I have been very busy; these articles were online on Thursday and Friday but here they are now finally on my blog. In the newspaper was Doug Erickson’s article covering Sister Simone’s talk at the Faith-Labor breakfast at Holy Wisdom Monastery on Thursday morning, in which for instance we learn what she thinks of the Pope. I cannot manage to be interested.
But the actually newsworthy bits Doug put in a blog post. 1. She is writing a book. 2. She is trying to figure out what to do to follow up in June on the Nuns on the Bus tour. 3. There was a diocesan priest at this event who gave a benediction, Stephen Umhoefer. I do not think the bishop can possibly have been cool with that. 4. :
Two Catholic parishioners who believe true Catholics should not support Holy Wisdom Monastery handed out literature to that effect Wednesday afternoon at a liturgy Campbell spoke at. The monastery, in the town of Westport, once was a Catholic institution but is no longer. Its sisters now offer ecumenical services that are not recognized by the Catholic Church but retain many elements of a traditional Mass and attract many disaffected Catholics. “Catholics should not support Holy Wisdom because it is centered on a Eucharist that is not valid in the Catholic understanding,” said Elizabeth Durack, one of the women who distributed the literature. She said it was “dismaying” that Campbell agreed to speak at the monastery. More of Durack’s concerns can be found in her blog post here.
Thanks to Doug Erickson for including that. I haven’t always been thrilled with all of Doug’s reporting but it has seemed to me he tries his sincere best. There was one article that particularly charmed me though it somehow never made it to my blog, and that was his article on Camp Gray staffer Theresa Wilks, “Mo-T” joining the Franciscan Sisters of the Martyr St George. I strongly suspect the reason it was so charming an article is because he himself was charmed and his heart was in it. When I talked to Doug on the phone Thursday regarding the project of the testimonies about why Catholics shouldn’t support Holy Wisdom Monastery, he said he saw on my “about” page that I am privately vowed in celibate chastity, and asked if I was considering religious life. I’ve had so many people ask me that question but was not expecting it from a reporter! I am 99.99% sure that he saw my post about the Monastic Gift Basket for Camp Gray and that made him think of that–because of Mo-T, who was in fact a part of my inspiration for that, though I didn’t say that because he didn’t actually mention my Camp Gray benefit post. I told him that although I have been trying for years to pursue a vocation, and met with a particular community as recently as January on the urging of my spiritual director, they discerned that it is not a good fit. Really, I do not seem to be very suitable and I am living my vocation in my lay state though one never knows what plans God may reveal.
Anyway, that must have reminded Doug to check up on Mo-T, cause he has a little follow-up on her today, and says she’s thriving.
Six months later, friends say she is happy and adjusting well to her new lifestyle, one that finds her praying and studying while teaching religion part time to middle-school students at a Catholic school near the convent in Alton, Ill.
“She feels very called to be there and to live out this sacrifice,” said Topher Aderhold, assistant director of Camp Gray, the year-round Catholic camp near Baraboo where Wilks worked for many years and was known by the nickname “Mo-T,” short for Mother Teresa.