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Christmas Greetings from the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery!
December 6, 2017
Christmas greetings to you from Annunciation Monastery! This time of year calls to mind cherished memories of home. Home is the place we feel welcomed, loved and honored. Just as you welcome family and friends to your home for holiday gatherings, we welcome you to our home.
I consider Mary and Joseph as they journeyed to Bethlehem. I imagine them weary and hopeful that they would find a safe place to bear our Savior, Jesus. In a simple stable, the most remarkable birth happened in all of history. A bright star marked the place where the greatest miracle, and the greatest gift, had ever been offered to this world. Jesus.
Jesus is the very personification of HOME. St. Benedict states in his Rule, “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ.” Through our hospitality, we have an opportunity to invite people to experience Jesus.
When we built our home in the year 2000, it was designed to meet the changing needs of our monastic community, but also to serve others with a spirit of hospitality. We built a sacred place of welcome for those desiring to deepen their relationship with God and others. We wanted the warm glow from our chapel, the heart of our home, to be a bright star welcoming the weary stranger.
In our hospitality center, we offer comfortable retreat rooms where guests can enjoy a quiet place, away from the noise of everyday life, and listen to God. Guests are always welcome to join our sisters for prayer and meals, or they can use the kitchenette by our retreat rooms to prepare meals or relax in private. Our large community room can be reserved for faithbased groups to gather for meetings or retreats. We hold events for students in this room, as well as our popular “Joyful Spirit” retreat for girls. Women who are exploring God’s call to religious life often stay in our guest area while attending our “Ever Wonder” vocation live-in experiences.
As you can imagine, it takes a lot to sustain the needs of our sisters and make the necessary repairs and updates to our home and the surrounding grounds. With 40 sisters, a postulant, priest, two affiliates, guests, and hundreds of visitors every year, we are blessed with an abundance of activity in our home. Our lives are enriched by these encounters and it is our sincere hope that everyone who visits feels welcomed and blessed by their experience.
With God’s blessing and your support, we have been able to share our home with others. If you feel called to help with any of our home needs, please consider a donation to Annunciation Monastery. Your generous gift will help us continue to invite and welcome others to our home.
May God’s extravagant love and peace surround you this Christmas and in the coming year. We keep you in our prayers.
Sister Nicole Kunze, Prioress
and the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery