A Hermitess is Consecrated

This is a cool story:

For more than four years, Kathryn Bloomquist has prepared to formalize a life of solitude and prayer. Late last month, she made the final step and was consecrated as a hermitess before Bishop Paul Coakley and a few witnesses.

Now, as Sister Kathryn Ann of the Holy Angels, she will spend her days mostly in solitude, “lived to the praise of God and the salvation of the world,” she explains.

It is a path she has walked for much of her life. She moved to Kansas from Washington, D.C., with her husband, Len, in 1989 when he joined the faculty at Kansas State University. Eventually he became chairman of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work.

Even then, Sister Kathryn said, she chose a life of prayer and silence. “He worked in the world, but he so believed in my calling. He protected me,” she said of her husband. “This life came about as we built this chapel. I was practically already a hermit. It just fit. It happened,” she said.

Together, they constructed the native stone chapel, hidden even from their residence tucked away in the wooded hills near Manhattan.

She adopted the practice of a Benedictine oblate, focusing on the Rule of St. Benedict written 1,500 years ago. She prayed the Litany of the Hours and learned the Gregorian chants in Latin.

And then Len became ill. A rare cancer took his life just four months after they finished the exterior of the chapel.

You can read the whole story here and chapel pictures at her website.

It is a wonderful thing to know there is yet another person whose whole life, day-after-day, is a living prayer of praise to God and for the sake of the rest of us.

I told my husband about this story, tonight, and joked, “if you ever get that kneeler and oratory done for me, you’d better watch out; I might go all hermit-y on you, too!”

He said, “you’re already a semi-hermit; we lock you in the office in the morning and let you out at night.”

“With a slow, clunky computer,” I reminded him, since we’re still not-quite decided on my new laptop, for me.

“That is your daily penance,” he said. “You should just offer it up for my sake, and stop complaining.”

Hmmmm…that’s a good point.

But I really can’t bear this lag-time much longer. Most days the ‘puter can’t keep up with me, and is it really wrong for me to want to be able to you know…watch a video on the computer without everything freezing up?

Ah..sacrifice. Tonight my husband continued his search (he is the best guy!) but every time we get close to a decision he throws a curve my way. Now, it’s docking stations. He thinks I should have one and will want one. I think anything I have to plug and connect is just going to confuse me. He sees a “killer package” with two something graphic thingys. I don’t need graphic thingys; I don’t play games.

We’re getting there. But by the time a decision is made, I may be asking Sr. Kathryn Ann if I can spend a weekend with her!

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • skeeter

    Yes, you will want a docking station-especially if they lock you in in the morning and let you out at night. And they are not hard at all. Do go look at them….

  • Russ

    Ma’am, tell your dear husband to compare to this one from Dell Business. Notice the bus on the processor, stand alone video card, Deep cherry red, 17 inch screen, Video camera and mic.

    I upgraded on their website to build something you will use for a long time.

    If that doesn’t work then tell him to buy you an Apple Macbook Pro. Lots of money but the engineer in him will fall in love with it.

    I have personal knowledge of the Vostro 15 inch models as I have bought one for my mom, one for a friend, and four for work. It will do what you want.

    # Vostro 1720 $1098.00

    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo P7570 (2.26GHz, 3MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB) P7570 Operating System:
    Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate Bonus-Windows XP Professional downgrade
    Deep Cherry Red RED 1 Memory:
    4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz, 2 DIMM 4GB2D 1 [317-0482] 3
    Hardware Support Services CS 2.0:
    1 Year Basic Limited Warranty plus 1 Year Video Card:
    Deep Cherry Red with NVIDIA® GeForce™ 9600M GS 512MB R9600M LCDs:
    17.0 inch WXGA+ Anti-Glare LED Display WXGA 1
    Hard Drive:
    320GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive with Free Fall Camera and Digital Microphone:
    Integrated 1.3MP Webcam and Digital Mic with webcam LCDCM 1 Optical Drives:
    8X DVD+/-RW with double-layer DVD+/-R write capability, Roxio and Cyberlink PowerDVD™ DX 8.1
    Antivirus/Security Suite (Pre-install):
    Norton Internet Security 2009 30-Day
    Wireless Cards:
    Dell Wireless™ 1397 802.11b/g Mini Card DW1397 1
    Adobe Software:
    Adobe® Reader 9.0 ADOBE 1 [410-1858] 15
    Primary Battery:
    6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery 1 Windows 7 Upgrade Program Info:
    Windows 7 Upgrade Web Site WIN7UP 1 [468-3168] 461
    AC Adapter:
    90W AC Adapter 90WAC 1 [330-3645] 12
    Hot Deals 2:
    TIMBUK2 H.A.L Backpack – Fits screens Sizes of up to 17 –inch A2468609

  • Russ

    If you like the screen size I don’t believe the docking station will be worthwhile. You will want an external mouse however.

  • http://vegasbaby8.blogspot.com Timaay

    Just get a netbook and be done with all the brouhaha. $350

  • Ellen

    Just buy one already. When I make a big purchase, I narrow my choices down to two, research a bit and then choose one.

    And is it just me? I find the word hermitess very awkward.

  • Popcorn

    Very interesting, very touching. What is the difference between a hermitess and an anchoress? I have heard both terms used, and as I teach Julian of Norwich I would like to know the difference.

    [A hermit(ess) is consecrated to the life of solitude and prayer and will go off and live alone, but is unrestricted as to where that might be, and may move about freely. Hermits may also congregate loosely in an effort to facilitate mass attendance and food access. Some modern hermits are permitted to keep a monstrance with the Holy Eucharist in reserve, for adoration. I believe this hermit has that permission, but I might be thinking of another. There is definitely a renewed interest in the eremitic life and a growth in the number of hermits worldwide, but I do not have the numbers. I know of at least 5 new hermits I've read about over the past two years.

    An anchor(ess) was literally "sealed in." If you look at the graphic by my email link, you see a Bishop reading prayers over an anchoress, who has been sealed into the side of a church, which was usually the case. The Anchorhold would have one small window facing the altar, where she could follow mass and receive communion. On the outside there would be a window through which she could talk to people, receive food, pass out waste or sewing, etc. Julian of Norwich is, I think the most famous of the Anchorites. So, you might say hermits are extreme forms of monasticism; all involve a single-minded purpose of prayer, but the hermit is on his own, with the bishop loosely in authority over him, and the basic freedom to, for instance, take a walk. The anchoress surrenders even that. - admin]

  • Joi

    Docking stations are actually really easy–I use one at work.

    Don’t rule out netbooks–I just bought one when my old computer crashed, and I LOVE it! I have the MSI Wind, and it is lightning fast!