Gratitude, soul boost and the ducklings are safe

How many charities ask if possibly you are giving too much?  One of mine, the Poor Clares, asked me that recently.

I’m not evangelizing here…but merely sharing what a delight this small community of cloistered sisters is to me by sharing Mother Mary Matthew’s most recent letter.  I hope it warms your heart as it did mine.


Dear Dawn,

Your precious, eye-awakening orange envelope appeared at the Monastery once again and we thank you SO very much for your great generosity!  Are you sure you are not depriving yourself of something you REALLY want???  We are a little worried that you are not keeping enough for yourself and your needs and will run out of finances!  May God reward you most abundantly for ALL!

We have a little story to share with you.

A few weeks ago, we had a special springtime TREAT.  Being enclosed we do not see much activity in nature but this year we enjoyed watching a mallard duck sit on her eggs for a very long time, just outside our refectory window, and then seeing the ducklings hatch.  It was a treat since last year eggs were eaten by an opossum and the year before a cold spell froze the egss and the pair did not return those summers.

However, excitement ran high when mother walked over a culvert with big holes, easy enough for her but not her little ones who one by one fell in.  By the time she realized what was happening 8 of her babies had disappeared!  She took the other 6 and went back to her nest.  Her cries were what aroused us and seeing what happened we tried to get them out but could not.

Then we called the police.  They came and tried but could not reach them wither.  They then called the Department of Public Works who rescue ducklings a few times each year — we found out later!  They rescued what they could see and as they moved away another cry was heard and they went back for one more.  They were all placed in a bucket – a sea of yellow cries!

In the meantime mother mallard duck took off with with her other 6 babies that had escaped the fall into the culvert and they could not be found anywhere in the enclosed yard as we supposed they would still be.  So the men from the Public Works Department took the pail of crying babies down to the river, a few block away, where “mother and siblings” would eventually be found.  We were told they would be promptly adopted by another mother if the real mother could not be located.  We were satisfied and by the way, quite impressed with the care and concern of busy men, and that “life” was respected enough to be saved and tended with unusual TLC!  Now if only we could teach a nation!!

The other day we noticed she was back and making a new nest so we may see a hatching of new life again this summer.  We are already making plans to cover the culverts near the the nesting ares when the time comes.  We are thrilled that she is choosing places so very close to the Monastery building so that we can watch and see through the windows — especially for the older Sisters who found it too difficult to travel into the yard to see a nesting spot.  Some of the more infirm could only imagine through our story telling!

May you continue to be a special Light shining in the darkness of the world and may your own sunshine braing much Glory to God and Eternal Blessedness to you and those you love and care about.

Mother Mary Mathew and Sisters

Saint Clare’s Monastery

421 South 4th St.

Sauk Rapids, MN 56379


In answer to Mother Mary Matthew’s question – I only want more letters like this.