Defeat: The Squirrels Win!

A Handmaid News

Alas! We must cry “Defeat!” Julius Ceasar is quoted as saying, “Veni. Vidi. Vici.” meaning, “I came. I saw. I conquered.” We have come to the conclusion that the vast array of squirrels surrounding our house, particularly Mater Dei House, can each say something similar. Perhaps it would be “I came. I gnawed. I conquered.” The presence of the cat …

Gunther Participates Even In Jubilees

A Handmaid News

You may have heard that this is the Holy Year of Saint Joseph as well as the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, a double holy year. During this special time in the Church, our religious institute is marking two other anniversaries: The centennial of our Founder’s ordination to the priesthood and our upcoming 75th anniversary of our foundation. As part of …

Bambi Hides At Cor Jesu

A Handmaid News

As we have some families of deer that regularly stay on our property (the deer say it’s the other way around; that we are on their property), fawns can be expected to show up. No matter how often we see fawns we can be relied upon to, well, fawn over them as they are Bambi-cute on their spindly legs and in …

Friends of Bessie Drop By

A Handmaid News

Although Bessie declined an invitation, four of her fellow bovines stopped by Cor Jesu just outside the Refectory and Sewing Room the other day. Word must be getting around about our clover. After posing for several photos, the steers decided to hang around until one nun made her best attempt at a “Mooooo”. Lacking a bovine-human dictionary or translating app, …

They’re Baaaaack! Cicadas!

A Handmaid News

We have heard much talk of the expected emergence of Cicada Brood X, the 17 year cycle, in these parts of East Tennessee and have kept a wary eye and ear out for their arrival. Mainly because we want to avoid the copperheads that love to feast of the bounty that will be filling the trees around our buildings and …

Anti-squirrel Training Continues

A Handmaid News, Uncategorized

As part of her buildings and grounds orientation Gertrude is spending more time out of doors around Mater Dei and having some treks on a harness to re-explore more distant buildings like Cor Jesu. In a recent jaunt, she was escorted to Cor Jesu, inspected the wood damage, lunged after two squirrels (good thing for the squirrel she was in …

They’re Back! But We Have A Bat Cat!

A Handmaid News

After a lovely hiatus of a few years, our little brown bat friends have again checked out the inside of Cor Jesu Monastery. Previous agreements that they were quite welcome for insect control outside apparently have fallen by the wayside. Last week, after a nocturnal holy hour, we were alerted by Gunther that something was amiss. He quickly pointed out the winged …

White Christmas and a Cat

A Handmaid News

Yes, we had a gloriously White Christmas which is a rare spectacle in East Tennessee but some have wondered if our Russian Blue cat, Gunther, descended from more northern latitude felines, liked it. As he’s indoors only, he was denied the chance to frolic in the snow but we did capture one unusual reaction from the cat who notices all …