With the Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana
We love walking through and looking at old and new churches – this is just something that Jeff and I love to do and we have hopefully passed it down to Andrew. Who knows. He claims he has walked through more churches than any other 10 year old in the state of Kentucky.
Jeff’s parents live in Owensboro and for the last 14 years, I have seen signs for this church off the Interstate. So, finally, last Thursday we took the exit and actually paid a visit to this quiet and quaint monastery, tucked away in the town of Ferdinand, Indiana. Their history is fascinating and humbling – Founded in 1867 in the settlement of Ferdinand, the sisters arrived to fill a need for teachers.
Now, if do head over there, please remember that they are on Central Time! I would strongly encourage that you take a couple of hours and visit them.
Firstly, their grounds are beautiful. Be sure to pick a sunny day and spend some time walking around their beautiful property. This is a great place for the entire family.
We also did a tour of the monastery given by Sister Kristine who has to be the most delightful tour guide you can ever have. It was just Jeff and I and Sister Kristine and we discussed an array of topics ranging from Architecture to Paris to Prayer to Serving a community to Controversy and then back to Architecture and Prayer. She told us stories about life when she had joined the community and navigating everything as a young sister. Please ask for her if you visit – she is quite lovely and lots of fun.
The Chapel inside the Church that caused the Controversy
Yes, there is a beautiful chapel on the alter. Yes, right in the heart of the church. It is beautifully done and a a great place for some solitude and meditation.
They hang their hat on prayer. It is amazing to see their singular focus on prayer and their faithfulness in service & prayer. I wish I could be so single minded in my pursuits and live a tenth as sacrificially as they do. The whole atmosphere there was serene. Everyone we met was kind, lovely and had a great sense of humor. Sister Kristine talked about their desire to be seen as a beacon. That is why they have the Dome that can be seen from miles away. They hope to be a beacon of peace and love in their community. And, to be a beacon of peace and love, they dedicate their time to prayer. Seems pretty simple.
The dome of the monastery church rises 87 feet from the floor. Angels are depicted in the 16 stained glass windows around the dome.
Of course there is a bakery with delightful, fresh baked treats. You can buy cookies at the store or online. All cookies are baked in the monastery.
The packaging was fantastic and the description very captivating. The recipe is said to have come from St. Hildergard herself, passed down from the 12th century. She recommended them for slowing down the aging process, for creating a cheerful countenance and for releasing intelligence. I wonder how many cookies I have to eat a day to slow down this aging process. I bought a package, just in case. They taste pretty good – like an almond spice cookie.
- Here is a link to some beautiful images that will give you an idea as to what to expect. http://www.thedome.org/visit-us/virtual-tour/
- Tour times and Directions http://www.thedome.org/visit-us/