at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, are getting ready for a once in a lifetime experience. The total solar eclipse on August 21 will occur directly over their city at the ideal time of midday. People from around the world are expected to gather in the area on that day and the sisters will be hosting a watch party for friends and family on the monastery lawn. It will include a talk by theologian and astronomer (fellow of the Vatican observatory) Aileen O’Donoghue, a picnic lunch and a prayer service. Dr. O’Donoghue will be giving a retreat at Sophia Center, the sisters’ spirituality center on the campus, during the preceding weekend, culminating with the eclipse. 

Postulant Jennifer Halling will soon begin her novitiate. On the day she entered community at a short ritual in the dining room, she brought several gifts symbolic of her life. One of them was a lantern because she is the great-great-granddaughter of one of the men who patrolled all night to protect the sisters from threatened violence when they arrived in Atchison in 1863 during the Civil War.

Lots of new Facebook friends have been getting acquainted with the community following the launch of a new ad campaign and vocation microsite: BeANun.org.

The Atchison sisters have a special commitment to care of creation. A new array of solar panels near the garden were recently installed in addition to previous installations on the roofs of buildings. The sisters also support ecology research and projects at Benedictine College and Maur Hill-Mount Academy in honor of Green Belt founder Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and graduate of Mount St. Scholastica College (now Benedictine College).

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