Featured in NBCNEWS.com is a short featurette on the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of St. Walburga in Colorado. Between praying the full Divine Office every day, they also find time to raise highly sought-after cattle. The story behind these cattle ranching nuns is told in this short video.
Their pioneering Sisters started the cattle farm, which supplies the sisters with sustenance and also is sold locally. Llamas are used as watch”dogs” because apparently they really intimidate mountain lions! Their menagerie also includes chickens, pigs, dogs, and numerous barn cats. The nuns do most of the farm work, with occasional help from neighbors and friends.
In 1986, the abbey was granted its independence from the motherhouse in Eichstätt, Bavaria, Germany. As an autonomous house, they are a member community of the Federation of Bavarian Monasteries of Nuns. They profess three vows: obedience, stability, and fidelity to the monastic way of life.
Guests are welcome to stay and make a retreat. They also have a gift shop and a popular Way of the Cross.
Visit their website for more information!
May 31, 2012, was the solemn profession day for two Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of St. Walburga. St. Benedict says in his rule, “Let him who is to be received make in the oratory, in the presence of all, a promise of stability, conversion of manners and obedience before God and his saints. This petition is to be written in his own hand.” The two sisters, Sr. Lioba and Sr. Maria-Gertrude, followed their spiritual father, Saint Benedict, by doing just that.
Mother had an interesting insight into what it means for a Bride of Christ to die to self. She said, “You have embraced the very heart of what John the Baptist has said, ‘He must increase, I must decrease.’ If a nun’s deaths do not make her more alive to God, she is still living in the Old Testament, she will not be very good news to the world; but you are good news to the world. You have embraced the Paschal Mystery.”
The Abbey is the newest IRL Affiliate Community. Located in the Archdiocese of Denver, they were founded in 1935 from the Abbey of St. Erentrud in Austria. In addition to participation in the daily Eucharist, spiritual reading and liturgical prayer, they also run a gift shop and retreat house.