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Archive for the tag “Abbey of St. Walburga”

The Abbey of St. Walburga

These are our neighbors. They are cloistered nuns who live very disciplined spiritual lives in a Benedictine order.

As part of their ministry, they host some retreats and classes. This week my wife taught a clay art class for children held at the Abbey.  Last summer she taught a watercolor class for adult women.  The year before, Sugar and her mother participated in a contemplative art retreat.

They also operate a farm.  Get a load of their bottle-fed Oreo calf.  They grow hay and have an apple orchard.  They have chickens too.  I’m not sure what good the llama does, but I see that they have one.  They raise bees for honey.

They have a gift shop too, with books and crosses as well as some hand-made items.  Sugar bought an afghan there.

Another money-maker for them is making wooden caskets, which are shown in the video.  I’m not in the market for a casket just yet, but Sugar might be picking one out for me since I saw her thumbing through the life insurance policy on me the other day.

An interesting fact:  One of the sisters is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and was a Naval officer for 20 years before becoming a nun.  They come from diverse backgrounds.

The Abbey

Last weekend, from Friday night until Sunday afternoon, Miss Sugar taught a water color art class at a women’s retreat hosted by the sisters at The Abbey of St. Walburga, which is just ten miles up the road from  our place.

The sisters have crossed paths with us before.  Sugar and I immigrated to Larimer County from Boulder County, Colorado.  So did the convent of St. Walburga.  I never visited the Boulder County location except to drive by.  They had a farm on a busy road east of Boulder.  Surrounded by subdivisions, they no longer felt so cloistered, I presume.  They sold what had become valuable real estate there and purchased or were given a beautiful valley in northern Colorado, just a few miles from the Wyoming border.  They made the move in 1997.  The distance between the locations is approximately 100 miles.

The sisters started out living in modular buildings.  Over the years, a beautiful building was constructed, which includes an inspiring sanctuary in which they worship, as well as living quarters, dining area, offices and even a bookstore.

Although the religious order is considered cloistered, the members are not isolationists and welcome visitors.  They are part of a Benedictine tradition that emphasizes hospitality.  Accordingly, they host a number of retreats during the year.

(You could look at their website, they are technologically advanced nuns.)

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