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Newsletter - Autumn 2005, Vol. 22, No. 3
By Hermit Sister Mary Beverly

May 2-10: Bishop Thomas J. Connolly, from Bend, OR, was here to give us our annual directed retreat. Bishop was able to see the Connolly Connection, which is now complete thanks to the generosity of so many. Besides giving us easy access to chapel, it is a place to store our flower picking equipment and our finished flower cards, rosaries and other products from our cottage industries. I have my aloe vera “farm” on tables in the hallway and the plants love the sunny location.

Bishop Thomas Connolly with Sister Mary Beverly and Sister Rebecca Mary

Bishop Thomas J. Connolly, seated in the center, gave us conferences three times a day in the dining room of Holy Family House. We also had dinner together here daily during our retreat. Sister Mary Beverly is on the left and Sister Rebecca Mary is on the right. Photo By Sister Mary Ellen Hanson, SSMO, who made the retreat with us before she returned to Beaverton, Oregon.

May 25: We received the boxes of our 1000 CD’s and the jewel cases. Now, we have the work of assembling them and the inserts for future sales.

Bishop Connolly Listening To Sister Rebecca Mary's CD

Listening to Sister Rebecca Mary's CD allowed Bishop Connolly to have a relaxing evening during retreat. Bishop especially liked Psalm 22 of Sister's collection.


May 31: We went flower picking today with our friend and neighbor, Eberle Umbach. Since it was my feastday, the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, we had a special picnic lunch together.

June 9: Sister Rebecca Mary and I flew to Seattle, WA. SRM was beginning a week long visit to her two sisters, who live in the area. I was going to attend on June 11 the priestly ordination of our friend, Ed White. We were happy to note that earlier that week, also in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Seattle, a former priest-retreatant, Father Joe Tyson, was ordained auxiliary bishop. I flew home on 6/12.

June 11: Sister Rebecca Mary came down with shingles and was treated on an emergency basis at a medical clinic in Poulsbo, WA. Her return to Marymount, scheduled for June 16, was delayed. It was an unwelcome surprise to find out that Medicaid of WA would not cover her expenses since she was from out of state.

June 21: Sister Rebecca Mary was able, barely, to travel back to Marymount to continue her recuperation at home.

June 24-27: Father Ed White and Ed Hopfner were here on retreat. Father Ed gave SRM the Anointing of the Sick. He mentioned it was the first time for him to give that sacrament. Since we do not have a chaplain, it was wonderfully grace-filled for us to have daily Mass here for a short while. Unfortunately, SRM was too sick to attend, except on Sunday.

Father Ed White from Seattle

Father Ed White, from Seattle, reading the Gospel at Mass while he was here on retreat in June.

June 28: Sister Rebecca Mary was so sick that we went to the Medical Clinic in Weiser. Since they were unable to alleviate her pain and nausea, we went to the Emergency Room at Holy Rosary Hospital in Ontario, OR. After extensive lab tests and x-rays, which showed nothing alarming, SRM was released with a change of pain medications. This was discouraging because she was still not better.

June 29: I took SRM to the Emergency Room at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Boise because she was still very sick. A 2 1/2 hour trip is an agony when one is so uncomfortable. She was admitted and discharged three days later on Friday, July 1. At this point, she had distressing symptoms, probably complications from the shingle pain and pain medications, but we still did not have a definitive diagnosis.

July 5-11: Sister Rebecca Mary was so sick that I called 9-1-1 for an ambulance to take her to the Emergency Room at the small hospital in Weiser, located south of us about 45 miles. She was admitted to the hospital and treated there for a week. All the x-rays and lab tests showed nothing, but she was desperately sick most of the time. I traveled to Weiser each morning and stayed for several hours to visit Sister and to crochet quietly by her side.

July 11: This morning, I drove to Boise to assist Bishop Thomas Connolly in giving his annual 8-day retreat at Nazareth Retreat House. The biggest blessing for us was that our good friend, Sister Mary Ellen Hanson, SSMO, an experienced nurse, returned from Beaverton, OR to care for Sister Rebecca Mary, who was discharged from the Weiser Hospital.

Sister Mary Beverly and Bishop Connolly in Chapel at Nazareth Retreat House

Sister M. Beverly, HSM, with Bishop Thomas J. Connolly, in the chapel at Nazareth Retreat House.

July 19: The Nazareth retreat ends and I returned to Marymount. Sister Mary Ellen departed the same day for her community in Beaverton. We all fervently hope and pray that SRM is on the road to recovery.

July 24-29: At 2:00 AM on Sunday, Sister Rebecca Mary woke me up to tell me how sick she was. We went first to the Emergency Room at the Weiser hospital and, upon the recommendation of the staff there, at about 9:00 AM, I drove her to Holy Rosary Hospital in Ontario, OR, about 30 miles further south. After going to the Emergency Room there, Sister Rebecca Mary was finally admitted as an in-patient. The blessing in this was that her primary physician, Dr. Andrew Peterson, was back from vacation and was able to reach a definite diagnosis: gastroparesis. SRM’s stomach had essentially stopped functioning. This was probably the result of the viral disease of shingles and/or the effect of the narcotic pain medications. The doctor has her on Reglan to stimulate the stomach. We are relieved to know what we are dealing with and hope that this will be a temporary condition. We ask prayers for her healing. Driving to Ontario each day for a week put lots of miles on our car, but it was a comfort to Sister to have me visit and I got lots of baby booties crocheted during that week.

August 1: This was an historic day at Marymount Hermitage. After 21 years of abstaining from meat as a sacrifice in our life of prayer, I fried hamburger for SRM’s noon meal! She is on a restricted diet and can only eat small portions at a time, hence the doctor recommended meat, such as hamburger, which is easy to digest and gives her needed protein. The Rule of St. Benedict, which we follow, allows that the sick may eat meat, and so we are doing that now during this time of convalescence. How grateful we are for Holy Family House so we can care for each other!

August 6-7: With the able assistance of Sherry Moore, we had a successful sale of our wares at St. Mark’s Parish in Boise. I thank Dee and Frank Sattler, and their daughter Mary Beth, who so graciously hosted Sherry and me overnight. SRM was not able to work on this sale, but she is able to continue her custom of making a rosary a day and her recuperation is proceeding well. She is able to eat more each day and is feeling stronger.

Showing Marymount Hermitage's wares outside St. Mary's Church in Boise Idaho.

This photo shows the many tables displaying our wares outside of St. Mary's Church, Boise, Idaho for our sale there after the weekend Masses April 30 - May 1, 2005. We Hermit Sisters have always been warmly welcomed there by the pastor, Father Thomas Faucher.

August 12: Our generous friends and neighbors have been helping us with the cleaning and chores at Marymount during Sister Rebecca Mary’s absence and her recuperation. Sherry Moore and her daughters Bridget or Stephanie have been here almost every Friday to clean the chapel and the hermitages, so that they are ready for retreatants.

August 14: Today was the first Sunday which has been “normal” for about two months. We had recreation together in the morning, making flower cards which we always enjoy. Then at noon, we had fresh-frozen trout (brought by the Broams and Flemings earlier this summer), baked potatoes and sautéed garden vegetables. I enjoyed cooking this dinner; SRM enjoyed eating it, and we thanked God for her being able to do so! Sunday Mass this week was in Cambridge at 3:30 PM.

August 15: Sister Rebecca Mary and I celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady by traveling to Weiser for early morning Mass. Father Robert Cook, the new pastor there, invited us to renew our vows publicly at Mass, which we did. This was our profession anniversary. SRM has been a religious for 41 years and I have been for 39 years.

August 16: As we prepare this newsletter for publication, the scenery is extremely dry and brown. Fire danger is high and smoke fills the air from fires burning in the Hell’s Canyon and Grangeville areas, as well in other places nearer to us. Grasshoppers are in such abundance that we are seeing serious damage from them. They chew the wood of the buildings, eat the nylon screens out of our new house and, of course, devour all the watered and green vegetation, like the flowers outside of chapel, the shrubs by the house, and the roses in the garden. We haven’t had a plague like this for many years. We do not try to have a vegetable garden because of this problem. Fortunately, people are very generous in giving us fresh produce at this time of year.

Calendar of Coming Events:
The Fall Conference for the Diocese of Boise will be held from Sept. 23-25 at Bishop Kelly High School. Sister Mary Beverly will be giving a talk entitled: The Eucharist in the Teachings of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. The class will be given twice on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Catholics from Idaho, and especially the Boise area, are invited to attend. This is the first time that Sister Beverly has been invited to be a teacher at the Fall Conference and she is eagerly anticipating her participation in it.

Addendum: Sister Mary Beverly will be repeating this talk in the following locations:

  • Our Lady of The Lake Parish in McCall, Idaho on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 from 7-9 pm. Class will be held in the Church.
  • St. Agnes Parish in Weiser, Idaho on Sunday, October 23, 2005 from 7-9 pm in the parish hall.

Father Robert Griffin, S.J. is scheduled to be at Marymount Hermitage for a few weeks for Christmas, 2005, January 1, 2006 and Epiphany. We appreciate Father Bob being our “long distance chaplain."


Because the hallway connecting the chapel to our new house is constructed with an angle in the middle, it is impossible to get a complete photograph of the interior. The photo at right shows the beautiful windows in the center of the hall. The scenery from this vantage point is stunning. We installed ceramic tile on the floor and have found this to be not only a durable and convenient flooring, but very beautiful also. One area of the hallway has large and sturdy shelves to hold our telephone books and press boards, which we use to pick and press flowers. Another cupboard stores our wares for sale.

Mike Pape, a corporate pilot from Boise, carried out a long-standing wish to do aerial photos of Marymount Hermitage in April, 2005. His brother-in-law, Rick Sterling and his friend, Chris Jones, assisted Mike in this project. Sister Rebecca Mary had a dream of a lifetime come true when Mike invited her to the Council Airport to join him in an aerial tour of the area that morning.

Interior of Connolly Connection

Interior of the hallway connecting the chapel and the Sisters' new house. Many a night, when Sister Rebecca Mary was sick, she would walk around chapel, praying and trying to relieve the pain so she could sleep. Having our house connected to chapel is wonderful!


Sister Rebecca Mary and Michael Pape in front of his private plane, a four-seater Cessna.

Sister Rebecca Mary and Michael Pape in front of his private plane, a four-seater Cessna.


Aerial photo of Holy Family House, the Connolly Connection, and Our Father's House Marymount Hermitage Mesa, Idaho

Aerial photo of Holy Family House, the Connolly Connection, and Our Father's House Marymount Hermitage Mesa, Idaho


Psalm 55:6-8: "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove to fly away and be at rest! I should escape far away and find a refuge in the wilderness; soon I should find myself a sanctuary from wind and storm."

A Refuge and Sanctuary
By Ken Eden

I have found a refuge in the wilderness,
Even now the storm has arrived--
The wind is blowing...
But I am safe in my refuge.

I have come here for many reasons --
To be alone with God;
To share time with my wife;
To renew my friendship with the Sisters;
To take in the beauty of God's creation.

And God has given me more than I desired.
His presence fills this place and I am in awe.
I find myself smiling at the simplest things.
The time with my wife is sweet as we share thoughts, ideas and dreams.
My conversation with the Sisters has filled my heart with joy.

My eyes are full as I take in the green of spring.
The deer greeted us as we arrived.
The meadow larks call back and forth.
An entire flock of butterflies flew by our window,
carried along by the wind.
The coyotes serenaded us at dusk.

God is good to give us what we need.
Sometimes it is a nap in the middle of the day,
falling asleep in His arms.
Sometimes it is an excellent article from a magazine or book.
Sometimes it is a reminder of His great and awesome power
as a thunderstorm passes by.
This morning it was at morning prayers
hearing from Psalm 63 that God's love is better than life.

I do not know what direction my life will take
in the ensuing weeks, months, and years.
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!!!
But I do know that coming to the refuge
in the wilderness renews my mind
and refreshes my spirit.

I am ready to head back to the city,
once again refocused on the One
Who holds my future,
excited about the possibilities.

Thank you, Father, for this refuge in the wilderness,
this sanctuary from wind and storm.

May 30, 2005


Enjoy true silence and solitude and discover God's presence and peace in prayer and study in the beauty of the desert. Print off a Retreat Application form or
call (208) 256-4354.

Come see us and experience God's presence in a special way!

"The Eucharist is the 'precious pearl'
which gives life true and full meaning."

Pope Benedict XVI on June 12, 2005 A.D.

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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