Saint Benedict Center's main site is An online Journal edited by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Richmond, New Hampshire.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Word of Gratitude

By Sister Marie Thérèse

Dear Friends,
In the last edition of “Convent Corner,” I tried to give you a verbal picture of our beautiful new Saint Philomena Convent and offered you the opportunity to help us establish it. To all of you who sent us your generous donations, I wish to send the sisters’ heartfelt gratitude. A dear priest even sent us two real widow’s mite coins (approximately 2,000 years old) to show the school children! As I promised, your names are on our altar at Saint Philomena Convent, close to the Eucharistic Heart of our dear Jesus. In fact, I decided to put your names in a lovely red leather diary with gilded pages and an image of the Sacred Heart embossed on the front. The picture shown here is our altar, and the inset is the book containing the names of all of you who sent your kind donations. I thought that seeing the special book right next to the tabernacle would remind us even more to pray for all of you.

Just this week, someone promised to donate a life-sized statue of Saint Joseph holding the Child Jesus. A dear friend of ours who has a great devotion to St. Joseph immediately offered to build a stone shrine for the statue when he heard of the gift. We plan to have the shrine located at the turn in our driveway with the intention of obtaining Saint Joseph’s powerful guardianship over our convent (he is, of course, the Father and Guardian of Virgins). Next, the men are planning to come in and install the granite hearth and a donated woodstove with Saint Hubert’s image on it. Then, our brothers have plans to provide us with a generous supply of wood using the trees downed in last winter’s big ice storm.

I want you all to know that we offer our first Rosary of the day specifically for your intentions. Also, I find myself praying little prayers of gratitude throughout the day, such as, “Blessed Mother, please bless our benefactors,” “Please bless their families,” “Dear Lord, help them to know and do Your holy Will and become saints.” I know that the other sisters have prayerful moments of gratitude seasoning their day as well. But more than the specific prayers, we are trying to unite ourselves more closely every day to God through His Blessed Mother. And, as the saints have said (St. Teresa of Avila especially comes to mind), when you do God’s will, He does yours. That is why the prayers of the saints are so powerful. Even if we don’t know all of your intentions in detail, God does; and if our will is to obtain God’s blessing and grace for you, He will care for your needs as we are striving to do His will. My observation is that living in our beautiful and blessedly silent new convent is helping us to become closer to God by aiding us to stay recollected. We are confident in knowing that our cooperation with grace will draw down blessings upon our dear friends.

For those of you who have friends or relatives who might consider it a benefit to have a convent of sisters praying for them, please tell them to send a donation (if they can only afford a small one, that is fine; there is no minimum) marked “for Convent” on the memo line. An imprisoned gentleman received the last Mancipia, saw our offer as a golden opportunity, and now he has the sisters all praying for him. Even though he may desire it, he can’t be near the Blessed Sacrament while in prison, but now his name is very near the tabernacle, and kneeling close in prayer for him are his sisters in Christ.

It isn’t too late to help with the planned repairs and projects. Blessings will come to you and your loved ones from Saint Philomena Convent. And, as you strive to do God’s will, could you pray for your sisters in New Hampshire? Thank you!

Email Sister Marie Thérèse at

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