“The Good News Gospel”

Posted by admin On March - 12 - 2017

Some of us at the monastery are studying the Gospel of Mark.  Mark calls it the “Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ”.   As we learn that Mark was writing to a people who were being persecuted for their faith we realize how important it was for them to be rooted firmly in that faith and to know Jesus personally.  Only then could they understand that the “good news” means that we are saved from death.  After this life – there is still life for us!  It is a life free from persecution, pain and suffering.   And this is ours, given by God who loves us unconditionally!

Most of us have heard these things all our lives.  But have we really heard them?

As we enter into this season of lent we are presented with an opportunity to ponder what this “good news” means for us today.  Many people live in a world of fear – fear of violence and physical harm, emotional abuse and worry about what the future holds.  The words “deportation” and “racism” bring new levels of fear and anxiety.  The media is especially good at keeping the negative emotions stirred up.

The good news of Jesus does not tell us that these difficult things will go away but that we are not alone in facing them.  When we say we feel all alone, God’s response is “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).  When we say I am afraid, God’s response is “I have not given you a spirit of fear” (II Tim. 1:7).  So if God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear why is it that we have it?

In a daily meditation book called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, we are reminded to keep our focus on Christ and his presence with us.  This helps us to be grateful for our many blessings even as we face great trials, and gratefulness blocks out fear.  Lent then can be a time to focus our lives on Christ, mindful of God’s mercy and forgiveness.  Our Lenten resolutions can be ones that lead us to understand more deeply the good news of Jesus Christ and lead us to live in a spirit of gratitude.  We then can listen to what RESPONSE God is asking us to make in this time of uncertainty.  How are we being called to be neighbor to those around us who feel threatened?

We here at the monastery keep you all in our prayers, that you may know that you are loved by God, called by God and supported by God in this journey.  So then Easter will be celebrated with great joy and thanksgiving.  Peace and Easter blessings to all of you.    Sr. Eileen


The Fullness of Time

Posted by admin On August - 18 - 2015


The Dwelling Place Monastery is located on twenty-five acres of eastern Kentucky hillside. We live in the Appalachian rain forest surrounded by nature. And as so often happens, I forget the gift our home is to us. But not today.

Usually I do my reading and meditating in my room after breakfast but today I decided to spend that time on the back porch. The temperature and the humidity were both low and I realized that even though it is still August, summer is fading fast so I should take advantage of the day.

Looking out, I noticed the hills across the valley from us are not as green as they were even last week. Sap is returning to roots. Leaves are losing chlorophyll and turning, if not brown, less green. Soon they will turn red and yellow and fall to the ground.


Then my eyes were captured by a falling leaf. The startling thing was this leaf was perfect–green, whole, not diseased or damaged. It just let loose from the twig and drifted to the ground.

“How strange that it would fall before it’s time”, I thought.

“Who said it wasn’t it’s time?” came the unbidden reply.


To everything there is a season.  We think that a season is so many months or so many years but really seasons are as individual as snowflakes. Careers end, young people die, green leaves fall. Were they cut short? Or did they come to their fullness of time? I have no idea.

I know that I spend time regretting the past or fearing the future instead of being present to what is happening in the moment. But every once in a while I am captured by a falling leaf and find myself in the season of now, in the fullness of my time. And I am blessed.


The Original Sr. Kathleen’s Blog

Posted by admin On November - 30 - 2011

November 30, 2011

“Every day we have gives us another chance to become the real person we are meant to be.”  That is a quote from Joan Chittister’s commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, Insight for the Ages and notably from Chap. 36:  The Sick.  I know Benedict is talking about the physical sickness of a person, but he likewise wants us to take into consideration the whole person.  I think of how each of us here at the monastery is striving in her own way to be the person God has created us to be each and every day.  Some days we do better than others at letting God be in charge.  Living in community can be a challenge and the calling to both private and community prayer each and every day is where it starts.


Chap. 37 The Elderly and the Young.  “Life is a series of phases, each of them important, all of them worthwhile.”    You know I think of where I am now and where I was five, ten, fifteen years ago and I am so grateful that each and every day I am challenged by my community, by the people I work with and the situations that come up to stop, look and listen to discover God’s presence in each of them.

Sister Carolyn’s Blog

Posted by admin On November - 9 - 2011


Carolyn’s Blog


Well, I’m back again.  Just a short one for I wanted to let you know that I went through with my plans to become a CNA.  I start March 20th and end in May.  There are 19 classes.  They are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5-9pm, in Pikeville.  So I could use some prayers so I don’t fall asleep driving home.  Some of you know this could happen.  I will be stocking up on Mountain Dew to keep me going. 

 So you all know I have had good results.  I will be getting a mammogram this month and seeing Stephanie, my NP each month. 

We have been having a warm winter but did have a snowstorm last week.  It was a winter wonderland.  I am going to try when I have time to figure out how to put on pictures.  We took some great shots.  In the midst of this our spring flowers are blooming.  It is wonderful to see my favorite flowers -daffodils- smiling at me as I walked around the grounds.  Today we might be getting heavy rains and high winds, which could cause flooding.  So we pray and hope that it all just blows past us.

Well I don’t want to bore you so I’m getting off.  Peace



Hello!  Hello!  Hello!  So it has been almost a month since I have written but I have been on the waiting line too.  Waiting to take tests and waiting for the results.  Today I was suppose to see the nurse pratitioner to get results but I went in yesterday to see the Radiologist Oncologist and they told me to just stay and see her too so I wouldn’t have to come back.


Perhaps not a miracle but the closest thing to it.  My MRI was good.  A couple of new tiny spots on the inside of my head on the bone.  He said that the only thing it would do is hurt in those spots, but I don’t have any pain so there is nothing to do.  I don’t have to see him for six months unless something comes up.  They also received the results of my CAT Scan so he told me that all was stable.  Nothing new and nothing getting larger.  YEAH!

So now Stephanie steps in who had ordered the CAT Scan with”  well I guess I can’t tell you any good news you haven’t already heard.  We had some good laughs.  I also asked about going back to work and both of them said yes but take it easy.  I told them that I had thought of training to be CNA.  Stephanie said that was great and when I finish the training to come to the Cancer Center because they have a waiting list of people who need to be cared for because their families can’t give the 24/7 care they need.  That was great to hear because they know me and what I can do and that I have to go slow.  And they know the patients.  It is a good match.  Also Donita who takes care of administrative stuff gave me info on getting help with tuition.  They are a great staff at the Center.  I’m so grateful to be going there.

I am also very grateful for God’s healing touch and hearing all your prayers.  I admit that I was a bit anxious to get the results.  You can try to be as positive as you can be but also knowing that it is God’s will that comes first.  It could be healing or it could be strength to continue treatments.  Either way God is there.

I want to share with you two books that were brought to my attention. 

1.  LEFT TO TELL- Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculée Ilibagiza with Steve Erwin.

2.  Our Lady of KIBEHO – Mary Speaks to the World from the Heart of Africa- by the same authors.  My sister Edie when she came for a visit started to read it and took it home.  When I went at Christmas time to visit, I went to her home and was picking up the book to bring back.  She stopped me and told me that it was her copy.  She had bought her own copy and wanted her familyto read it.  Her children are college age.  Well I just thought I would pass these on to you. 

I do hope all is going well with you and your families.  You are in our prayers.  Thanks for your prayers and support.  God’s Blessings. Peace




We here on the mountain have been enjoying the warmer temps but wondering if this will hurt our spring and summer.  We have had some snow- most of the northern part of our country wouldn’t consider it snow – but they were out of school for two days.  We have had some cold days where we have had to be careful for black ice.  Really sorry to say that Kathy Burke got on some and her car went into the creek.  The creek had little water but she ended up with two broken arms and a busted mouth.  OUCH!

I am doing OK.  It had been since June that I had had my last PET scan so I will be going for one in February.  Besides that and a MRI in the same month, nothing has changed.  I must admit that I am enjoying my PT.  The young man who works with me is so very nice.  We have a match going on with our football teams.  First he told me he liked “Tebow” (sp).  So I was able to rub it in whenDenverlost.  Now we are both looking ahead.  The team he likes is the Giants and of course I am a New England Patriots fan.  We both hope we meet in the Super Bowl.  Of course he reminded me of the last Super Bowl they were in together.  But my hopes are high and I am pulling for the Patriots.  Why are there so many people who do not like the Patriots??

Anyway, enjoy each day and give thanks for all God has given us.  Thanks for the prayers and support.   Peace, 




So here we are again.  Happy New Year!  May this year bring us a little closer to peace in our world.  Just keep passing on your part of it to all you meet.  Remember nothing is impossible with God.

As you know, I went home for Christmas and Kathy Burke came with me.  We were quite the busy bees.  I tried to give my sisters a break and so we did a lot of driving for my mom to see my dad in the nursing home and errands. As for my mom, she was scared at night to be alone and would put chairs and couches against doors.  So Kathy with her many tricks put in three locks and a new door knob.  Kathy took a good look at the house and tried to fix what she could and my mom now feels safe and just loves Kathy.  My dad left the nursing home on Saturday, the day after I had to return back to the monastery.  We all felt OK with it at this point for she will have extra home health care.  The biggest problem is that everything must be blended or thickened.  He has a very hard time swallowing which is part of Parkinson’s.  This is that hard time to see parents age and it is hard not being closer to help out more.  But my sisters never make me feel bad.  They are great!

As for me, I had to recoup from all the traveling.  We were supposed to leave at noon on Friday but Mary and Kathy D. got lost getting to my house.  So at 2:30 we took off.  But Kathy Burke and I got mixed up on the name of the town that she reserved rooms so it took us two more extra hours.  Lots of conversation took place during that time and many stops to find out where we were and where we were going.  We ended up getting there at 12:30am.  Kathy Burke had worked on getting a great hotel for a really great price.  So at 12:30 at night we all went into the gym area and used the machines and had some good laughs.  Mary had wished she had brought her bathing suit.  I have to admit it was a nice pool area and I might have gone in too.

It was good to get back to the monastery.  We had a good Christmas celebration.  I started back on physical therapy and when that ends I will continue with the gym.  I have lost a lot of muscle tone so they give you one free month after PT if you want and then a great discount for the future months.  As for doctor’s visits, I have a couple in January and my MRI on the brain in early February.  So now I am not only the bread maker but will work in the library.  KC and Kathy Burke are working on building new shelving and Kathy D and I will work on going through the books to see if we find some that can be given away.

So keep those prayers coming because God is working on me using some very special people in my life.  I hope you all have special God-filled people in your life to help you deepen your faith and walk with you on the path to God.  PEACE 



Here I am again, the day before I leave to visit my family in RI.  My dad is now in the rehab section of the nursing home.  My sisters have prepared me to see him.  He is not able to have solid food.  He has a very hard time swallowing so all his food is put in a blender.  He does know who my mom is but even the last time I was home he would forget who I was at times.  So we will see.  My mom is doing pretty well, as long as she gets to see him every day.  So far it has worked out between family and friends.  Thank You God!  When I get home my sister is lending me a car so I will help out for the week so they do not have to do all that travelling.  My sisters are terrific making sure all goes well and I am thankful to have such a wonderful family.

I am doing well.  Last Thursday I went to the oncologist (Dr. Jain) and my x-rays didn’t show any new spots of cancer.  Dr. Jain is not going to put me back on chemo now and will do the scans later to keep a watch.  YEAH!  I am also having Physical Therapy on my shoulder and then the PT Dr. said he would work on other areas of need.  The PT area is in the back end of the gym and after PT I can have a free month and then it is only $20 a month for those who come from PT.  So during the winter months I hope to continue to work out.  I have lost a lot of muscle strength and I want it back.

I sure hope you all have a wonderful and joy-filled Christmas.  Without all my hair still not back, I have some crazy hats given to me.  I bought myself a Santa hat to wear – and I do wear it and I am bringing it home to show my dad.  Kathy Burke is coming to my house and we bought her a Santa hat that sings and moves.  So I don’t know what my father will think when two crazy women enter his room. 

I know some of you are going through hard times yourselves so know that you are in my prayers.  I have been asking God what I am suppose to learn from all this and I thought I had it.  It was suppose to love, respect and act toward someone as if it was Christ.  I realize that this is always what we should do nothing outstanding although outstanding if you can do it for even a whole day.  As well as this I’ve been listening to God about my faith and thinking that it is not as strong as it should be.  So today a received a phone call and someone who has been praying for me every day had a real strong sensation as she prayed.  I will be pondering this for sometime because as I hope that I could be cured, deep down I don’t think I truly believe it.  Miracles are for other people and not that I wouldn’t want a miracle to be cured but to be open to all miracles in my life.   Yes I know that I am a religious sister but I am human and my journey with God works the same way yours does.  As Benedict says: Listen with the ear of your heart.” 

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year



Here I am updating the blog like I am suppose to do on a weekly basis.  My last appt. with the oncologist was good.  I am still not going to have any treatments.  YEAH!  I am getting two more x-rays so it is just waiting to see what is next.  I should be use to this by now.  It seems I can never leave without some kind of test or scan.  Next week I will see the doc again and hopefully that will be it until after the holidays.

I also want to let you know that my dad will be going into the nursing home soon which is a blessing for him and my mom.  I know it will be hard for her but she is doing well.  They have been married close to 60years and probably not more than 1month being away from each other. 

We have had two horses feeding off the side of the road and today they ventured into our monastery grounds.  I called the animal control person and all he can do it put it on the radio.  The county does not have any space for large animals.  I said that the people who own them should get them if they hear the announcement.  He said because the feed has gotten so high, the people are just letting them go like they do with the dogs and cats.  I couldn’t believe it.  I just don’t want them or people driving our road to get hurt.  I am also trying to find out if there is a rescue mission in the surrounding counties that would pick them up.  All you animal lovers lift up prayers for a good ending to the story.

You should be receiving our newsletter soon.  Enjoy. Thanks again for your support and prayers. Peace


PS. Before KC can get this on my blog, I was able to stop a neighbor down below who was feeding his horses and asked him if he was missing two horses.  He wasn’t so I explained the situation and having asked me a couple of questions, he knew who owned the horses.  YEAH.  He came over to the monastery and walked them to where there was a hole in the fence.  The man whose owns them has a brother that is dying in the hospital.  So let’s pray for that family and give thanks to God for getting the horses back home.


 OK, so Mary told me I’m suppose to blog at least every week.  I was going to blog earlier but things keep changing and I keep figuring that when this appointment is over that I can share what’s happening.  But I keep finding out that I have to wait again because they are going to zap me again for another test.  I thought that I was a beacon of light before.  My wattage has gone up and I just glow.

This is where I am now.  I had an MRI on my brain and lower back.  My brain showed some spots on the lining of the brain.  My Radiologist Oncologist thought that we should wait another three months to see if it is slow growing.  My Oncologist was not satisfied so he scheduled a body scan.  There were also two suspicious spots in my lumber area different than the others.  So now I am waiting for the results of the bone scan and the oncologist asked the hospital radiologist to compare all my MRI’s to get a better look at what is happening on my brain.  If this is confusing to you, it is to me too. 

Because I am not on chemo, I feel a lot better most of the time.  So I have taken over the bread making from Eileen who already has enough on her plate.  I try to pinch in whenever I can like tonight and make supper for Campbell.  Please pray for her and her family.  Her dad is in hospice and it is getting close.  Thanks.

I make out a list everyday to keep me focused.  So far I have finished two jobs and this is my third.  This may sound strange but I can start somewhere on a project and end up doing three other things and never finish the first.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?  So at the moment, I am going to physical therapy three times a week and this Friday I do see the oncologist to see what’s up.

Since I last blogged, my sister, Edie and my friend, Kim have visited.  It was terrific.  The weather was great as I remember.  Took a nice easy hike and Kim shared her knowledge on mushrooms.  I now know what a turkey mushroom is.  We also had some wonderful meals and desserts.  I think they may return for another visit.  YEAH!!!

We had a lovely Thanksgiving.  The day was gorgeous.  After dinner, Kathy Burke and I went to Virginia – yes Virginia- to pick up a backyard chicken coup.  We had a great time and the little coup is so cute.  She is going to start with RI Reds.  Next time you visit after the winter you can get a look.

So that is what’s up for now.  I’ll get to you all next week.  Thanks for your support and prayers.  Our newsletter is coming soon.  Enjoy.  Peace.


I have never done a blog before but KC thought it might be a good idea to try. If you have received our newsletter, you know I have a recurrence of breast cancer in my lungs, brain, ribs and spine.  I have been sending updates from my e-mail to family and friends but I’m sure that I have been missing some people.  So I am going to do my updates on our web page.

I found out about the reoccurance a year ago this week and have been in treatment for most of the past year.  As of today, I am on a chemo vacation for three months with one month left if all is OK when I see the doc. I just had another MRI yesterday on my spine for two suspicious spots and I will have another MRI on Monday on my brain.  So I won’t find out the results until Tuesday.  It is a lot of waiting.  When I think about my first go-around with the breast cancer it was a lot easier compared to this.

Right now I am in the midst of trying to gain weight.  Everyone has their suggestions.  I try out some of them but for now I seem to just be able to hold on to my present weight.  At least I’m not losing a lot more.  So that is where I am at this moment.  After my two doctor visits next week, I will write another update.

My sister Susan visited me in October and my sister Edie and a friend of mine are coming in late tomorrow.  It is great to have visits from home.  Peace


I just want to let you all know how grateful I am for your support and prayers. I have been given some wonderful cards and many are pinned up on my walls. I have also received some beautiful prayer—quilts, shawls and blankets. I placed them in different rooms so I can take advantage of all the prayers. Some of you email me and some have asked others whom I don’t know to pray for me. I don’t know what is up ahead but I do know I am supported and loved. Thanks to ALL.

Carolyn  ☺