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Trees get new life, new purpose

Trees get new life, new purpose - (15-05-2013)

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Photo: Sister Ruth Elaine Starman, OSB stands next to her new locker, crafted from repurposed pine trees that once grace the monastic property in Clyde, Mo.

New storage lockers located near a back entrance to the motherhouse of the Benedictine Sisters’ monastery in Clyde, Mo., were brilliantly crafted by members of the maintenance staff, including Larry Jensen, Jared McQueen and Jeremy McQueen. 

After coworker Don Combe renovated the space, the trio built the new lockers for Sisters to store coats, hats, gloves and other weather-related items.

In addition to their daily use, the lockers represent a part of Benedictine history. They were built from Austrian pines, once part of a large stand of trees planted under the direction of community chaplain Father Lukas Etlin, OSB in the early 1900s.

“Some of the trees gradually died from too much moisture after the floods in 1993,” Sister Sean Douglas, OSB said. “The excess moisture led to a fungus, and over the ensuing years, they all died.”

All was not lost, as the Sisters saved the wood, cut the logs in their saw mill, stored the lumber and use it for various projects around the monastery. 

“As Benedictines, even in loss, we find beauty and a new purpose,” Clyde Prioress Sister Pat Nyquist, OSB said.