Tuesday, October 03, 2006

St Gertrudes Monastery

I am not a catholic, and do not profess to know much about the religion. I will say, that most churches are to be honored while you are there, show respect and notice the beauty that surrounds you and feel God's presence, not matter what religion you profess to be.

Well, while granny and I were looking for the correction Facility we came upon this campus of huge buildings. The sign stated it was The Monastery of St. Gertrude of Helfta http://www.stgertrudes.org
A monastery of Nun's in Cottonwood Idaho...huh...who would have thunk it> ;-P
Granny and I noticed they had a sign that stated visitors were welcome and it was intriguing to say the least.
We went in and spoke with someone who told us that there was a self guided tour with brochure inside the Chapel. Granny and I didn't know what to expect, but grabbed a brochure and went in.

Let me start by saying...WOW!!! What an amazing place. Above I have entered the web address that has photos, but they will do no justice to this absolutely beautiful place God has helped make.
St. Gertrude's is high above Cottonwood in the mountains of Idaho. It has a view that would make God himself proud of his work. The grounds are immaculately kept and the peace, the peace is so amazing...you can honestly feel God's presence with you as you walk the grounds. We looked at the gold arch they have as an altar, the pictures that are painted beside the altar and the drawings on the ceiling depicting parts of the Catholic religion. The acoustics inside were amazing. The pews that the Sister Nuns sit in are so different from what we were used to. As we looked, a wonderful and kind lady came in. She was Sister Cecile, a Nun now living here from Switzerland. She told us so much about the church, the grounds and its history. St. Gertrudes has been in Cottonwood since the 1920's.
Sister Cecile saw our crosses and ask us what religion we were and if we had a favorite hymnal. We both told her Baptist and agreed that Amazing Grace was one of the best Hymnals around. She began to play the organ and asked us to sing. Granny sings in church quite often, me not at all, and I have not sung for anyone but myself and the shower since High school. Granny started but choked half way thru due to emotion. I, seeing her struggle, stood up and sang the best I have ever sang in my life. I truly gave it up and sang my heart to God....I could not believe the voice that came out of my body...I am not sure if it was good, or the church acoustics were great...hehe ;-P

It was truly an awaking for my spirit. Now, I am not planning on becoming Catholic, but I have agreed to write with Sr. Cecile and share my spiritual journey with her and enjoy her company as well, she was truly a wonderful woman of God.

Behind the Chapel is a hill...a huge hill that shows the stages of Jesus' crucifixion. We did not have time to do all the stations, but the walk in the woods and really feeling close to God will not be soon forgotten, I hope to make it back and to finish the stations and to see Sr. Cecile again.

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