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Lay employees visit Tucson monastery

Lay employees visit Tucson monastery - (10-03-2016)

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It was a trip many years in the making.

Four lay employees of the Benedictine Sisters’ altar bread department in Clyde, Missouri, joined family members for a first-time trip to visit the congregation’s Tucson, Arizona, monastery in January.

“We have always wanted to visit one of the other monasteries and to see the Sisters who live there,” Sheila Schieber said.

Sheila was joined by her husband, Darrell, and fellow employees Marcia Redden, Margaret Pedersen and Keith Wiederholt, and spouses Dennis Redden and Martin Pedersen.

“The convent was so beautiful when we first arrived and got a glimpse of it for the first time,” Marcia said. “The grounds are so beautiful there, and the orange trees were ready to be harvested.” 

There to greet them was Sister Mary Joy Heinlein, OSB who had once worked alongside them making altar breads for the congregation.

“She was so happy we finally made it to Tucson,” Sheila said. 

“It was so fun to see all the Tucson Sisters who we know from their time at Clyde,” Margaret added.

The three-day trip included a tour of the Tucson monastery, a visit to beautiful Sabino Canyon and a tour of the historic San Xavier del Bac Mission.

They attended Mass and Vespers with the Sisters and shared many terrific meals including a Mexican feast and a dinner featuring Asian cuisine prepared by Sister Lucia Anne Le, OSB. 

“The food was delicious,” Keith said. “We were also amazed by the wonderful people who volunteer their time helping the Sisters in the convent.”

The lay employees also witnessed the outreach to the area’s poor and homeless and the Sisters’ work to help them.

“We most enjoyed the Sisters’ hospitality,” Sheila said. “We are most grateful for the generosity we were shown and look forward to visiting again.”