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At Greensburg monastery flea market, deals plentiful

| Friday, June 14, 2013, 10:44 a.m.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Volunteer Christine Hopper of Maryland, St. Benadictine Sister Franziska, and Kathy Thomas of Loretto chat at the St. Emma Monastery flea market Thursday, June 13, 2013.

With buildings, tents and a retreat house packed with everything from books to luggage, bed linens to toys and furniture to antiques, this weekend's “giant indoor/outdoor flea market” at Greensburg's St. Emma Monastery is a shopper's paradise.

“We have twice as much as last year,” said Mother Mary Anne Noll.

Everything was donated, Noll said, including some “high-end” antiques from estate sale clients of Greensburg appraiser John Mickinak.

Rooms are full of tables laden with Christmas items, household appliances, sports gear, glassware, tools and framed photos for sale.

“Feast your eyes. Isn't it gorgeous? When was the last time you saw a flea market like this?” Noll asked a visitor.

The 10th annual sale, which helps to support the Benedictine nuns' operations, is so large that this year a “boutique” was set up in the retreat house.

“We have bills to pay, like everyone else. This is also the open house. People don't know what a monastery is,” Noll said.

Hours before Thursday's early bird admission, volunteers placed final price tags and began setting up the food court.

Casting her eyes skyward at threatening clouds, Noll shrugged.

“I said to God, ‘It's your flea market. If you think rain would serve better,'” she said.

Briskly walking the property, Noll checked in with volunteers, many of whom work at the Harvey Avenue site year-round.

“She cleans and washes everything,” Noll said, nodding at volunteer Romaine Janicki.

In the kitchen, pizzas were being assembled to be sold along with fish sandwiches, haluski, halupki, cupcakes and cheesecake-covered strawberries.

Retrieving a ringing cellphone from the folds of her habit, Noll said, “This is a major, major operation.”

Pausing in a hallway, she consulted with a volunteer about a price tag for a set of cups and saucers.

“I would say $10. If they insist on giving more, take it,” she said, chuckling.

The sale continues from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or mpickels@tribweb.com.

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