Rev. Sr. Judy Yunker!!
Sr. Judy fulfilled a life long dream Saturday, January 12th when she was ordained a Priest in the Episcopal Church. She was interviewed the eve before her ordination by her spiritual director and long time friend, Mother Nancy Stone Farley who is also an Episcopal Priest and I hope to have that interview and some pictures on the website soon. But if you Google Sister Judy Yunker you can find a Youtube video of the event by Ralph Davis. It was wonderful.
Celebrating Life On Our Mountain
God has blessed the Sisters of the Dwelling Place Monastery with new experiences and new opportunities as we live out our promises of obedience, stability and conversion of monastic life.
The summer of 2012 was an exciting one for us. On June 10th we installed our new Prioress, Sr. Eileen Schepers with her family and friends joining the community in celebration. And on June 30th, Sr. Judy became the Rev. Sr. Judy Yunker when she was ordained as a transitional deacon, another step in her journey of becoming an Episcopal priest.
In another exciting experience of growth, Sr. Mary Going attended BSWR in anticipation of becoming Perpetually Professed on February 2nd, 2013. And on August 4th we celebrated the 25th Jubilee of Sr. Kathleen Weigand. All in all, life is good on Mt. Tabor.
Another Professed Sister at Mt Tabor
by Sr. Kathleen Curtis aka Sr. KC
On Saturday, October 15, 2011 I became a vowed member of the Dwelling Place Monastery inMartin,KY.It was a clear and beautiful fall day. My family fromFloridacame intoHuntingtonon Friday afternoon and I had fun driving them on our twisty, narrow roads back to the monastery. (I don’t think they will complain about my “old lady” driving anytime soon) As my youngest son, Matthew, rang the bell for prayer, people gathered in front of the Transfiguration Chapel. I was so humbled by the many friends who came. My family and most of my friends from the area are non-Catholic so the ceremony was new to them. I don’t know who was more nervous, me or my youngest son but when the Statio began God’s Peace surrounded me and everything went off without a hitch, although when I went up to the altar to read my vows, I forgot my glasses. Fortunately, I had written them in a fairly large script so I could see with only a minor squinting. The Suscipe “freaked out” my sons the most but they did OK with it all, even the singing. I could see they were really happy for me and so that sealed the deal.
It was fun picking out the program. The prayers, songs and readings all had special meaning for me. It is cool how God’s Word becomes a part of who you are. And now I have added the wisdom of the Rule to my guidebook for living. I am sure I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would be sixty and a nun. God sure has a great sense of humor.
Interestingly enough, since I began studying the Rule of St. Benedict I have identified people in my Presbyterian walk who have lived the Rule without calling it such. I guess it’s because the Rule is really the Gospel lived out. The reception that followed was wonderful, full of my favorite foods-biscuits and gravy, eggs, fruit and oatmeal bake. The only thing missing was grits and my little sister who had to attend her mother-in-law’s funeral in Tennesseethat same weekend.
The one thing that stuck out to me about the ceremony was there was no mention of the fact that since I am a Presbyterian I was the first non-Catholic to make their vows to the community of theDwelling Placemonastery. Then it dawned on me, that distinction was not important. What was important was that another Christ-follower had promised to live the Gospel to the best of her ability in this place, with these people. Seeking God in the daily. Learning to “love one another”. Living her monastic vocation to the best of her ability. Preferring nothing to Christ.
Finally!! Sr. Kathleen Marie Di Vaio, OSB
On June 25th the Mt Tabor Benedictine community was blessed and increased by the addition of one more vowed Sister when “Kathy D.” became Sr. Kathleen Di Vaio, OSB by making her First Profession. Sr. Kathy’s family and friends from theBoston area and her friends from here in Floyd County Kentucky joined our community in the Transfiguration Oratory of the Dwelling Place Monastery to witness the reading of the vows written by her own hand committing to the promises of Stability, Obedience and Conversion of Life to our community.
“It’s been a long time coming.” Kathy said when asked about her feelings just before the ceremony. “I have toyed with the idea since I was a teenager,” she said, “but the time was never right. But now it is.”
Sr. Kathy first came toKentuckyas a volunteer for the Christian Appalachian Project in 1983. She got to know the area, the culture and the people including Kate Weigand who was her supervisor at the Little World Preschool where she worked. Years later when Kathy thought about visitingKentuckyagain and looking up some of the people she knew she found out that “Kate” was still inKentuckybut was now Sr. Kathleen Weigand, OSB of the Dwelling Place Monastery. Kathy scheduled a retreat atMt.Taborand the rest is history.
After spending time in discernment as first an Associate of the Monastery and then as Postulant, she began her year as Novice in the summer of 2010. As Novice, she could only volunteer outside the Monastery once a week, so now Sr. Kathy is chomping at the bit to get back to school. She is a substitute teacher and tutor with theFloydCountyschool system and is currently trying to figure out a way to get theAllenCentralMiddle Schoollibrary utilized more and kids reading. As in school districts across the country, funding for librarians and media specialists has been cut in Floyd County but that hasn’t deterred her and with her persistence I’m sure she will get something going for “her kids”.
Please join with us in praying for Sr. Kathy as she begins this exciting phase of her life and witness.
OH NO IT’S MORE SNOW!!
Like everyone else in the country, the Sisters of the Dwelling Place Monastery are ready for Spring to arrive. Our monastery is located near the top of the mountain so snow and ice create more than beautiful scenery. They create work! I guess that is the price we pay for living in these beautiful eastern Kentucky mountains. Fortunately this year we are lucky to have novices, oblates and volunteers to help “clear the hill” so we can get to work each day.