- Altar Bread
The Benedictine Order is the oldest religious order in the Western Church having been founded in the early 6th Century by St. Benedict. St. Benedict's "little rule for beginners," as he calls it, has lasted for over 1500 years because of his flexibility and insight into human nature. St. Benedict tells us to "prefer nothing to the work of God"-- the daily rhythm of praying the psalms in the Divine Office. The Divine Office, is part of the liturgy of the Church, which is the heart of the Christian culture. In this exalted form of prayer we bring all of creation together into the praise of God.
The Abbey of St. Walburga was founded in 1935 from the Abtei St. Walburg in Eichstatt, Germany. Three sisters from our motherhouse were sent to Boulder, Colorado to establish a monastery that was to be a potential place of refuge for the nuns in Germany from the Nazi regime. The nuns bought, at a very low price, what had been declared "un-farmable" land by the monks who owned it. With great determination and trust in God, the three sisters, later accompanied by several more nuns, not only turned the land into a flourishing farm, but also set the ground work for a vibrant, joyful community of nuns who live faithful lives of service to the Church through prayer, praise, and conversion. Visit our History Page to learn more about our history.
Mother Maria-Michael, was born in Norwalk, California, and was blessed with a twin sister, Terri. They were raised in Whittier, Calif., along with two older sisters, two younger sisters and a brother. At the age of 17 she entered the Convent of St. Walburga, Boulder, Colorado, on October 7, 1976. Sr. Kerri (Mother's baptismal name) made first profession on October 7, 1978 taking the name Sr. Maria-Michael. Her main task was being an apprentice to Sr. Angela on the farm and eventually, after making solemn vows on September 8, 1983, becoming farm manager, along with various other duties. Already as a young girl she had enjoyed singing with her sisters at home and was a member of a school choir. Divine Providence was certainly at work as the singing of the Divine Office became a central part of her life, a source of great joy, and continues to be very dear to her heart.
After the "great move" from Boulder, to Virginia Dale, Colorado, she was asked to take on the task of prioress in June of 1999, She continued to manage the farm as it took on the flavor of 'ranching' rather than "farming".
May 17, 2003, Mother Maria Thomas Beil, OSB, announced her retirement, leaving Sr. Maria-Michael with the task of Administrator until the election of a new abbess. The election held on July 17, 2003 and presided over by the Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap., Archbishop of Denver resulted in her being elected as the second Abbess of Abbey of St. Walburga. Preparations were set underway for her installation on September 6 and the celebration of her Silver Jubilee to follow two days later on September 8. Due to a knee injury that resulted in surgery the Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M.Cap. was unable to preside over the blessing and installation ceremonies. The Most Rev. Daniel Kucera, O.S.B., retired Archbishop of Dubuque, presided. Mother Maria-Michael took for her motto, "In Manus Tuas Domine" (Into your hands, O Lord)– an expression of faith and abandonment into God's hands. She has served the community as abbess with a firm, yet loving hand. She is known among her sisters, and all who know her, for her joy, deep love for Christ, and her insight into the human heart.
On the left side of the coat of arms is the arms of the Abbey. The blue sky over three golden mountains represent the majestic region of Colorado where the Abbey is located, at the foot of the Rockies. On the mountains is displayed a red “moline” cross which is traditionally used by the Benedictines as a representation of their faith, reflecting that the “good sisters” follow the Faith and the Rule of St. Benedict. Above the mountains are seen three silver drops, symbolizing the oil that miraculously flows from the bones of St. Walburga. Mother Maria Michael’s personal arms are displayed on the right side of the coat of arms. The green background is a play on her family name, Newe, for in the green of the springtime all become “new” again. The gold Resurrection Cross, with a silver drape reflects Mother’s profound belief that it is through the Cross of the Risen Christ that all faith and life is given meaning.
The Junior Professed sisters have made their temporary vows (vows for 3 years) with our community.
Sr. Sandra, Sr. Ann, and Sr. Catherine