Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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   A Difficult Moment, ...
   A Moment of Crisis
   A Monk Reflects on a...
   A Musing for Nancy o...
   A Reflection After a...
   A Visit For My Seven...
   Afternoon in Dusseld...
   An Emergency Run
   Farewell to Friends ...
   Formula for Growing ...
   Goodbye to Atlantis
   Gören Ogénas
   How I Saved a Little...
   Jugoslavian Simeon
   Justice Gone Awry
   Kind words for Corde...
   Letters
   Mail Management
   One Last Kiss
   Pilgrimage of Thanks...
   Response at Recognit...
   Rosetta Stone
   Ruth Ann Denning
   Small Beginnings
   Some Reflections on ...
   Some Reflections on ...
   The Cost of Listenin...
   The Mysterious Key
   The Roman Experience
   The Story of a Frien...
   The Visit
   The Yoke of Obedienc...


About Fr. Simeon

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Ruth Ann Denning
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I would like to describe the occasion of my first encounter with Ruth Ann. It was late November or early December of 1971. Father Philip, my library assistant and cataloger in the library, had died November 18th. I find it hard to express how devastated I was. I had lost a brother and a friend, but in the library I lost a most competent colleague and the person responsible for all the cataloging. I had the skills to do the work, but I was overwhelmed at the thought of having to take over that department again. It was a couple of weeks before I screwed up enough courage to unlock the door to the catalog room. Before planning for the future, I had to clear out Father’s desk. I had been there only a few minutes when Fr. Joachim came in the room and announced that there was a lady in the library who offered her services. I couldn’t have been more stunned if a cannon had gone off in the area. I sat there for some moments bathing in what I felt had been a special grace. I say this not just as an afterthought. I felt touched by an angel, though there was no glow. After I gathered myself in, I went out to greet the woman I did not know, had never met, who touched me so deeply. I explained to her that I was in no position to hire her but that I found her offer most encouraging. After several opportunities for getting help fell through, I began to investigate the possibility of hiring Ruth. She came well recommended. I went to her home to propose that she begin to work for us. She accepted. It is now twenty-eight years later. I can only say we have been richly blest.

A little corollary to that story is worth preserving. Ruth had taken the standard test that was given at the time to incoming office workers. I requested copy and had Fr. Warren look it over. His only comment said it all: “My God, she could run the place!” She began as a typist and as my secretary. The latter role she continued to exercise more or less regularly until 1990. She kept my office calendar and typed letters skillfully throughout that period until Mary Ellen joined the staff. From the typing of catalog cards she quickly graduated to copy cataloging, and finally to taking over completely the office of cataloger. She learned to use the computer for OCLC right from the start and has patiently moved through all the migrations our cataloging program has been put through over the years. I just recently came across again a passing complement on our database made by a veteran cataloger in the PALNI office: “It has been a rare occasion when I have waxed eloquent over bib records that people wanted to load on a system, but I raved (happy raves)about yours….thanks for making my day sunnier.” (Colleen Gocken, September 9, 1997) Ruth is a very careful and conscientious worker. Her ability to learn the fine points of cataloging, and apply them with such patience is truly remarkable. We have been richly blest, by her presence and her work.

Like Brother Lambert, Ruth is devoted to the library. Her skills are helpful not only in thecatalog room but in all aspects of the library program. She has supervised the work of our work-study helpers for years and has instilled in them a work ethic that has served us well. She has been a team leader in every major project we have had, especially the major move into the new library. In short, it would be impossible to describe our library program for the last twenty-eight years without taking note of her countless contributions as a capable, conscientious, and caring coworker. Included in that, has been her personal kindness to me. I want to say thanks with all my heart.
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