Sojourners Paz and Denise standing together holding their favorite crosses

Tequio, or ‘giving back’ Mexican style

Paz Vital, OSB Little notes from a prairie journey, Living in Community 2 Comments

Have you ever asked yourself about your gifts? What is a gift? Do you have gifts? What kind of gift or how many gifts do you have? And if you have ever asked yourself these questions (we all have gifts), have you used your gifts properly, generously? In the native communities in Mexico, everybody knows their gifts and uses them for the welfare of the whole community.  People in these ancestral towns call this action Tequio. They think that all we are or have in the present time is thanks to the determination of our ancestors, who planned and constructed …

Sisters Joanne and Mary David, Paz and Sister Lynne gathered for conversation around the table.

Discerning a future, new life

Paz Vital, OSB Little notes from a prairie journey, Living in Community 8 Comments

Note: Following the Benedictine Sojourner experience, a woman may choose to return to her previous life-setting, taking all she has learned back with her, or she may choose to begin a process of discernment with our community to see if she may be called to community life with us. Paz has expressed the desire to begin this process of discernment with the sisters. She has chosen to share her thoughts about this transition in this blog post. It is important for a woman in discernment to be free to hear God’s call in her life. We invite your support for …

Paz and the sisters at midday prayer

Having a hard time with the psalms

Paz Vital, OSB Little notes from a prairie journey, Living in Community 9 Comments

At the monastery we pray the psalms three times a day during the Liturgy of the Hours. At morning and evening prayer, we pray two psalms each, one singing and another recited, at midday we recite a psalm. This is a total of five psalms a day, which is a lot for me. Since I can remember, back in Mexico, I used to attend mass every single Sunday and I never heard a psalm that asked God for the punishment of the wicked or to kill and banish my enemies from the earth. When I first moved to Houston and …

Paz celebrating Christmas 2014 with her youngest niece

Christmas preparations

Paz Vital, OSB Little notes from a prairie journey, Living in Community 7 Comments

It has been three months since I arrived at Holy Wisdom Monastery. I am becoming an expert window cleaner. And I am enjoying singing, some days I surprise myself humming a hymn. I am thinking about my Christmas preparation time back in Mexico, and I remember that I used to have a communal preparation. We, the whole neighborhood, start the Our Lady of Guadalupe Novena on December fourth. The neighbors take turns hosting evening communal rosary at their houses. After that everybody enjoys drinking coffee, tea or atole (a sweet, hot drink) with cookies or sweet bread. During these nine days …

Winter preparations

Paz Vital, OSB Little notes from a prairie journey, Living in Community 8 Comments

It has been two months since I arrived to Holy Wisdom Monastery. I moved here because I wanted to change. I am not sure if the changing process has already started or not, but I am preparing myself. I am preparing the same way we prepare the land for winter. It is the advent of my life, the expectant waiting and preparing for the new, the birth of a new life. There is a lot of excitement here at the monastery because winter is coming. We finished the work at the garden. First, we cleaned the garden—there are no more …

Two sojourners working in the apple orchard.

From the lab bench to the prairie garden

Paz Vital, OSB Little notes from a prairie journey, Living in Community 18 Comments

Leaving the lab, my family and my friends to live here on the prairie was not an easy choice. But, I am here waiting to experience a northern winter for the first time in my life. I was and I am still excited and scared at the same time. I was born and lived in Mexico for the most part of my life. Then, six years ago, I moved to US and was living in Houston, Texas. So I don’t know what to expect about winter in Wisconsin. But the winter is not the only thing that scares me. I …