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Benedictines of Mary ask for help...


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PaxCordisJesu

Newsletter I received from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles today. You can go to their website to donate to help them.

Dear Family, Friends and Benefactors,


It seems that the news of a recent incident at our Abbey is quickly spreading, as we have received a great many emails in these past few days, assuring us of prayers and support. We send this message to disseminate the correct information and to assure you all of our safety!

On March 24th, just after 11:00 pm, loud gunshots were heard by many Sisters in the Abbey. Some of the Sisters arose, but soon returned to sleep, as we have sadly become desensitized on account of the many incidents of inappropriate activity around our monastery. In the morning, Mother Abbess discovered two bullet holes in her bedroom. A bullet had entered through the exterior wall, punched a hole beneath the Sacred Heart picture, and continued to penetrate through the wall directly opposite, being stopped by shower wall on its other side. Mother Abbess was sleeping several feet from the bullet's trajectory. 

Law enforcement officers were here making the report and looking for evidence for many hours the next day, the Feast of the Annunciation. It was determined that the shots were fired from 316th Street, just to the west of our front gate. The event in Mother Abbess' cell was the third this Lent, however, with other bullet holes observed by the police in the door jamb of the dining room next to the Abbey church, and in the stone of the church itself. As of now, there are no leads, though the local sheriffs are working diligently to find the perpetrator. They are also maintaining extra surveillance around our area.

Though this has been rather unsettling, we are all very much at peace. These types of situations, while very disturbing, are exceedingly good reminders to heed St. Benedict's words to "keep death daily before ones eyes." That does not mean we won't take necessary precautions for better security. Indeed, we have long desired more privacy and protection, as our monastery sits at the intersection of two country roads. We are in the process of selecting tall fencing or sturdy wall panels to protect our buildings on this northeast section of our property, including our gardens where the Sisters work every day.

Unfortunately, this involves about 3000 feet of fencing, and you can imagine the cost is not negligible. If you are able to support this endeavor with a monetary gift, we would be deeply grateful. The total cost will most likely be over $200,000.

Thank you so much for your ongoing prayers and support. We wish you all a most blessed Holy Week, and a glorious Easter to follow. You are in our hearts and prayers during these holiest of days.

Sincerely in Christ,
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

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This very sad situation reminds me of a week ago Sunday morning...as I was leaving for work at about 6:30ish am...I heard gunshots as well..not to far from my neighborhood. Later that day...it was published (on line) what had happened! May God bless Mother Abbess and her sisters and protect them always!! They may have nerves of steel, but it is a very sad situation that this is happening to begin with...that calls for those sisters to be on guard! 

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profer_lumen_cæcis

+J.M.J.+

Thank you for sharing, Pax! May God protect the sisters and help the police put a stop to this.

Edited by profer_lumen_cæcis
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What is really disturbing about this is that the monastery is in a very rural location, so this is not a matter of being accidently involved in an unrelated incident.

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ReasonableFaith

Lifelong city-dwellers may want to examine rural or ‘very rural’ road signs for bullet holes to determine if it is a possibility for unintended structures to be struck by stray bullets. 

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I don't know if you meant to be tongue-in-cheek. If you do, I apologize. 

I live in a very, very rural part of the country (I call it end-of-the-road, USA) where you can occasionally see a road sign that is very intentionally shot up. The occasional stray bullet in a sign is not all that common. Most of the time it is very intentional.

I don't know if you read about the incidents, but this has happened not once but three times at night -- the monastery has four or five bullet holes that pierced through multiple walls, indicating it was at short range. Rifles can shoot for a long distance and accidently hit unintended targets, but in that case, they typically don't wake people up from their sleep and will lodge in an exterior wall.

Anyway, I might chalk up once to the drunk teenager being stupid, but not three times within a very short time frame.

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ReasonableFaith
9 hours ago, JHFamily said:

 

I don't know if you meant to be tongue-in-cheek. If you do, I apologize. 

 

The intent was to point out the rural location may offer alternate explanations of how bullet holes ended up in the monastery. As pointed out shooting at road signs is a possibility along with road hunting or just reckless discharges.  It may also be the case the monastery is being intentionally targeted; this seems to be the story many are reporting.  The thrice occurrence may support an intentional targeting or it may not.

It would do the community and law enforcement well to survey the surrounding area with alternate explanations in mind. The entrance holes may allow for some trajectory analysis. Other modifications in addition to fencing may help to mitigate the possibility of future occurrences.

It is worth keeping in mind the discernible volume of a report is influenced by a multitude of variables including the length of the barrel, the charge, the caliber, distance from the hearer, wind direction, atmospheric conditions, and topographical features of the area. The ability of a bullet to penetrate a given structure is dependent upon structure type, charge, caliber, bullet construction, and distance travelled. Some bullets may penetrate even dense structures at great distances. 
 

At the very least this seems a case of reckless endangerment; at most a very serious charge. Hopefully those involved will be identified and/or modifications can be made to lesson the possibility of recurrence. It is good to hear these religious women are at peace despite the incidences. 

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