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.
Two weeks ago, Saturday, May 17, twenty five couples from Assumption parish joined us for our Saturday morning Eucharist, together with the team of five couples who would serve the day long Marriage preparation retreat. It was a great joy for us to have these beautiful people with us and to experience how lay leadership is developing in our Church today.
Pictured here is the Marriage preparation team.
Sisters’ Oral History Project
Through a generous grant from the Hilton Foundation to St Catherine University, Religious Sisters in our area were invited to participate in an oral history project chronicling the lives of Women Religious. The purpose of the project is to connect collage women with Women Religious and to create a clearinghouse of electronic media to support those seeking vocations in religious life. There was an underlying hope that the Student and the Sister would develop a personal relationship. Tanell Green and Sr. Beth were paired up. They “connected” the moment they met..
There are truly no words to describe how beautiful and meaningful interactions have been with my Sister. With her bubbly bright spirit, loving energy and lovely connection, Sister Beth is truly a gem. The first time I met her, the first thing I noticed right away was her smile. I couldn’t believe the amount of charisma she had! I could tell that we would make a connection right away. I had many conversations with Beth and during one found that we had many similarities, one significant similarity being our love and feeling for good energy. Compassion, love and seeking true joy in life are among the many things Sister Beth likes to share with me. I have learned so much from my Sister and I can say she is truly like a second mother and teacher to me.
As I have been given the opportunity to meet this wonderful woman, I have been able to learn a lot not only about my Sister but a lot about myself as well. Learning about Sister Beth has been a very exciting experience as I was able to learn more about the unique lives of nuns and sisters alike and the beautiful lives they lead. I expect to continue my relation with Beth being just as fun, intriguing and full of amazing energy as I experienced the first time we met.
Tanell Green, University of Saint Catherine. Tanie is a Communications major and hopes to work in Hollywood.
Tucked into the January 13, 2014 address given by Pope Francis to diplomats accredited to the Vatican was this curious statement,
“God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but when nature—creation—is mistreated, she never forgives!”
For believers in God who is love, the first part of the statement is fundamental to our faith. As to the second part, experience tells us that humans have an uneven record on forgiveness.
The third part of this statement gives pause for thought. In context, Pope Francis was using the quotation regarding the unforgiving nature of creation to advocate care for the environment as our common home.
But is creation unforgiving? Or is creation continually forgiving, allowing us the freedom to choose to care—or not to care. St. Francis in his well-known Canticle of the Creatures sees all created reality, including human beings, in familial terms, praising the God of all creatures. Closer to our own times is the Irish poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ of the 19th century, assuring us that “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”
Ours is a changing world. The Christian interpretation of evolution credits God with so much love for us as to allow our participation in the development of this cosmic order. Sometimes the work is ecstatically beautiful and at others bitterly painful.
Throughout the liturgies of Holy Week and into the amazing celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection we are mindful of you and your families. May you know the deep truth that in God’s economy the pain we share with the Lord always leads to the joyful surprise of resurrection.
With grateful hearts for your friendship and support, we are
Your Poor Clare Sisters
Schedule for Holy Week Services
at the Monastery:
Palm Sunday, April 13, 2014
Michael Joncas: Eucharist at 9: a.m.
Eucharist: 7:30 a.m.
Celebration of the Lord’s Supper
followed by Eucharistic Adoration.
Services at 3:30 p.m.
Easter Vigil and Eucharist,
Two weeks following the retreat at Prior Lake the retreatents and the retreat team gathered in an atmosphere of songs, silent prayer and reflection, to commit themselves to particular services ministries at Assumption Parish in Richfield and beyond.