Pope Francis invites Religious Sisters and Brothers during this year of consecrated life to a fresh way of being:
“The Church must be attractive. Wake up the world!
Be witnesses of a different way of acting, of living!
It is possible to live differently in this world …
It is this witness I expect from you!” Pope Francis.
On Sunday, February 8, individuals and families came for our open house at the Monastery.
Jackson and Alison Clare came to find out about our foundress, St. Clare of Assisi.
The Alvarado family (Kevin, their oldest son, was taking the photo) wanted to see where their mom and dad come to Mass on Saturday mornings and to meetings of ACTS Women and Men during the week. Judy Miller, the chef at Franciscan Retreats, brought sweet bread and bars for the visitors.
Raise up, O God, men and women who are leaders of peace.
As with Moses, who gave us the law,
And Samson gave his strength,
David was an example of courage,
Solomon was filled with wisdom and built the Temple to your glory.
Raise up also in our day, Lord,
wise, strong, courageous, and peaceful leaders to help mold your people
into a living Temple and lead us to your promised land.
Bless us with the vision of Isaiah to beat swords into plowshares,
Give us the compassion of Jeremiah to weep and comfort your people,
And imprint within us the bravery of Daniel to praise you even in the midst of oppression and hardship.
Grant us the devotion of Ruth
The commitment of Esther
The humility of Mary
Peter’s faith and Paul’s zeal
To build a new world of justice, peace, mercy and kindness and to lead your people there. We ask this in your most holy name.
Many of you know Jean Molesky-Poz. Jean blessed our house with a visit at the end of Oct. A few weeks later her marvelous husband, Martin, was in Bloomington translating for five immigrant families before the Fort Snelling immigration court. He is a specialist in three Maya languages and is flown all over the US as translator. He had just time for a bowl of chile and a plate of rice here at the monastery before he had to be at the airport to board his flight to Boston where he would translate for more immigrant families. Martin is a true American hero.
This night our Community room is open to eighty 15 year olds who are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. They want to learn how to pray. After a presention and Q and A we processed outside through the dark, cold night singing a Taize mantra and into the Chapel, the spiritual fireplace of our monastery. We prayed psalms 95 and 96 antiphonally, listened to a short Scripture reading, then closed our eyes, attending to the Holy Spirit breathing in us and prayed silently for 15 minutes.
I love the highlighted words from the last letter to all the Poor Clares from Friar Michael Perry:
“Like Jesus, be ‘accessible,’ ready to receive whoever draws close to you.” And again, “Be a mirror of His mercy so that the meeting with Truth can liberate.”
Fifteen men from the ACTS Mission joined the Community and friends to pray the Divine Office and celebrate the Eucharist. They continued here through the day with a mini retreat in preparation for the Thursday to Sunday retreat they will offer to their brothers in the Faith at the Franciscan Retreat Center in Prior Lake starting next Thursday
Sister Lucie and her brother, Dominique La Fleur
Dominique joined us for the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours.
He is knowledgeable in so many fields that we were continually engaged by his intelligence and wit.
Our monastery here in Bloomington, Minnesota is a member of the Mother Bentivoglio Federation of Poor Clares in the United States. We team up with the Holy Name Federation every two years for an inter federation assembly. Our Sr. Gabriel Zwiener, second from the right, serves on the Council of the Federation.