Archive: by Laura Swan, OSB

Modern Beguines

Marcella Pattyn (d. 2013) was touted as the “last beguine. ” Yet, while researching the history of beguines for my book, The Wisdom of the Beguines, I kept hearing word that there were contemporary beguines, but no one knew where, or who, or how to contact them. Then I heard from two beguines outside Dublin and one from Australia. But nothing more.

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Hospitality Down Under --by Sr. Laura

This is a "shout out" to the Good Sams (Benedictine) of Australia and their employees for their gracious hospitality. Monica guided me through the whole process of visas and airline tickets and coordinating events. She journeyed with me (and the sisters on retreat) through all sorts of "left turns and right turns" of my time there.

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All God's Creatures...

I now know where our late Sister Damaris Zander dwells in her new life (on the other side of the thin veil) and that's here in Australia. Why? There are NO squirrels here. None. However, I've been delighting in plenty of God's other creatures. Besides the laughing kookaburra, I have fallen in love with a rainbow colored Lorikeet, who swoop around in groups showing off their colors to their "audience.

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There is nothing like being with a community other than our own to notice the ways they do ritual. I think of our late Sister Stephanie as the incense comes out here and permeates the chapel. Statio is important, an opportunity to stop and catch one's breath before entering the chapel. I'm content to slip into my stall beforehand and spend moments in silence. The nuns reverence one another in bowing toward each other as we depart.

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The Swan Has Landed

GUEST POST BY SISTER LAURA SWAN I find myself heading “Down Under” to be with two Benedictine women’s communities, to lead retreats for them. They insisted on sending me in Business class (my first time ever), which was quite the experience.

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