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Fast from hurting words … and say kind words, Fast from sadness … and be filled with gratitude, Fast from anger … and be filled with patience, Fast from pessimism … and be filled with hope, Fast from worries … and have trust in God, Fast from complaints … and contemplate simplicity, Fast from pressures … and be prayerful, Fast from […]

PASCHAL VIGIL 2023 Jesus’ death is torture for me! I prefer his life to his death…. While he was alive, he brought only three dead persons back to life. Now, thanks to his death, all the dead come back to life, and trample me as they rush out through the gates of hell. The 4th– […]

Palm Sunday Procession: Holy Thursday On Holy Thursday, Sr. Kathy opened the Triduum with a chapter talk for our reflection: What is the horizon of the mind and heart of Jesus?  How would you describe it? What is the horizon of the Christian faith?  These questions come into central focus on this Holy Thursday which opens […]

What began as a beautiful dusting of snow, soon became a blizzard.  It is taking days turned into weeks to recover.  We are all fine and most of the trees are too, though there are many branches and small trees down.  We thank all those in emergency services for their diligence and pray for their […]

As part of the OCSO General Chapter, participants, Abbots, Abbesses and delegates attended a Papal Audience.  In his talk, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of dreams.  Dom Bernardus, our newly elected Abbot General, opened this year’s chapter by inviting all the Superiors of our Order to share their dreams.  Over the course of the […]

Berry time at the Redwoods is a team activity.   It begins with thriving bushes loaded with luscious berries.  This year we added a new feature to the garden; a wire cage that houses the blueberries and currants and protects the fruit from hungry birds and other veracious animals.  Interns, guests, and sisters gathered the berries […]

Summer Interns have arrived!  We are hosting three young women in June and July and two more are expected in August.  The women come from different backgrounds and educations: this year, several interns have come to us from divinity schools around the country.  At Redwoods, they participate in a different sort of school, a schola […]

Easter Vigil. All is silent, but full of hope.The last Adam grasps the hand of the first Adam,And yanks him out of his grave.The Mother of God wipes away Eve’s tears.All around the mortal rock of the tomb, the garden of Eden blossoms. (Bartholomaios I, Ecumenical Patriarch) Here are some highlights of Easter Celebrations at Redwoods: […]

The Triduum is a sacred time.  We spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday in a solemn ritual following the Lord as he undergoes his life-giving passion death and resurrection.  We begin with the Tenebrae which is a special prayer on Wednesday evening.  This service sets the tone for these days with the theme of alternating darkness […]

Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten observance with the reception of ashes.  In this photo above, Fr Simeon, from St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer Massachusetts, distributes ashes to the sisters. Fr. Simeon reminded us in today’s homily that Lent is about new birth. It mirrors the natural environment and our experience of Spring. Like […]

On February 11, 2022, Abbots and Abbesses from all over the world gathered in Assisi (Italy) for the first part of the General Chapter, elected Dom Bernardus Peeters as our Abbot General.  The session began days earlier, on February 7th, with the Mass of the Holy Sprit to pray for guidance in the selection of […]

Evocation – All Saints – Solemn Profession of Sr. Gertrude Feick – November 1, 2021 Let us run to learn How to love and run; Let us run to Love. (WH Auden, A Christmas Oratorio) Dear Gertrude, You have been ‘running’, not running away but running towards.  ‘Running’, a striking symbol for the monastic journey […]

Our beloved chaplain, Fr. Maurice Flood, died suddenly at his monastery of the Holy Cross in Berryville, VA.  He was 85 years old. He had served as our chaplain from 1999 – 2014 and was known by all for his big smile and even bigger heart.  Funeral Mass Information– September 4, 2021 *In the photo […]

First came the raccoon. He quickly ran away perhaps when he heard the bear coming.  Now the bear did not go in search of apples on the tree, but rather decided to lay down and take a snooze!  He woke up a little later, wandered back over the fence.  Then the raccoon seeing that the […]

The bridge at Redwood’s entrance is getting a whole new surface, courtesy of Robbie McKee and the crew from Whitethorn Construction.  The guys have done an incredible job making our bridge safer and more beautiful. Other Spring projects include a new outside cloister walk and a refinished paneling on the guest house.  Thank you Ben […]

Truly, He is Risen! Sisters and brothers, we are being ‘summoned’; we are summoned to an ‘encounter’, to a living encounter with Jesus.   This summoning, as Fr. Casey told us on Palm Sunday, asks that we come with our whole being: ‘our minds, our hearts and our feet’.  The backdrop for our encounter with Jesus […]

“A light to be a revelation to the nations and to be a glory to your people Israel.” This verse is sung to commemorate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord at the Temple in Jerusalem.  St Luke in Chapter 2 of his Gospel tells us that the Prophet Simeon and the Prophetess Anna […]

From the Prophet Isaiah – Chapter 9 1The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone. 2You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing; They rejoice before you as people rejoice at harvest, as they exult when dividing the […]

Advent is a rich liturgical season celebrated in the church and especially among monastics, as a preparation for the coming of the Lord.  Advent offer a critique of our consumer approach to Christmas.  It is a time to go inward, to open our hearts to the birth of Christ.  Advent invites us to discover those […]

We are pleased to announce that Sister Gertrude’s book, Cardinal Basil Hume: A Pilgrim’s Search for God (Gracewing, 2019) is now available in Dutch and French. The Dutch edition is under the title, Kardinaal Basil Hume: Een Pelgrim Die God Zoekt (halewijn/Adveniat, 2020); the French edition, Cardinal Basil Hume: Un pèlerin à la recherche de […]

The monastery garden has been improved with a new fence and gates.  Some of the gates were hand crafted, adding a distinctive flair and artistic touch to our already luxuriant garden.   Enter through “the narrow gate.” (Matt 14:7).   An arbor of wisteria greets you.     Taking a look around.     Check out […]

Christ is Risen!  Truly, He is risen. May the light of Christ fill your hearts this Easter Day. There is no better chant to describe the power of this day than the Exultet.  Listen to the Easter Proclamation sung by Sr Gertrude, last night at our Easter Vigil.  The words are below: Exult, let them […]

We anticipated the Triduum Wednesday night with a celebration of the Tenebrae Service.  A single candle remained to light the darkness of the coming days. So we began the walk with Jesus through his passion, death and Resurrection. Holy Thursday morning after Lauds Morning Prayer, the community gathered to listen to Sr Kathy’s talk on Agape […]

This year two monks from New Clairvaux Abbey in Vina California, Brothers Chris and Francis, will be joining Sisters Ann-Marie and Suzanne from Redwoods Abbey in the Trappist West Booth.  Come and see us and be part of this amazing celebration of Faith and outpouring of the Spirit.

Abbot Paul Mark and Fr Stephen arrived from New Clairvaux Abbey in Vina California, bringing gifts.  They made the 5 hour trip hauling a squirrel, not the animal, but a machine.  It will be used at Redwoods for building maintenance on those high hard to reach gutters as well as for pruning fruit trees. One […]

At monasteries, the week before Christmas is marked by the singing of the O Antiphons at Vespers.  This tradition goes back to at least the 9th century.  By the twelfth century, the O Antiphons appeared in the popular Christmas hymn we know today as O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The Antiphons were originally written in […]

“Love, genuine love, is liberated through gratitude.” Sr. Kathy DeVico, Chapter Talk for the Feast of Christ the King, Every year at Thanksgiving we pause to reflect deeply on the  blessings we have received: the myriad ways God has touched us individually, communally, and as extended community to our family, friends and well-wishers. This year we are most thankful for the life […]

This Summer has been very full.  We have accompanied our Sr Godelieve in her transitus to Eternal Life. We have opened a new Welcome Center for our Retreatants, Guests and Visitors We have been graced by the teaching, deep spirituality, and wisdom of two Dominicans,  Fr. Michael Dodds, OP and Sr. Barbara Green, OP.  Fr. […]

Birth is a miracle. Death is mystery.  Our lives move between these two realities, realities that are immersed in God, that point to our spiritual journey through, with and in the Divine Life and Mystery.  Dear Godelieve, I dare say that your focus was more on birth, the life birthing forth in a variety of ways…death […]

Sr. Godelieve Theys, OCSO, beloved sister of Redwoods Monastery died on June 16th, Trinity Sunday, just 12 days after her 96th birthday. She will be deeply missed by her community, her many friends and family.  Sr. Godelieve was one of the founding sisters of Redwoods Monastery, arriving in 1963 from Our Lady of Nazareth in Brecht, […]

On Saturday, April 27, Sisters Claire, Karen, and Gertrude were gifted with the opportunity to lead a Monastic Day of Prayer at the Ignatian Spiritual Life Center, a ministry of St Agnes Church, San Francisco. At the invitation of Grace Salceanu, Director of the Center, the sisters guided a group of around 17 men and […]

  Thirsting for Justice was the theme of this year’s Religious Education Congress, an annual event held in the Anaheim Convention Center and sponsored by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The Congress offered more than 300 workshops presented by 200 speakers and welcomed over 40,000 attendees during a three-day period.  Various liturgies both Eucharistic and from […]

Father Peter McCarthy, OCSO, Abbot of Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey is visiting us for a few days from Oregon.  Today at Mass for the First Sunday of Advent, he used a poem from Denise Levertov to from his homily on the temptations of Christ and our temptations. On the Mystery of the Incarnation It’s […]

This weekend the board of Sanctuary Forest held their annual board meeting in our new Welcome Center.   It is fitting that they should be the first group to use this facility.   The monastery and Sanctuary Forest have had a long relationship over many years and we share a common commitment to the care […]

Praying the O Antiphons Listen to Sr Kathy’s Reflections on the O Antiphons or read it here.

Take a break from all the busyness of the season and go a little deeper into the meaning of Christmas. Just out our Winter 2019 Newsletter.  This issue features an article on contemplative prayer by our Abbess, Sr. Kathy.  Also see pictures of our new, almost completed, Welcome Center. Check out Sr. Gertrude’s Daily Lectio […]

At Redwoods, Thanksgiving is a liturgical event held in the context of the Eucharist.  The Eucharist (known also as the Mass) comes from the Greek word eucharistein,which means to give thanks.  It commemorates the self-gift of Christ for the salvation of the world and is the “source and summit” of our communal life together.  The sisters, who arrived from […]

In September, 2017, Sr Kathy, our abbess, attended the General Chapter of the Cistercian Order in Assisi, Italy. This meeting of Cistercian abbots and abbesses from around the world happens every three years. The work of the Chapter is mainly pastoral and one can witness the bond of charity that unites all Cistercians across all the continents as our Order faces difficult matters […]

by Sister Gertrude Feick November is my favorite month of the liturgical year. This year was no exception. I was especially blessed on All Saints’ Day when the Redwoods community formally received me into the Cistercian (OCSO) Order. Simultaneously, I began a three-year probationary period in preparation for Solemn Profession. Dear readers, this is nothing […]

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A Deeper Freedom

In his Message for Lent Pope Francis wrote: “The call to freedom is a demanding one.  It is not answered straightaway; it has to mature as part of a journey”

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Monastery Lentils

Monastery Lentils A popular Guest House recipe that is vegan, easy to make and packed with flavor.  Recipe calls for dry herbs – but use fresh for extra flavor. Serve

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News

Ash Wednesday

Fast from hurting words … and say kind words, Fast from sadness … and be filled with gratitude, Fast from anger … and be filled with patience, Fast from pessimism … and

Read More
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