Mount St. Scholastica's French Refugees:
In Search Of Liberty

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One of the great treasures in our archives is a book given to Sister Mary Jane by her uncle, Viktor Wekerlin, when she entered the abbey at Flavigny in 1887. Fleures du Desert was hand-lettered and illuminated by uncle Viktor; in its beautiful pages are stories (and pictures) of Antony, Syncletica, Benedict, and many other desert dwellers, famous and obscure.

The monastic stream has flowed from Antony . . . to Benedict and Scholastica . . . to Columbanus and Eustase . . . to Flavigny. For the French sisters, "liberty" was the right to remain within their tradition. The stream brought them to Atchison, where, at last, they could be secure in following the motto that appeared on the Flavigny stationery, below a picture of the Virgin: "Elles m'ont choisie pour leur mère": They have chosen me as their Mother.

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