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O Tree of Life

O Tree of Life, may we branch out in generosity to others.

"O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree; how lovely are your branches." For many of us, Christmas means the beauty of a tree cut down and decorated with the ornaments and lights. Yet for so many in our world, a tree is truly a source of life: nourishment offered through the tree's fruit, the warm of its broken branches burning, a source of oxygen in our polluted air, the elimination of erosion. O, tree of life, root me so I, too, may be a source of life for someone today.

-- Sr. Rose Marie Stallbaumer

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[The Monastery of Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kan., is home to 140 Benedictine sisters whose presence has been in the Kansas-Missouri area for the last 150 years. While primarily engaged in education, the sisters also sponsor the Keeler Women's Center; Sophia Center, which houses their spirituality programs; and Maur Hill-Mount Academy and Benedictine College, which they co-sponsor with St. Benedict's Abbey.]

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This Sunday scripture commentary appears in full in NCR's sister publication Celebration, a worship and homiletic resource. Request a sample issue at


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In This Issue

October 21-November 3, 2016

  • Reformation's anniversary brings commemorations, reconsiderations
  • Picks further diversify College of Cardinals
  • Editorial: One-issue obsession imperils credibility
  • Special Section [Print Only]: SAINTS