Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Angels of Mercy from Stanford University

Living on 11 acres in a monastery nearly 100 years old, there are bound to be projects and tasks that require outside help, either because of their size or the expertise involved.  In the past year, we’ve been especially blessed by Stanford grad student Peter Maraccini, his wife Ofelia, and the many undergrad and graduate students who volunteer to help us with some of the bigger projects around our monastery grounds.

Last week, Peter, Ofelia and several eager grad students, gave up their Saturday morning and help us with some projects too big for us to tackle on our own.

Peter, carrying a bin of work gloves, leads in the first volunteers to arrive.

Peter, carrying a bin of work gloves, leads in the first volunteers to arrive.

Wating

Getting ready while waiting for direction and more arrivals

The day began with cleaning some things out of the barn, pruning back some brush, trimming low-hanging tree branches, and removing larger branches that had fallen during winter storms; these tasks will allow Sister to more easily run the tractor and till the soil.

Heading

Heading to the barn where Sister is waiting…

 

Sister Prioress giving directions for the tasks to be accomplished in and around the barn, and surrounding grounds

Digging in!

Digging in!

 

Trimming trees…

Trimming trees...

Trimming trees…

 

…hauling away the brush.

…hauling away the brush.

 

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Wrapping up this part of the project!

 

Wrapping up this part of the project!

Time to take out the trash.

Next up, the novitiate garden!  Over a year ago, we had a very large black locus tree fall and take out part of our wall.  It took considerable time to get the tree and rubble cleared away and replace the wall.  In the meantime, we had several thorny black locus bushes spring up and the garden was made a mess with the heavy equipment and crews going back and forth to complete the work on the wall.  The Stanford group made tremendous strides in helping us claim back our garden!

All hands on deck!

They dug out the black locus bushes (very long and sharp thorns on those, and tough roots!) and some other brush…

They dug out the black locus bushes (very long and sharp thorns on those, and tough roots!) and some other brush…

…reestablished the border for the flower bed…

…reestablished the border for the flower bed…

…and hunted and marked the wire baskets we have buried to protect vegetables from gophers for planting this spring.

…and hunted and marked the wire baskets we have buried to protect vegetables from gophers for planting this spring.

 

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Then, they started clearing away overgrown ivy and replaced a broken stone bench in a shady section of the garden.

 

Thank You!

All this accomplished in three hours!  We are so grateful for Peter and the Stanford students, especially as we continue to maintain, cultivate, and utilize these parts of our grounds and gardens for prayer and contemplation.

Thank you!

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