Retreat at Assisi Heights

What a retreat for forward movement in this beautiful life at Assisi Heights!

Folks from the Cities Visit

It was a red letter day at Assisi Heights on Friday when a caravan arrived to join us for Eucharist and Dinner. 

Some were from far away others from as near as the Cities.  All were heartily welcomed by us Clares  and the Franciscan Sisters here at the Heights.

Our dear friend Michael Joncas was with us as presider at Eucharist.  In the photo with Mike are some of our “regulars” from daily Eucharist in Bloomington who helped with the Chapel décor for Feasts and Seasons and all manner of good works around the Monastery.

Humanities and the Clares

                Professors and students from Northern Iowa University. 

Doctor Jessica Moon (next to Sr. Beth) is director of the Honors Program at the University of Northern Iowa.  They are studying monastic life in the Middle Ages.  Who better to talk to them about medieval monastic life than the Poor Clares?  At one point in the conversation each Clare was asked to share her vocation story.  No two are alike! 


The ICE is melting and Spring is just around CORNER


   Icebreakers are ships plying polar seas

but they are also opening conversation


   Cracks in lake ice are rarely wise cracks.

Wisecracks seldom break conversational


  It is not usually wise to play with fire.

Ice too may be hazardous if unreliably


    Some ideas may be called breakthroughs.

So may unexpected descents through lake


    Stares from some may be cold icy glares.

Stairs may also be glare ice. Please tread


      Jack Frost writes ice on window panes.

Robert Frost writes of pain in fire and


    To kill is to ice, in some old noir stories.

But icing is also the finishing touch on a


Doug Westendorp, 2018


                There is no corner

Around which

There is no pain.

              There is no pain

Within which

There is no gift.

            There is no gift

Without which

There is no love.

            There is no love

Within which

There is no grace.

            There is no grace

Around which

There is no peace.

            There is no peace

Without which

There is no light.

              There is no light

Within which

There is no life.

             There is no life

Around which

There is no corner. 

Doug Westendorp, 2018

Easter at beautiful Assisi Heights

Holy Thursday at Assisi Heights


The Chapel here at the Franciscan Sisters Motherhouse is ready for the Triduum.But even as we celebrate the Holy Thursday liturgy we have our eyes fixed on Jerusalem  and the promise Jesus holds out to us.  

Our Sisters visit from the Cities

On Sunday the Pro Ecclesia Sancta Sisters joined us for Eucharist followed by dinner and a short tour of  beautiful Assisi Heights,  Motherhouse of the Rochester Franciscans.  Our young Sisters are busy with their youth apostolate  at schools and parishes.  Postulant Mattie will soon leave for Lima to join five other young women as they begin their novitiate.

Saturday evening party with Kate

The Sisters gathered on the Third Floor sun porch to celebrate Sr. Margaret’s birthday.So many of you have reached out to us with words and gifts in our move to Rochester.  This beautiful bouquet of Kalanchos comes from our Poor Clare Sisters in Spokane.

Assisi Heights, Third Floor Admin.

This is our oratory where the Clares pray the Office throughout the day.  Eucharist is celebrated in the magnificent Lourdes Chapel, stepping stone to heaven.  We hope that you will join us there some Sunday. 

The Best of Christmas Gifts


Our dear Sisters of Pro Ecclesia Sancta here with us at 8650 for the signing over of our beloved Monastery to our young Sisters.