Christmas at the Convent

Once again St. Joseph Monastery will be hosting Christmas at the Convent Open House event on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Our bake sale is the most popular event,” said Sister Margoretta OSB. “Last year, people were lined up to get in.”The Sweet Shop is offering an array of baked goods and canned items, including pears, salsa, mustard, hot peppers, jellies and jams and pumpkin bread. Homemade sauerkraut will also be available for purchase.“The kitchen staff prepared the pears, while other baked goods were donated by community members. We try to have quite an array of things and tap into local talent,” said Sister Margoretta.Patrons are also invited to have lunch at the convent. For a small cost, a lunch consisting of soup, a sandwich, light dessert and a drink will be offered inside the convent’s music recital hall.“We had about 80 people for lunch last year. It was very successful,” explained Sister Margoretta.This is the second year for the luncheon, which is held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Advance tickets are available at the convent’s Trifles and Treasures Gift Shop or at the door. The gift shop, located at 303 Church St. inside the monastery, is featuring a wide range of religious and secular gifts for the Christmas season and beyond that range from statues, medals, rosaries, nativities, books and cards to Baptism and Confirmation gifts.As part of the sixth annual event, two art pieces are being awarded, with ticket sales benefiting the Benedictine Sisters of Elk County.First prize is a print of the “150th Anniversary of the Convent” painted by St. Marys artist Peter Winklbauer in 2002. The print shows two parochial school children walking up the path situated at the front of the convent.Second prize is a print of “Winter Fur” created by local artist Tom Schatz. The piece features two raccoons in a tree and was featured on the cover of PA Game News magazine in March 2010.Still available are some of the 2009 featured ornaments designed by artist Kris Wingert. The “Christmas Tree Blessing” handpainted wood ornaments are a whimsical folk art style featuring two designs, an angel and a Christmas tree. The ornaments were inspired by the limited-edition ornaments created by the late Sr. M. Augustine OSB and sold at the event from 2006 to 2008. For more information about the convent’s open house, contact Sr. Margoretta at 834-2267.For more on this story, see the Nov. 30 edition of The Daily Press.