Sunday, November 28, 2010


SUNDAY, NOV. 26, 2010
As we have celebrated Thanksgiving and today have the leftover turkey and trimmings, I start this blog in gratitude for all that we have and hope to share some of our monastery and island riches.

We are nine Benedictine nuns who follow the 1500 year old tradition of our founder, St. Benedict. We still sing the ancient Gregorian chant in Latin  and  pray the eight hours as set by St. Benedict.

We have a  300 acre farm where we raise minor breed animals, Cotswold sheep and Highland cattle.We have fine wool llamas and alpacas. We also have a certified  raw milk dairy, milking Jersey cows by hand. Of course there are the usual chickens ( and some not so usual) which give us fresh eggs. Our dogs include two Portuguese Water Dogs and a chocolate Lab.  There are too many cats to count, but they manage to keep down the unwanted critters in barns and houses.

We grow lush gardens of flowers, vegetables and herbs, which we use in preparations for sale. Most of our animals are pasture grazed and we apply organic methods whenever we can. We support ourselves, in part, by selling the fruits of our labors: fleeces, rovings, battings, spun wool, hides and knit goods from the sheep; meats, dairy goods and herbs to our island neighbors. Our interest are many:  weaving, spinning, jewelry design, rosaries, herb products.

We have two retreat houses, so have many guests through the year  who come to pray and work with us.  We have people of all faith ( and some without).

We also offer informal internships through a monastic "Land Program".

These internships are open to men and women, of all faiths, over the age of 18. Internships may be for six months or one year. Interns live in housing provided by the monastery and are invited to share in the rhythm of work and prayer that structures the life of the community, though no religious affiliation is required. Internships may begin at any time of the year.

Ferry to Shaw, Mt. Baker in background

Many interns come for a "break year" after graduation from college or high school. Others come seeking clarity on life decisions: for a career focus, or a religious vocation, or for respite from burnout in their jobs. We have had people from all parts of the country, and from Ireland, France, Japan, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

In this blog I hope to share more on prayer, cooking,  farm life (Mother Prioress and I are WSU Master Livestock Advisers) and other topics.

Island view

You  can see our website for more information  at:
Many Blessings for the day, Mother Hildegard, OSB