THE CONNOLLY CONNECTION
Hermit Sister Mary Beverly
is Connolly? and what is the connection? We hope that this
answers both questions for you.
deep affection and real respect, we would like to present
to you the man who has been our spiritual father, co-founding
bishop of Marymount with Bishop
Treinen, and loyal friend: Bishop Thomas J. Connolly. Marymount Hermitage
is located in the Diocese of Boise and thus was not under
the jurisdiction of
Bishop Connolly, who was the Bishop of Baker in Oregon from 1971 to 2000.
However, over the years, Bishop has retained his place in
our hearts as a generous supporter,
both spiritually and materially. He values the contemplative life for the
good of the Church and has visited and encouraged us in the
(as he is known by all his friends) was born on July 18,
1922 in Tonopah, Nevada. If Nevada is the
most remote of all the 50 states,
Tonopah is perhaps the most remote small town of that vast state. The
devout faith of
his Irish father and German mother, the piety of his family and the parish
of St. Patrick fostered esteem for the vocation of a priest. Thomas was
son in a family of four brothers and one sister. His oldest brother, John,
went to the seminary and, because of an illness, died before he was ordained
His second brother, Joe, also went to the seminary. While there, Joe's
eyesight became so impaired that he could not continue his studies and had to
return home. When Tom felt within him the Lord's calling to the
priesthood, he really wondered if he too would die or become blind in the
took a lot of courage to leave home and enter the seminary at age 14, but
and determination were to be a hallmark of his character as later events
was in the year 1936 and since the war was raging, their
class had an accelerated program and were ordained to the
priesthood a year early on
April 8, 1947. Even though their classes at St. Joseph's College in Mt.
View, California were intense and the war made obtaining items difficult,
his classmates built a sailboat in the basement of one of the seminary
buildings. Every item for the boat, which was later sailed and raced
on the ocean, was
made by hand. Perhaps this anecdote shows that creativity cannot be stifled
by poor means, surely a virtue which Bishop would later need as the pastor
of a very large and poor diocese.
his ordination to the priesthood at his home parish in Tonopah, Father
Connolly was first assigned to the Cathedral of St. Thomas Aquinas
Nevada. He served as a priest of the Diocese of Reno from 1947 to 1971.
He was known as a good administrator, and when new buildings were erected
the labor of the parishioners, Father Connolly worked as hard as all
the rest of
the men at construction projects. Like the rugged pioneers that his
parents were, Fr. Connolly enjoyed owning, riding and using horses
for work and
leisure. Love for animals and for the great outdoors were to be a constant
his home diocese in Nevada and later the diocese in Eastern Oregon
were populated by those who made their living mainly off the land,
felt close to this pastor who can herd cattle, wield a hammer, fix
fence, and for whom geographic distances means nothing when there is
a job to
the Pope's representative in the United States called Father
Connolly to ask him if he would be Bishop of Baker, this intrepid,
western son simply
asked, "Can I bring my horses?"
Diocese of Baker comprises about two-thirds of the state of Oregon
including the central and eastern portions. It is a land which is still
close to the
spirit of the pioneers from the Oregon Trail who settled there. Bishop
Connolly fondly remembers that Bishop Thomas K. Gorman, who confirmed
him and ordained
him a priest, was also one of the three consecrating bishops at his
episcopal ordination on June 30, 1971. Bishop Connolly was ordained
a bishop shortly
after the end of the Vatican Council II and thus was called upon
shepherd his diocese through those tumultuous years of change in
the Church and
in the American culture.
warmth, humor and genuineness made people feel close to him in the
parishes throughout the Diocese of Baker. He went regularly
to all the
parishes, visiting the priests and people to encourage them in
the faith. He spent more time in his car than in his office tending
His homilies are peppered with stories from the lives of real people
and their jobs and circumstances as well as his own. Ranchers smile
when they hear their
bishop telling of bucking hay for his horses.
who have met Bishop know what a great storyteller he is.
Connolly and the Bishops of Region XII, which includes the dioceses
of the Pacific
Northwest, made a thirty-day retreat
in Spokane, Washington
in the early 1970's. This was such a profound experience for
them that they decided to hold an eight-day retreat together every
a model for bishops of the rest of the United States in this
Connolly once organized a horse-pack-trip into a wilderness area of
Washington for the Bishops of Region XII. As usual,
this event was
but was also the source of many interesting, western-style
stories for future recounting!
Connolly instituted the very successful Family Camp, which annually
brings together families--adults
4th of July
weekend filled with faith and fun activities. Bishop has
been attending World
Youth Days since their inception almost 20 years ago. While
at these major cities,
the hundreds of attending bishops are housed in hotels.
However, Bishop camps out with the youth, bringing his own bed roll
and "roughing it."
is so well-known for this closeness to young people, that
youth from the Portland Archdiocese will request that he travel
though he is now retired as Bishop of Baker. In October
2003, the Diocese of Baker celebrated its Centennial. Bishop
part of the richly textured history of the diocese.
Bishop reached the age of mandatory retirement, he submitted his
resignation to the Pope. It took almost two
his successor to be named, but
on January 26, 2000, Bishop Robert F. Vasa, a priest
of the Diocese of Omaha, Nebraska, was ordained Bishop of
made himself available to help priests on weekends in
the parish and
has been in great demand as a retreat master throughout
the Pacific Northwest. His sacrificial
generosity is evident in that he has been willing to
come to our remote Mesa to offer days of prayer and eight-day
you meet Bishop Connolly, it is evident that he is a man of God and
a man of prayer. His genuine love
us of what every bishop should be: an icon of Jesus
Christ, the Good Shepherd, to the Church and to the world.
Bishop Thomas J. Connolly, Bishop-emeritus of Baker, Oregon
is shown here after he kindly conducted a Day of Prayer for us on Sept.
21, 2000. His new car was a gift from the priests of the Diocese of Baker
in gratitude for his many years and miles of shepherding.
Bishop Connolly celebrates Mass for us in our chapel
After Mass, Bishop Connolly blesses the site for the
In May of 2003 and 2004, Bishop Connolly gave us an eight-day
Scriptural retreat. He exemplifies being teacher, preacher and hearer
of the Word of God. Scenes here are from our conferences.
Tenth Synod of Bishops was held in Rome from Sept. 30-Oct.
27, 2001. The bishops of the world, in previous assemblies,
been reflections upon the Church and her members: priests, religious,
and laity. This last synod on the role of bishops completed the
series of deliberations. Pope John Paul II wrote a synthesis
of the proceedings, which was published on Oct. 16, 2003. The
Synod took place following the troubling events of September
11 in the U.S. The document was entitled On the Bishop,
Servant of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the Hope of the World.
In Latin, this letter is called Pastores Gregis from
the words of the opening sentence: "The shepherds of the
Lord's flock..." We have selected portions below from Pastores
Gregis honoring our friend, Bishop Thomas .T. Connolly.
These are the words of the Pope.
1. The shepherds of the Lord’s flock know that they can
count on a special divine grace as they carry out their ministry
as Bishops. In the Roman Pontifical, during the solemn prayer
of episcopal ordination, the principal ordaining Bishop, after
invoking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who leads and guides,
repeats a phrase already found in the ancient text...”Grant,
O Father, knower of all hearts, that this your servant, whom
you have chosen for the office of Bishop, may shepherd your holy
flock. May he fulfill before you without reproach the ministry
of the High Priesthood.” In this way, there continues to
be carried out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal
Shepherd, who sent the Apostles even as he himself was sent by
the Father (Jn. 20:21), and who wishes that their successors,
the Bishops, should remain shepherds in his Church until the
end of time...
“the ideal figure of the Bishop,
on which the Church continues to count, is that of the pastor,
who configured to Christ by
his holiness of life, expends himself generously for the Church
entrusted to him, while at the same time bearing in his heart
a concern for all the Churches throughout the world (2 Cor. 11:28).”
The Tenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
was held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 27, 3001.
The Pope wrote this document to summarize
the proceedings of the Synod and it was published on Oct. 16,
2003, the 25th anniversary
of the Pope’s election to the Pontificate.
2. Bishops receive from God the “pastoral powers of teaching,
sanctifying and governing” the Church in Jesus’ name.
“...the Synod Fathers reviewed their
ministry in the light of the theological virtue of hope...this
is especially pertinent
to the mission of the pastor who, in the Church, is first and
foremost to bear witness to the Paschal and eschatological mystery.”
3. It is in fact the task of every Bishop
to proclaim hope to the world, hope based on the proclamation
of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ...which surpasses anything that the human heart has ever
conceived (1 Cor. 2:9), and to which the sufferings of the present
cannot be compared (Rom. 8:18). A stance of theological hope,
together with faith and love, must completely shape the Bishop’s
“Only by the light and consolation
born of the Gospel can a Bishop succeed in keeping his own
hope alive (Rom 15:4)
and in nourishing hope of those entrusted to his pastoral care.”
“...the Bishop stands in the midst of the Church as a
vigilant sentinel, a courageous prophet, a credible witness and
a faithful servant of Christ, “our hope of glory” (Co.
4. The Synod of Bishops took place after the terrible events
of Sept. 11, 2001...
“We should not allow ourselves to
be intimidated by those doctrine which deny the existence of
the living God and which
strive, more or less openly, to undermine, parody or deride Christian
hope. In the joy of the Spirit, we profess: Christ is truly risen!
In his glorified humanity he has opened up the prospect of eternal
life for all those who accept the grace of conversion.”
“Hope in Jesus the Good Shepherd will fill [the Bishop’s]
heart with compassion, prompting him to draw near to the pain
of every suffering man and woman and to soothe their wounds,
ever confident that every lost sheep will be found. The Bishop
will thus be an ever more luminous sign of Christ, the Shepherd
and Spouse of the Church. Acting as father, brother and friend
to all, he will stand beside everyone as the living image of
Christ, our hope, in whom all God’s promises are fulfilled
and all the expectations of creation are brought to completion.”
5. “At your word, O Christ, we wish
to serve your Gospel for the hope of the world!”
“...Bishops will truly be a source of hope for their flock.
We know that the world needs the ‘hope that does not disappoint’ (Rom.
5:5). We know that this hope is Christ. We know it and therefore
we proclaim the hope that springs from the Cross.”
“...the Cross is a mystery of life and death. The Cross
has become for the Church a ‘tree of life.’ For this
reason, we proclaim that life has triumphed over death.”
6. The Lord Jesus, during his earthly
pilgrimage, proclaimed the Gospel of the Kingdom and inaugurated
it in his own person,
revealing its mystery to all people. He called men and women
to be his followers, and from his disciples he chose Twelve ‘to
be with him’ (Mk. 3:14)...The mission entrusted by Jesus
to the Apostles is to last until the end of time (Mt. 28:20),
since the Gospel which they have been charged to hand down in
the life of the Church in every age. It was precisely for this
reason that the Apostles were concerned to appoint for themselves
successor...so that the apostolic tradition might be manifested
and preserved down the centuries.”
“The special outpouring of the Holy
Spirit with which the Risen Lord filled the Apostles (Acts
1:5; Jn. 20:22-23) was
shared by them through the gesture of laying hands upon their
co-workers (1 Tim. 4:14). These in turn transmitted it by the
same gesture to others, and these to others still. In this way,
the spiritual gift given in the beginning has come down to our
own day through the imposition of hands, in other words, by episcopal
consecration, which confers the fullness of the sacrament of
Orders, the high priesthood and the totality of the sacred ministry.”
By the power of the Holy Spirit, Bishops
are consecrated to share the life and mission of Jesus. They “carry
out in an eminent and visible way the role of teacher, shepherd
9. “When a Bishop teaches, sanctifies
and governs the People of God...[he exercises] this episcopal
ministry as an
office of love. This gives us the certainty that the pastoral
charity of Jesus Christ will never be lacking in the Church.”
11. “Charity is in a sense the heart
of the ministry of the Bishop...he is impelled to live, like
Christ the Good Shepherd,
for the Father and for others, in the daily gift of self.”
“...everything in [a Bishop’s]
life is directed towards the building up of the Church in love.
of the Bishop an attitude of service marked by personal strength,
apostolic courage and trusting abandonment to the inner working
of the Spirit. He will therefore strive to adopt a lifestyle
which imitates the kenosis (self-emptying) of Christ, the poor
and humble servant, so that the exercise of his pastoral ministry
will be a consistent reflection of Jesus, the Servant of God,
and will help him to become, like Jesus, close to everyone, from
the greatest to the least.”
12. “...stressing holiness remains
more than ever an urgent pastoral task.”
St. Gregory Nazianzen: “First be
purified and then purify others, first allow yourself to be
instructed by wisdom and then
instruct others, first become light and then enlighten others,
first draw close to God and then guide others to him, first be
holy yourself and then make others holy.”
13. It is not possible to be a servant
of others unless one is first a ‘servant of God’. And one can only be
a servant of God if one is a ‘man of God’.”
“For Bishops, the call to holiness is inherent in and
stands at the origin of their ministry, that is their episcopal
ordination. The ancient ritual invocation of the consecrations
is: ‘God of truth, make thy servant a living Bishop, a
holy Bishop in the succession of the holy Apostles’.”
“Because of his human frailty the
Bishop is also called to have frequent and regular recourse
to the sacrament of Penance,
in order to obtain the gift of that mercy of which he himself
has been made a minister. Mindful, therefore, of his human weaknesses
and sins, each Bishop, along with his priests, personally experiences
the sacrament of Reconciliation as a profound need and as a grace
to be received ever anew, and thus renews his own commitment
to holiness in the exercise of his ministry. In this way he also
give visible expression to the mystery of a Church which is constitutively
holy, yet also made up of sinners in need of forgiveness.”
“Each Bishop is configured to Christ in order to love
the Church with the love of Christ the Bridegroom, and in order
to be in the Church a minister of her unity, enabling her to
become ‘a people gathered by the unity of the Father, of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit’.”
15. “There can be no primacy of
holiness without attentive listening to the Word of God, which
is the guide and nourishment
of all holiness...Before becoming one who hands on the word,
the Bishop...must be a hearer of the word.”
Origen: “These are the two activities
of the Bishop: learning from God by reading the divine Scriptures
and meditating on them
frequently, and teaching the people. But let him teach the things
that he himself has learned from God.”
16. “At the daily celebration of Holy Mass, the Bishop
offers himself together with Christ...The Bishop’s love
of the Holy Eucharist is also expressed when in the course of
the day he devotes a fair part of his time to adoration before
17. “The Bishop himself cannot forget that he is a successor
of those Apostles who were appointed by Christ above all ‘to
be with him’ (Mk. 3:14)...The Bishop will be a true teacher
of prayer for the faithful only if he can draw upon his own personal
experience of dialogue with God...From prayer he will gain that
hope which he must in turn pass on to the faithful. Prayer is
the privileged forum where hope finds expression and nourishment...The
Bishop’s personal prayer will be particularly and typically ‘apostolic’ in
the sense that it is presented to the Father as intercession
for all the needs of the people entrusted to his care.”
“ In the midst [of his people] the Bishop is a teacher and promoter of
prayer. He not only hands down what he himself has contemplated, but he opens
to Christians the way of contemplation itself.”
18. “The life of the Bishop must radiate the life of Christ
and consequently Christ’s own obedience to the Father,
even unto death, death on a Cross (Phil 2:8), his chaste and
virginal love, and his poverty, which is absolute detachment
from all earthly goods.”
“The faithful ought to be able to contemplate on the face
of their Bishop the grace-given qualities which in the various
Beatitudes make up the self-portrait of Christ...The faithful
should also be able to see in their Bishop the face of one who
relives Jesus’ own compassion for the afflicted and, today
as much as in the past, the face filled with strength and interior
joy of one persecuted for the truth of the Gospel.”
21. “ ‘Receive this ring, the seal of fidelity:
adorned with undefiled faith, preserve unblemished the Bride
of God, the holy Church.’ These words [from the ritual],
urge the Bishop to realize that he is committed to mirroring
the virginal love of Christ for all his faithful ones....When
he does so, he walks as a pastor at the head of his flock, as
did Christ the Bridegroom, who gave his life for us and who left
to all the example of a love which is transparent and virginal,
and therefore fruitful and universal.”
22. A Bishop must encourage a spirituality
of communion and facilitate listening to the Spirit “who speaks to the Churches” (Acts
2:7) through retreats, spiritual exercises and days of spirituality.
“The Bishop, in addition to prayer,
should readily avail himself of the friendship and fraternal
communion of his brother
26. “The Bishop’s work of
evangelization, aimed at leading men and women to faith or
to strengthening the faith
within them, is an outstanding manifestation of his spiritual
27. Christ is in fact the heart of evangelization...Its
center [is] in Christ himself, who is to be know, loved and
so that in him we may life the life of the Trinity, and with
him transform history until its fulfillment in the heavenly Jerusalem.”
“From Christ, the heart of the Gospel,
all the other truths of faith are derived, and hope shines
forth for all humanity.
Christ is the light which enlightens everyone, and all those
reborn in him receive the first fruits of the Spirit, which enable
them to fulfill the new law of love.”
“By virtue of his apostolic mission,
the Bishop is enabled to lead his people to the heart of the
mystery of faith, where
they will be able to encounter the living person of Jesus Christ.”
“Evangelization thus includes the
preaching of hope in the promises made by God in the new Covenant
in Jesus Christ.”
28. “Christ our Lord in the sacred Scripture of the Old
and New Testaments and in Tradition has entrusted to his Church
the one deposit of divine revelation, which is like a mirror
in which the Church during her pilgrim journey here on earth ‘contemplates
God, from whom she received everything, until such time as she
is brought home to see him face to face as he really is’.”
39. “The Bishop should be an exemplary
minister of the sacrament of Penance, and he himself will have
regular and faithful
recourse to that sacrament.”
43. “The Bishop is sent in Christ’s name as a pastor
for the care of a particular portion of the People of God. Through
the Gospel and the Eucharist, he is to help his people to grow
as a reality of communion in the Holy Spirit. This is the source
of the Bishop’s role of representing the Church entrusted
to him and of governing it by the power needed for the exercise
of the pastoral ministry sacramentally received as a sharing
in the consecration and mission of Christ himself. As a consequence,
Bishops ‘govern the particular Churches entrusted to them
as the vicars and ambassadors of Christ’.”
43. “Bishops are successors of the
Apostles...the very nature of authority [in the Church] is
a participation in the
mission of Christ to be lived and exercised in humility, dedication
50. “In his careful concern for
all forms of consecrated life, a concern which finds expression
in both encouragement
and vigilance, the Bishop should reserve a special place for
the contemplative life. Consecrated persons, for their part,
will heartily welcome the pastoral directions of the Bishop...”
52. “The family is the ‘domestic Church’.
Founded on the sacrament of Matrimony, the family is seen to
be a community of primary importance, since in the family both
the spouses and their children live out their proper vocation
and are perfect in charity. The Christian family...is the Bishop’s
53. “The Bishop, as pastor and father of the Christian
community, will be particularly concerned for the evangelization
and spiritual accompaniment of young people...Like ‘sentinels
of the morning’, young people are awaiting the dawn of
a new world. The experience of the World Youth Days, which the
Bishops heartily encourage, shows how many young people are ready
to commit themselves in the Church and in the world, if only
they are offered real responsibility and an integral Christian
74. “Jesus Christ is the icon to which we look as we carry
out our ministry as heralds of hope. Like him, we must be ready
to offer our own lives for the salvation of those entrusted to
our care, as we proclaim and celebrate the triumph of God’s
merciful love over sin and death.”
“Let us implore for this great undertaking the intercession
of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of the Apostles.
May she, who in the Upper Room supported the prayers of the Apostolic
College, obtain for us the grace never to fail in the task of
love which Christ has entrusted to us. As a witness to true life,
Mary ‘shines forth for the pilgrim people of God’ --
and in a particular way for us, their pastors, -- ‘as a
sign of sure hope and comfort, until the day of the Lord arrives’.”
Gregis, the Holy Father's letter on the Role of
a Bishop, is an 83-page document and can be down-loaded
from the Vatican's
Memories of Bishop Connolly
By Hermit Sister Rebecca Mary
I was a member of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, it was our
community's custom every year to draw a name of one of
priests of the Archdiocese of Portland and to pray for
him in a special
during that next
year. We also
included the names of the two Portland
bishops and the Bishop of the Diocese of Baker, Oregon. One year
it was my
privilege to draw
the name of Bishop Thomas J. Connolly,
then the Bishop of Baker. I knew who he was, but I was not personally
him at that time. That was
my earliest association with Bishop Connolly.
So before I
really knew him, I was praying for him.
Connolly was the one who brought us here to Idaho in May, 1981 and
Treinen, who was
at that time.
On the way from Bishop's home in Baker
to Idaho we stopped off at one point to take a break and
very interested in rocks,
I picked up a rock which I thought was
unusual and showed it
to Bishop Connolly. He is quite a rock
hound himself and collects rocks from all over the
When I asked him what kind of rock it
was, he said, "It's a Leaverite." I said, "I have never
of a Leaverite."
laughed and said,
you leave 'er right here!" I guess it
wasn't such a great find after all!
the way back from Boise, Idaho where we had been introduced to Bishop
scheduled to stop
in Nyssa, Oregon
a Spanish-speaking Mass that Sunday
afternoon. Nyssa is close to the Idaho
state line. Bishop
had a missal in Spanish on the dashboard
which he was studying as he was driving.
That made me a little nervous, but
I was more
so when I saw that the fuel tank of
the car was registering
casually said to the
"Are we going to run out of gas?" He
replied even more
casually, "Yes, but not before we get
to Nyssa." We still had a number
of miles to
go before we got to Nyssa, so I just
prayed. We did make it just
said, and we were even on time!
our twenty years here at Marymount Hermitage, Bishop Connolly has
kept in touch, visited us,
and has continued
to be a good friend.
of our way of life. He is always
very much a dedicated bishop, but even more
a generous priest
to all whom he
marvelous sense of
humor, deep love for the Scriptures,
zeal for the Church and tender love
for Jesus consistently mark his busy
and sacrificial life. He is a friend
I cherish and love for his great
warmth and genuine kindness.
Bishop Connolly at prayer in our chapel. We have seen him
so often in this posture.
Bishop is vested and waiting in the Reconciliation Room
for penitents. He is an example of the Holy Father's exhortation in Pastores
Gregis that bishops be exemplary ministers of the Sacrament of Penance.
CONNOLLY: The key to Our History As Hermits
Hermit Sister Mary Beverly
was living as a hermit in LaPine, Oregon from Sept. 1979 to Sept. 1980.
I was discerning
my eremitical vocation and trying
or not to
leave the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and
as a teacher. It was a difficult year, to
say the least, and
I discovered what
a wonderful spiritual father Bishop Connolly
was. Bishop would occasionally stop by the hermitage
and I was
able to go to
confession to him and
ask his advice. When circumstances forced
me to leave LaPine
and return to
house, St. Mary of the Valley in Beaverton,
Oregon, Bishop drove over to
see how I was doing and to reassure me that
he believed in my hermit vocation.
Rebecca Mary and I and another Sister were interested in returning
to the Baker
be hermits and
so, Bishop Connolly
community's discernment process which led
to official permission to leave. We spent a weekend
the diocese and talking
about our proposed way of life and what
type of land we might be able to use. This was
in May of
and the occasion
for the two
anecdotes which Sister
Rebecca Mary has related on page 6 of this
issue. During our discussions, Bishop related
of the Diocese of
Boise, had extended
us an invitation to locate in Idaho.
had no thought of locating anywhere but in Oregon but the hand of
be with us as
we slowly warmed to
gracious invitation. We lived for three
years from 1981 to 1984 at Nazareth Retreat
and hospitality there and
continuing our discernment and plans
for a hermitage. Throughout this process, we
under the direction
of Bishop Treinen. However, Bishop
Connolly continued to visit us and showed
interest in the development of our hermit
we were drafting our Rule of Life, Bishop Treinen and Bishop Connolly
law, which is
the legal structures of the Catholic
Church, and was able to provide juridical
to us. Because of these early experiences
with both of our bishops, we thought
co-founding bishops of Marymount
of Mary, which is the canonical name
we adopted as
new entity in the Church.
were a series of events recently which gave us the inspiration to
dedicate one issue
He has recently celebrated
both 50 years as a priest and 25
as a bishop. Last year, the Diocese
of Baker celebrated
Centennial. Bishop Connolly
an active bishop for four years
now. We decided we wanted
to honor him as we
celebrate 20 years at Marymount
with his friend, Father John Donoghue of the Diocese of Boise,
next to chapel
and the hallway connecting the
two buildings. Both have been generous
in seeing that
we have the financial
of Bishop Michael P. Driscoll
of Boise, we are naming this new hallway
Connolly Connection." We intend
to place in it, near the door to chapel,
a picture of
With this is the unspoken agreement
we will always pray for him and
for all our generous
friends, both living
Connolly Connection" actually has a theological significance.
is the Bishop of Rome,
and, as such, is the first
among brother bishops. He is
called in Latin the "pontifex"
he is in fact
a "bridge-builder." The meaning
is clear: a bishop is a bridge
hallway connecting chapel to
our house, providing us with an easy
for prayer both
day and night
is a good symbol
of that bridge.
would like to close my reflections about Bishop Connolly
with this beautiful quote from the Holy Father's
letter Pastores Gregis. After you read it, I invite you to
look again at the photo on page one. You will notice that
Bishop, like all bishops, wears a prominent ring. May it be a reminder
to all of us that bishops, as successors of the Apostles,
themselves sacrificially for the good of the Church, which
is the Bride of Christ.
this ring, the seal of fidelity: adorned with undefiled faith, preserve
unblemished the Bride of God, the holy Church.' These words [from
the ritual], urge the Bishop to realize that he is committed to mirroring
the virginal love of Christ for all his faithful ones....When he does
so, he walks
as a pastor at the head of his flock, as did Christ the Bridegroom, who gave
his life for us and who left to all the example of a love which is transparent
and virginal, and therefore fruitful and universal. (Pastores
Sister M. Beverly has been privileged for many years to
be on the retreat director's team with Bishop Connolly. The Scriptural,
eight-day retreat is held annually in July at Nazareth Retreat House
in Boise, Idaho. Scenes here are from the Nazareth chapel after Mass,
during a conference, and Bishop reading as he awaits a retreatant for
private direction. The first year Sister Beverly worked on this retreat,
Bishop Treinen was also on the team.
Bishop Thomas J. Connolly, Bishop-emeritus of Baker,
is seen here with the two Hermit Sisters after Mass on Pentecost, May
30, 2004. This was the last day of our retreat. You'll notice in the
background mounted on the front of the chapel the new sign, which now
greets our visitors. This sign was a generous gift from Dan Bolzendahl
of Payette, Idaho.
the good shepherd
lays down his life
for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd."
"THE CONNOLLY CONNECTION" UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This new fence which designates parking space in front
of chapel is a gift from Ceara and Michael Nourse, our generous neighbors.
This photo was taken on August 12, 2003 and the hallway is still only
Above, the concrete foundations and stem walls of the
hallway have been poured and we are waiting for the concrete floor
slab to be poured. This photo of chapel was taken in October, 2003.
hallway is being framed. Bob George took seriously his commission
to integrate the hallway with the chapel and house. He repeated
architectural features of both buildings and created a pleasing,
there was more distance between the chapel and the house, we were
providentially able to have space for an
attached garage with entrance to the house by the side door,
at the end of the hallway. We feel blessed also with the addition
of a concrete driveway to the garage and a sidewalk to the front
door of the house.
months this winter, we had about 4 ft. of snow on the ground as you
can see in this photo which was taken in January,
2004. Even in an unfinished state, the hallway and garage were used
work on "The Connolly Connection" and
Holy Family House includes siding and painting to match the chapel.
Final work will include finishing the interior of the hallway which
will, in effect, become a storage area for our flower-picking equipment.
I know my sheep and
my sheep know me...
for these sheep
I will give my life."
By Hermit Sister Mary Beverly
Hopefully, you can see from the newsletter thus far that much of our
news, past and present, is happy. However, by the time this letter
reaches you, Father Robert Griffin, S.J. will no longer be our resident
chaplain. Father Bob has served us faithfully for three years and we
are very sorry to lose him. His health has been deteriorating and he
is seeking permanent retirement at his community's Provincial House
in Los Gatos, California. Father Bob anticipates returning occasionally
to Marymount Hermitage each year for retreat and vacation.
Rebecca Mary, HSM, Father Robert Griffin, S.J., and Sister Mary
Beverly, HSM pause in the foyer of chapel.
chaplain, we will no longer have daily Mass here at Marymount Hermitage.
Sister Rebecca Mary and I will be traveling to a nearby
parish for Sunday Mass after July 1. Please pray with us for a chaplain
to succeed Father Bob.
Sister Rebecca Mary is manning her tables filled with
the rosaries she has made. Most people cannot believe what a huge assortment
of rosaries we have. These two pictures were taken at St. Clare's Parish
in Portland, Oregon when we sold our wares at Sister Beverly's Dad's
parish community last September. Robert Greger helped us with this
successful sale and is seen exiting the back door of the room.
photo shows in the foreground the tables with flower cards and
in the back, the table which displays the baby
gifts. God bless
all who have supported us at these sales!
At Easter time
this year, we received a donation of a chalice and paten from the
family of Sara M. Gardner of Portland,
to receive this memorial gift. The vessels have been used at daily
Mass since Father Bob blessed them on Holy Saturday.
Bob blesses the beautiful gold paten and chalice, a gift from Dr.
Charles Gardner and his children at the death of his wife, Sara.
The chalice was thoughtfully designed. The stem has four sides
and displays the figures of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and an angel. The
intention was to honor the Gardner family and the name of the Sisters'
new residence: Holy Family House.
on the hallway, which, with the approval of Bishop Driscoll of
Boise, we have named in honor of our co-founder Bishop Connolly.
When the construction is complete, we will share final photos
with you. We deeply appreciate all who contributed financially to the
accomplishment of this goal. The building has been entirely paid
for since June, 2004.
This year, Sister Rebecca Mary celebrates
the 40th anniversary of her consecration to the Lord. She was a Sister
of St. Mary
beginning in 1964 and then made vows as a Hermit Sister of
Marv at Marvmount
in July, 1987. In honor of her jubilee, we have received an
anonymous donation in the amount of $5,000. Sister has designated this
money for the completion of the construction of The
wonderful gift which came to us in February of this year was that
of a baby grand piano. This piano was given to us by the parish
of Risen Christ in Boise, Idaho. The piano is about 100 years old and
is "cosmetically challenged" but it sounds like a Steinway
and that is the most important thing! By taking out about half of the
on one side of chapel, we were able to create enough space for it.
Who plays? Me! I have not had a piano for over 25 years but I am slowly
teaching myself to play again and immensely enjoying daily practice
sessions. We bought a dulcimer for Sister Rebecca Mary as a jubilee
gift and she is playing and composing music on it with great enjoyment.
Hopefully, in future editions we can tell you more about music at Marymount
If you were wondering if we had deleted your name from the mailing
list or you were worried about our health, you will note from the masthead
that this is issue #1 for this year. We were not able to publish a
spring/Easter issue of the newsletter. Thus this one is a little longer
than usual. Thanks to all who wrote and inquired about our well-being.
About once a month, we have been in parishes selling our rosaries,
flower cards and baby gifts after the weekend Masses. This has been
a welcome and necessary addition to our monthly budget. It is part
of our effort to pay what we owe for our car. We are grateful to the
pastors who permitted us to set up tables outside of the church. We
have been able to become re-acquainted with old friends and to make
God bless you and your loved ones and let us pray for each other daily.
A Retreatant Writes...
MARYMOUNT BY NIGHT
I awoke from sleep late on this Sunday night.
With a warm blanket wrapped around me,
I made my way outside and sat on the deck
of the hermitage.
The silence was broken by a jet
passing through the night sky.
As I observed the speed at which it was traveling,
I was once again reminded of the great
and awesome power of God.
That jet could be carrying an important package
from Seattle to Sarasota.
The package may arrive sometime tomorrow--
Then again it may get lost in transit
from the airport to its final destination.
Not so with God.
Here on this high desert, windswept mountain,
the prayers that are offered
are answered immediately.
In fact, they are answered faster than that,
but there is no word to describe that speed.
Through the mystery of prayer
a need is met and someone a thousand miles away
is encouraged --
and at just the right time.
Another person is released from pain in Boise.
Someone else receives encouragement
while sitting in the same room.
Prayer knows no limitation. Our God is not
restricted by time, distance or weather.
Our prayers are never lost in transit.
We will never know the full effect
our prayers have had until we stand
in eternity and God reveals to us
the things that He accomplished
through our prayers.
Then we will say, "Why didn't I pray more?"
So with the time that we have left,
my desire is to become more and more aware
of God's presence
And His desire for us to bring our petitions
And with excitement in my spirit,
know that as soon as that prayer
is on my lips,
that He is answering it.
Won't it be wonderful, in our eternal home,
when our brothers and sisters walk up to us
and say, "Thank you for praying for me.
It made all the difference."
May 9, 2004
Late Breaking Developments - August 4, 2004
Other than a few minor touchups, "The Connolly Connection" is now
finished! Below are a few pictures of the Garage and the Hallway. Thank
you, Dear Lord, for your generosity!
The new Garage on Holy Family House complete with new Painting
"The Connolly Connection" bridging "Our Father's House" and "Holy Family
Back View of "The Connolly Connection"
Sr. Mary Beverly's Easter Cactus caught blooming.
MARYMOUNT HERMITAGE NEWSLETTER is
published by Marymount Hermitage, Inc., a non-profit, tax-exempt
corporation in the State of Idaho.
The Hermit Sisters of Mary are a canonically approved Catholic
community of women hermits following the Rule of St. Benedict.The
newsletter is normally published three times a year and is free.
The newsletter is sent to our relatives, friends and benefactors
so that we might share the spirituality and material progress of
Marymount Hermitage. Please pray that we may be faithful to our
way of life in prayer and penance, solitude and silence. Any donations
to Marymount Hermitage are sincerely appreciated and are tax-deductible.