Cloister (verb)
1. To shut away from the world in or as if in a cloister; seclude.
2. To furnish (a building) with a cloister.

I attended the Open House of the Monastery on Wednesday.
Thursday the Poor Sisters of St. Clare will be cloistered.
I was curious.
I went alone.  I'm glad I did.

 Scenes of St. Andrews Church and the Monastery here
in no particular order and with little explanation...

The Brothers of St. Joseph have worked diligently to prepare
the grounds and rooms for the Poor Sisters.

 Privacy fences surround the newly cloistered monastery.  Back (above) and Front (below).

 I was struck by the basic simplicity of it all...


"The more you honor me, the more will I bless you"

Reflecting on my experience yesterday,
 I recognize that my faith journey and "tradition"  (past and present)
is significantly different than the one I observed here.
But my heart is bent toward the simplicity, the joy,
the yearning, and the love and Lordship of Jesus Christ that MUST be the compelling force
behind one's decision to embrace the lifestyle of the Poor Sisters.
I live today inspired and encouraged to live a simple, examined life of
joyful obedience here on State Road 37 in Harlan, IN.


  1. Beautiful reflections using photographs, Rebecca.

  2. How lovely and thank you for sharing. You have an open nice of you when so much of the world is closing theirs. Not sure I could live this life but always admired it. Have you read This House of Brede, about a closed life and written years and years ago.

    1. No! I'll look for that book, Bookie. Thanks for the "tip".

  3. Good pictures. The friars have done so much work to St. Andrews, when they first arrived there were no pews in the sanctuary, the floor was a mismatch of worn carpeting and scratched hardwood, the paint was peeling off everywhere and the altar area was open. The sanctuary is now beautiful, peaceful and calming as you enter in. I do not think I could live the live of a cloistered sister, but I find them to be inspiring and I am always struck with the joyfulness of the brothers and the sisters.

    Pax et bonum,


  4. Just seeing these pictures both convicted and encouraged me to live more simply. My life gets full of "stuff." Even my brain gets too full. I need to make some goals to work towards it. I just read (and copied) this quote: Prayer is the Alpha and Omega of planning. Don't just brainstorm, praystorm. Mark Batterson

  5. Pamela, that was kind of my reaction, also. Later that evening I met a friend for coffee. I told her I went home from the tour and spent a few hours trying to make my home a convent/monastery!

    The quote is "right on!" Thank you for sharing it.

  6. Unbelievably beautiful. I want this peace of heart. Thank you for sharing.


    1. This facility is a large, old church that had been abandoned. It is in a deteriorating part of town. Street noises drifted over the newly-erected privacy fences. Still there was peace.

  7. What a lovely place sweet Rebecca! The Friars are wonderful, they have done so much around here as well and of course, one of the oldest, gorgeous Friers church here in Cuenca-Ecuador is more than 200 years old!Thank you for sharing honey, this is so inspiting, it just simply warms my heart. Their life is not simple, it's probably filled to the top with joy to have God inside them, I think that's all we need! Thank you for sharing and for your wonderful and kind comments. Blessings.

  8. This is the ultimate simplicity isn't it? Beautiful and simple and full of faith and love for the Lord. I have the utmost respect for those who choose this life as well.

  9. I admire the simplicity and cleanliness and orderly life they live. To be able to remove all distractions around you. I hope you will share your new convent/monastery look :)

  10. I forgot to add that I love your new kind of has the monastery look to it. :)

    1. That's because it actually IS a photo of the "refractory" - like the dining room in the monastery! These tables are where they eat. There were benches in the room, too, and one 3-shelved stand with some dishes and utensils on it over in the corner. That's all.

  11. Where IS this? Very lovely. I've had the privilege of doing several retreats (years ago) at an Episcopal convent in Cincinnati. As you said, the simplicity of everything is such a striking contrast to our busy lives. Amazing how "inviting" such simplicity is! While I am sure there are many reasons one would choose to live a cloistered life, I would think near the top of the list is the whole idea of shutting out the "noise" of the world we live in, in order to more keenly "hear" the voice of God. When I was on retreat I felt I even "heard" Him tell me ways I could expeience the same in my everyday life. It's all about doing what Jesus Himself did, drawing away from the clatter of life and distractions and spending quiet time alone with Him. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Rebecca,
    This was a very interesting post as I have never seen a Monastary up close and personal. Great pictures. I am sure everything is so simple as there is nothing to distract you from the Lord, cause anything that is decorative is all about him, which must be very inspiring indeed. I am sure it must be much easier to hear his voice clearly as it is when we draw away to spend time and seek him.
    I am sure it must be a very unique and wonderful experience.

    So glad you had such a nice time with your friends last week too. What would we do with out family and friends. Would be a very dull existence for sure.

    Hope you are doing well hon,
    blessings, Nellie

  13. I love your photos and this lovely cloister, so simple and such beauty, all pointing us to our heavenly father.


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)