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Newsletter - Summer, Vol. 22, No. 2

WHEN PRAYER BECOMES MUSIC
By Hermit Sister Mary Beverly

It is my joy and privilege to announce something quite new from Marymount Hermitage. We have been able to record and publish Sister Rebecca Mary’s original musical compositions in which she sings in Hebrew, and occasionally Aramaic and English, and accompanies herself on the guitar or dulcimer.


Sister Rebecca Mary plays her guitar
Sister Rebecca Mary singing and playing her guitar in chapel as a form of prayer daily.


Where did these songs come from? They arose out of prayer, Scriptural prayer, daily prayer, prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in chapel. You might call these heart songs, hymns of praise to the Lord arising out of the unceasing prayer of a Hermit Sister. These songs form an intimate part of her sacred dialogue with the Lord. They have been composed and used in private. They have never been public, nor have they ever been heard by anyone other than a few songs, which Sister Rebecca Mary sang for her immediate family and close friends over the years. How did they come to be recorded?

Our friends and neighbors, Eberle Umbach and John Hayes, are themselves musicians, composers, performing artists, teachers and writers. When they came to know Sister Rebecca Mary little more than a year ago, they discovered that she was writing music and singing in Hebrew. They were fascinated by this unique occupation! They asked to hear some of Sister’s selections and she was amazed that they liked her music. Eberle, especially, felt that she would like to record this music for the sake of archiving it. John had learned the technical aspects of digital recording and they had the equipment to carry out this project.

One of the aspects of Sister Rebecca Mary’s music is that it is like a river. At least this is how I think of it. Today, you can step into the water of the river, but the water is different than it was yesterday. The water is always new and fresh. The water bubbles up from an ever-living source, which is the Holy Spirit. Sister Rebecca Mary’s prayer songs, because they are not written down in music notation, stay in her memory when she is using them for daily prayer. After awhile, new songs replace the older ones and gradually she forgets the older set. Eberle did not want these songs to be lost. She and John offered to record whatever Sister would like to keep and she agreed.

In a series of sessions from March to December 2004, approximately 35 songs were digitally recorded on a mini-disk. All the recordings were made in chapel, which we have discovered has perfect acoustics--in itself, a surprising gift from the Lord. Both John and Eberle loved Sister Rebecca Mary’s songs and urged her to publish them. This was the first time we began to think that these songs might be enjoyed by a wider audience.

Eberle and John have consistently refused to accept compensation for their time and expertise for this work. On their part, it has been a labor of love. We depend on the Lord, Himself, to reward them. As a way of thanking our two friends for envisioning and implementing this project, Sister wrote for Eberle and John a song, which is Isaiah 49 in her collection. Sister Rebecca Mary is often asked how she is inspired to write a particular piece. Another example is that when her beloved and young nephew, Jay, died suddenly, to console her sister, Dorothy Mann, Sister Rebecca Mary wrote Jn.1&Rev.7...”God will wipe away every tear...”

Although by her own admission Sister Rebecca Mary’s musical training has been minimal, I think you will agree with me that her singing and playing has all the authenticity and pleasing quality of someone whom the Lord has gifted in His own mysterious and gracious way. The only reason Sister Rebecca Mary agreed to publish her prayer songs was the idea that this recording would give honor and glory to God and not to herself.It is our hope that, as her prayer has arisen as music to the Lord, the songs will also lift your heart and mind in prayer.

I myself do not know Hebrew. However, since the key words are repeated often, I have come to learn a fair number of them. Since repetition is a feature of the songs, I would like to mention that this is in itself an aspect of Hebrew poetry. You will notice that often in the psalms, for instance, a word or phrase from one line is repeated in the next. Secondly, repetition is also an aspect of contemplative prayer with Scripture. A word or phrase, which resonates in ones heart, is repeated over and over, allowing one’s heart to go deeper into that reality, savoring the grace of it. So the repetition of words in Sister’s music arises out of both the Hebrew structure itself and the nature of contemplative prayer.

I invite you to read the following interview of Sister Rebecca Mary, which Eberle and John conducted in March, 2005 as the CD was being prepared for publication. Since we are Hermit Sisters and our life is one hidden in silence and solitude, seclusion and withdrawal from the world, it is our hope that Hosanna will be a small window into our life of prayer in a way which words and pictures cannot themselves convey.

Click here to view the information on the cd or wish to order one or more copies of this CD. All proceeds from the sale will go to support the Hermit Sisters at Marymount Hermitage in our life of prayer for the Church and the world.


Marymount Chapel at Mesa Idaho

The bell tower near the chapel here at Marymount Hermitage has become a familiar landmark. We use it for the logo of our new CD.

Marymount Logo


READERS WRITE...

Lewiston, Idaho
April 19, 2005

Dear Marymount Sisters Rebecca Mary and Mary Beverly,

Peace to you! On the special occasion of our new Pope's election, I write to you with a heart full of love and gratitude. Thank you for your prayers and service for our sake, our state. Indeed, our world is a better place because of your faith-in-action.

This is actually the second note I have written to you since the death of Pope John Paul II. He has opened up such a vast well-spring of grace that I can hardly take it all in. I have realized that like Todd and me, the two of you were joined on mission in the year 1984. We were married Jan. 7, 1984. 21 years x 2 = 42 years.

Much of this time has been desert living and now I can't help but realize the call for us to live what we have learned through the desert. We have entered the promised land, the land of intercession, where rivers of living water will flow.

You have become the bell tower and where you go, the bell rings. You have become the Angelus, the living prayer, and every flower you have picked in the wild, now blooms and springs forth.

A new day..."Come with me into the fields."

With love,
MLN


INTERVIEW OF SISTER REBECCA MARY, HSM
By Eberle Umbach and John Hayes


E: I want to ask you about your musical background. Was there music in your family? What were your early interests in music?
SRM: My mom played the piano. She basically played by ear, but she could read some music. She mostly played ragtime or music from the movies, show music. I have two older sisters and all three of us girls sang and harmonized together. My oldest sister, Jeanne, played the piano and ukulele. My other sister, Dorothy, doesn’t play an instrument, however she sings and whistles beautifully.


Eberle Umbach and John Hayes were introduced to us by our mutual friend, Robert George. The three of them play in various musical groups in the area for civic, social, and cultural events. Eberle Umbach and John Hayes

E: There was quite a lot of music in your family.
SRM: Yes. My parents didn’t really sing, but they loved music. We all loved music. I wouldn’t say anyone in the family had much musical training. I’ve probably had the most and it has been rather minimal. I studied guitar for three years and had two classes in music theory in college. When I joined the convent, I quit playing guitar. I had given my guitar away. After several years, the community used guitars occasionally for Mass. Then I was given a guitar and started playing again on a regular basis.

E: So that’s when you started taking up your first instrument again?
SRM: Right.

E: Is that when you started composing?
SRM: No, I started composing some time in the ‘70’s, but I composed in English. I composed maybe thirty or forty songs. The first songs I composed, I did with harmony. I did a lot of harmony in those days. Then when we came here to Mesa, Idaho, I wrote just one or two English songs. But I didn’t do anything in Hebrew until the year 2000.

E: I wanted to ask you about the first songs, the first 30 or 40. Did you perform those or do them with other people or were they private, for your own use?
SRM: They were all intended to be private, but one of the Sisters in the community [the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon] put three or four of the songs into music notation. The first song I composed, “The Spirit and the Bride Say Come,” the community sang once or twice at Mass.

J: Were the songs all written to biblical texts?
SRM: Well, that one was. “The Spirit and the Bride Say Come” is from Rev. 22:17. The other songs were spiritual, like spiritual folk songs. But I didn’t take most of them from Scripture.

J: So you wrote the lyrics to them yourself?
SRM: Yes.

E: So then you came here to Marymount Hermitage and you started composing again?
SRM: We moved to Idaho in 1981 and then founded Marymount in 1984. I think I composed one or two in English furing those early years. I don’t remember what they were. Then about the year 2000, I started composing songs in Hebrew.

E: Why did you begin composing in Hebrew?
SRM: I had a tape of a Jewish opera singer named Jan Peerce. I’ve always liked the sound of Hebrew music like “Fiddler on the Roof” and other collections like that. There is just something about it that fascinates me. So I got his tape entitled The Art of the Cantor. The songs were chanted with orchestral background music. I absolutely loved it and I thought, “I wish I could sing it.” It did not have any English translation. It was in Hebrew. I thought, “I would love to sing in that language! If I want to know what he is singing, if I want to sing it, I better study Hebrew.” That is when I started studying Hebrew, about 1997.


Sister Rebecca Mary playing the dulcimer Learning to play the dulcimer has been a new project for Sister Rebecca Mary.

E: So you started teaching yourself Hebrew?
SRM: Yes, with home study courses. Audio Forum, for instance, offers numerous language programs. Their teachers, for the most part, are people who are native speakers. You really get a good sense of how the language should sound because it is spoken by someone who is speaks it fluently.

E: That would be important to you because it was the sound of Hebrew which really inspired you?
SRM: Yes. Besides learning Hebrew so I could sing in that language, I was excited about the aspect of being able to read and pray in the original language of the Old Testament. Audio-Forum had a program that taught me how to chant and sing in Hebrew. So that’s when I finally learned how to sing Hebrew. It took awhile, since the accent is in a different place. It is usually on the last syllable rather than the first. Sometimes it is on the second. But with about 75% of Hebrew words, the accent is on the last syllable. This is not true of English, so the difference took some time to learn.

E: I’m thinking that Hebrew is different from English and the effect that that would have on writing songs would be difficult. The accent is different. Another difficulty is that you read Hebrew from right to left, which is the opposite of English. It seems that would have a profound effect when you are writing a song. Is that true?
SRM: Well, it is true, but by the time I started writing Hebrew music, I was familiar with the language and it didn’t seem that strange. When a language is very different from yours, everything about it goes with that language. So you are not putting English interpretations in it. It is a switch of your mind. The difficult part of composing a song was putting it into musical notation. Our music is from left to right. The way I solve this problem is that I have the lines of Hebrew script written on a piece of paper and then over the words I put the appropriate guitar chords and often the letter to tell me which note I want for the melody. This means that a lot of the melody and all of the rhythms are entirely in my head and never written out in music notation. The disadvantage, of course, is that over time, I forget the melody and the song is lost! I tend to remember only the songs I am currently using for prayer on a daily basis.

J: Do you always start from a text? Or do you sometimes have a melody and then find a text for it?
SRM: That is a good question. Generally, I do start with a text, but sometimes a melody comes to my mind and then I find something to go with it. Because my songs usually spring from my prayer, the Scripture text is almost always the starting point. In writing out a melody, I try to fit the music to the words and the mood of the text. Usually, I compose the refrain first. The refrain often is the first line of the psalm, for instance. If it is not the first line, then it is a verse which seems to tie the other verses together. The number of lines in the verses of a song in the Hebrew vary a lot. So music-wise, one melody for all the verses often does not work.

E: The length of lines varies from one verse to the next in a song?
SRM: Right. I rather like that aspect though, because it is a creative challenge! I find that part intriguing.

J: Hebrew poetry is not based on the number of syllables the way it is in English poetry. So English poetry fits into our idea of melody quite well because the lines generally are the same length. Whereas Hebrew poetry is built on a different idea of meter.
SRM: Yes, that is very true!

E: So the whole process of building a melody to a Hebrew text is actually quite challenging. Then what happens when you translate parts of the song into English?
SRM: That is a BIG challenge. I like having a song in Hebrew and English, but in Hebrew for instance, “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want,” is four words. In English, it is a phrase of nine words.

E: So you can’t really use the same melody for the English translation?
SRM: No, I have to change the melody somewhat by adding a little more here and there. Translations which are too difficult, I just don’t do. If the sentence structure is similar, then those are the songs I usually do in both Hebrew and English. What I like about the Hebrew is that it is so direct. The language does not have a large vocabulary and that gives it a certain power and strength, which appeal to me.

E: It is interesting that you say the directness of Hebrew is inspiring to you because that quality is something I hear in your music. It is very direct, both in the music and in your singing. It sounds like that is the way you feel about the Hebrew language.
SRM: That’s right. I love the Hebrew words themselves. Hebrew is an ancient and primitive language. It doesn’t use a lot of words. Hebrew is also rhythmic. The words often have the same ending and so they sound good together. It also makes for smoother singing.

E: Something else I hear in your music is rhythm. There are rhythms that are quite complex and subtle. They are musically unexpected. They are not regular and predictable. I couldn’t say musically how you are dividing up the inner beats, but I really love your sense of rhythm. I am wondering if that comes from the Hebrew?
SRM: It probably does because the Hebrew just doesn’t lend itself to the same kind of rhythms and melodies that English does. I always feel very satisfied when I can do both Hebrew and English in a song! I like the idea of first starting with the Hebrew and then suddenly translating the words. To me, it even gives the English a certain depth, a certain strength and power. I, myself, hear it differently because of the background of Hebrew words first. I love to do that.

E: So it is almost like the Hebrew creates the musical context just by the sound and cadence of the language?
SRM: It is the same sound. I am saying it first in Hebrew. That is the particular sound that you are hearing. Then when you hear that same text in English, it has a background, which it is not just the English by itself.

J: English has a very big vocabulary compared to a lot of languages. French, I know, has no where near as many words as there are in English. So, therefore, you have to have words do double, triple or quadruple duty. English has such a large vocabulary because it is specifically a combination of two different languages, both French and a Germanic language.
SRM: Well, that’s very interesting! So that’s why it has such a huge vocabulary and you can do so much in English.

E: You describe your music as a kind of prayer. I was wondering if you would talk about that?
SRM: I get my ideas when I’m meditating on a particular line of Scripture. I especially like to pray from Scripture. Then after prayer, I think, “Oh, that would be nice as a song.” So then I put it to music. It is like the words are playing upon my heart. I sit quietly, and listen to the Lord, but I can get a lot of distractions. But when I have sung the verses that the Lord is speaking to me, the music is in my mind. My “distraction,” if you want to call it that, is what I want to pray about! I find music is a really wonderful preparation for prayer, because my mind is singing. And that’s all right! I am singing God’s word!

E: I imagine there is a whole history of chanting connected with prayer and with your music.
SRM: Yes, in fact, there was a magazine article recently about a priest, who was wondering what the psalms of David sounded like when they were sung. You may perhaps know that the psalms were originally written to be sung?

E: I don’t think I knew that.
SRM: About 70 of the psalms were actually composed by King David. Finally, the priest discovered a Jewish musical historian, and he asked him his question. The Jewish man just laughed and he said, “You got your Gregorian chant from us!” In other words, that chant goes way back. It is ancient, built on the psalms, as they were sung in ancient Israel. And actually, since I began studying Hebrew, I have heard some very historically old Jewish chants, and they sound very much like Gregorian chant. So there is that connection. Of course, in the early years when I was in the convent, I learned Gregorian chant and we, as Sisters, sang in a choir and so I have Catholic liturgical music in my background, as well as ideas from folk guitar artists, whom I have liked in the past.

E: I am wondering how you might be inspired to work on one psalm or one part of Scripture as opposed to another?
SRM: I think part of it has to do with prayer. It has to do with my life, what I am praying about, perhaps my moods or experiences during the day. At times, I feel more directly inspired by God. In the psalms, David’s life experiences and moods are reflected quite vividly in his writings. Being both human and spiritual as human beings, our music will reflect both aspects.

E: So your music is actually very connected to your personal experience?
SRM: Yes. For me, it is sung prayer.

E: There is an interesting connection with prayer because on the musical level, it is like prayer without words. Is that right?
SRM: Yes, because music is a language all its own. If you are playing your own instrumental music for instance, it has come from your own thoughts, emotions and creativity. But it is its own language. It speaks to people even though there are no words. Music has that ability to speak to people no matter what language it is in or whether it is sung or not sung.

E: You talked about your kind of music as spiritual folk music. Let’s talk about the genre or category into which you would put yourself. You were just talking about how you never intended for the music to be professional. How do you talk about your music?
SRM: You worded it very well! It is not congregational music. For instance, the very first song I wrote, “The Spirit and the Bride Say Come,” was more of a congregational type. My Hebrew music, because it is individually interpreted, would not be easy to sing as a congregation. It is music which lends itself more to private, contemplative prayer, rather than public liturgical prayer. It is, for the most part, God’s word, and as such has a power all it’s own. Because it is God’s word and God’s word can speak to people even though the singer might not be the best. But God’s word is very powerful, whether it is spoken, whether it is prayed, whether it is sung. In other words, it is has a reality separate from the singer or the player. It is HIS word, which speaks to people even though they may not realize it. Does that make sense?

E: Yes, it does! It sounds very clear.
SRM: I find that it speaks to me. Sometimes it is like I am the listener. I am standing back and am hearing these words and they are speaking to me. It’s not like I am singing. I am hearing the words out here, which is God’s word, speaking to me. And because it is in a different language sometimes I pay more attention! So it ministers to me. I should put it that way. It helps me to listen more attentively to God’s word. Then, the fact that it is the original language of Old Testament, it is very ancient, simple and strong.

E: I am still interested in the question of the relationship of music to prayer, although I don’t quite know what to ask. It seems like such an important aspect of your music. Prayer seems to be very much a part of its identity.
SRM: What I want to say is that music is on a different plane than spoken words or a simple intellectual process of thought. We will have music in eternity. There is something wonderful about that. Another aspect of music and prayer is this: in the Gospel of Matthew there is one succinct line which absolutely fascinates me. The account refers to Jesus and the Apostles when they had finished the Last Supper. And it says, “Then, after singing songs of praise, they walked out to the Mount of Olives.” (Matt. 26:30) So the last thing Jesus did before His Passion was to sing. It is just a small line and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anybody comment on it. To me, that is a very important line. It is as if the singing was part of Jesus preparation for His coming Passion and Death. He sang praise to His Father and then goes to Gethsemani and starts His agony. Of course, the singing was part of the religious tradition of the Seder meal which Jesus observed. But I just love that line!


Marymount orchestra provides special music for Mass

Faithfully for Christmas and Easter and sometimes other high holy days, our non-Catholic friends form an orchestra to provide special music for Mass. Pictured from left to right are Bob George on guitar, Sister Beverly on flute, John Hayes on baritone ukulele, and Eberle Umbach on flute. All of us musicians play multiple instruments and so orchestrating each piece is a real joy.


E: It’s very beautiful.
SRM: It is! What was His preparation? One of the aspects of His preparation was to sing praise. I just think that is really profound! So in a way, it goes back to what you were asking, “How music is prayer?” It was part of Jesus’ prayer, too. When He was in the agony, He prayed. The Gospels do not record anything about singing in Gethsemani. But that was part of his prayer for something which was coming up and which was going to be horrendous. We also have accounts of the martyrs singing as they went to execution. How mysterious it is that music is an unspoken part of life and death and eternity!

J: So when you are talking about music in terms of prayer or Scripture, it sounds like you’re almost saying that it adds a dimension beyond the words.
SRM: Wonderful, John! That is right! Very well said.

J: It is saying something that the words by themselves don’t explicitly say.

E: Yes, it is inspired by words. The theme of what you are saying is that there is something universal and transcendent about music.
SRM: I think of music as one of God’s beautiful gifts. He has given us a lot of beautiful gifts, but there is something about music, and I think for me, it is the mystery. We can never totally understand it.

E: You are almost saying that music is an approximation of something unheard, something that is a mystery.
SRM: It is a mystery. Here is a concrete example from a prayer-song which became a meditation which explains something of the importance of silence in the spiritual life. This is from Daniel 7:13-14. “Watching in the night,” is the holy charge of hermits. Night vigils have long been a tradition of hermits. In the vigil, we watch, we wait in silent prayer. We keep vigil like sentinels. Concepts like watching, waiting, keeping silent seem to be useless words to many in a culture where everything is accelerated, going full speed to accomplish a multitude of important things. Yet as a hermit, I am called to watch and wait in silence. Daniel saw something of the mystery of God in his night watch. So I too will watch for Him. Not to discover the mysteries of God, but to give Him praise and to lift up in prayer my brothers and sisters in need.

E: I was thinking, I really liked how you said that when you are singing Scripture, you are listening, as well as making music. I just kept thinking about that. Because that is actually quite different from the traditional idea of an artist, when the artist is simply creating, simply projecting his or her individual spirit. What you are talking about is receiving and reflecting. That is a different definition of music. Listening comes across in your music itself. It reflects your attitude. When I talk about your music as authentic, what I mean is that it seems to be coming so directly, without layers of mediation. Your music is authentic. It just comes straight from your heart somehow without those filters.
SRM: It is not as authentic though when I play it for you two, even though you are both very quiet and respectful. You do not make me feel uncomfortable. But I realize that when I am by myself, in the Lord’s presence, it is very different. I am more relaxed. It is more authentic prayer then because there is nobody listening, but God.

E: When you describe your music as a process of prayer, it is different to be playing it with a microphone in the room.
SRM: I try not to be conscious of it, but I am.

E: Or other people in the room. When we heard your music, we really wanted it to be out in the world, to some degree, for other people to hear, because we love it so much.
SRM: Thank you. Composing music is my way of praying God’s words with a heartfelt spirit. I like to see myself as the minstrel of the Lord, singing His praises, asking for His answer to my favorite prayer: “The desire of my heart is that all may be saved.” I know it is first and foremost God’s heartfelt desire.


Marymount Orchestra at Easter time The orchestra at Easter time included Sister Rebecca Mary, Bob George, Judy Ellis on cello and Sister Mary Ellen standing behind.
John Hayes is shown playing his bouzouki John Hayes is shown playing his bouzouki, an ancient Greek instrument. He plays a variety of string instruments with us including guitar, baritone ukulele and electric bas.
Bob George plays his guitar, but he also plays mandolin and clarinet for our orchestra.
Eberle Umbach is shown playing our newly donated piano. She is a classical pianist, but also plays flute, marimba, dulcimer and a wide variety of percussion instruments.
Sister Mary Beverly playing Flute Sister Mary Beverly is shown playing the flute. She studied the piano when young and is now getting the opportunity to refine her skills on the newly donated piano.
Sister Mary Ellen Hanson Playing her angel harp. Sister Mary Ellen is playing her new angel harp.
Sister Mary Ellen playing "frog" instrument Sister Mary Ellen is using Eberle's "frog" as a percussion instrument for the Easter Mass this year. We make a joyful noise unto the Lord!
Sister Rebecca Mary plays her guitar Sister Rebecca Mary is playing her guitar which is her principal instrument.

 


SABBATICAL UPDATE
By Sister Mary Ellen Hanson, SSMO

Spring has come to the Heartland of Idaho! May your spring be as full of Life as the one here at Marymount Hermitage on the mesa. We still have some snow patches in mid-March and the buttercups are the first to take advantage of any open spaces to show their color.

I once again became “hooked” on the fine art of bird watching. Early in the month, skies overhead became a major geese flyway. On a clear morning from about 9:30 to 10:00 AM, twelve flocks noisily embarked from a southeasterly direction in various formations. Some had very clear leadership. Others seemed to ramble here and there. The honking always seemed the same. One early group supported over a hundred sky-borne birds. Another made up a nice tight group of thirty. In the evenings, some were just beginning their journey. Night flying though is not quite as popular.

The geese types always have moved northward this month. I wonder how that is all determined? Noteworthy are the numerous types which leave white, jet trails behind and choose the higher altitudes and seem to be going in the same direction both north and south at all hours of night and day. There is no flapping of wings, however. Maybe they carry the same various numbers of “passengers.” The Sisters say the meadow larks arrived earlier than usual.

Grouse, three varieties, are at home here. Horned lark and western oriole nest 200 feet below the mesa along Goodrich Road. A blue heron rookery is very busy along Midvale's Weiser River.

Bugs and mud are features of spring regionally as well. Mud is usually one kind: red and “clayish.” I have since acquired mud boots. The car washes will not accept cars with mud! Bugs include all the varieties God had in mind, I think: the brown ones which in a heated hermitage keep one company year round (relatives of the box elder bugs, they say); re-emergence of the spider, wasp, lady bug families and one discovered today resembling a miniature centipede; the scary looking stink bug, which never hurts anyone, but sure smells when “done in.”

One wonderful aspect of this sabbatical is how musical it has been. Musicians abound here on the mesa. It is a joy to share in the group with flute, guitar, dulcimer, clarinet, mandolin, ukulele-banjo, piano, drums, bells within the framework of liturgy. A rather ecumenical combo, actually.

My role? As percussionist, a contribution with cymbal, triangle, frog, drum, basket, finger cymbals and song. I think I like the “frog” the best! A new angel harp is now asking to be included. We shall see! It has a wonderful tone and is anticipating the same kind of harpist! The honest aspiration for the latter is a “healing harp.”

We shall see.


Note: Sister Mary Ellen began her sabbatical here in Aug. 2004 and concluded it on May 21, 2005. She then returned to her community in Beaverton, Oregon. It was a blessing having her here and we miss her very much!


We would like to publicly thank Paul Franklin and the staff of Custom Recording in Boise, Idaho for their very professional and courteous assistance in producing our first music CD, Hosanna.

Sincere thanks to our faithful print, Jim Strange and his staff at Ontario Instant Press, in Ontario, OR for the CD booklet so professionally printed.

God bless all our generous friends and benefactors.


"Help us, O Mary, always to re-think our lives
with a spirit of faith.
Help us to safeguard places for silence and contemplation
in the frenzy of our daily lives."
Pope John Paul II on Jan. 1, 2001

"Praise of God becomes like
the continuous breath of the soul."
Pope John Paul II on Jan. 9, 2002 in Rome


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.



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