The Three Great Easter Days, celebrating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord

                                                                        Easter, 2014

Dear friends,   

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

Association of Contemplative Sisters

About 15 years ago the Association of Contemplative Sisters, Midwest Cluster, began meeting here at the Monastery.  Sisters Helen and Jo are pictured with members of the group who meet here each month to pray and share with one another their experience of contemplative living.  Recently they have been reading Judy Cannato’s  Radical Amazement available from Notre Dame, Sorin Books, 2006.DSCN1002


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.


Holy Thursday,

Celebration of the Lord’s Supper

6:30 p.m,

followed by Eucharistic Adoration. 

Good Friday,

Services at 3:30 p.m.

Holy Saturday,

Easter Vigil and Eucharist,

8:00 p.m.

Missioning for the Women of ACTS

 The Team: meeting at the Monastery for the mini retreat in preparation to serve their Sisters on the three day retreat at at Franciscan Retreats, Prior Lake, Minnesota.                        

099Two 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 4 (4) 638x479

From the Land of Ice and Snow, all brown and white…


comes the colorful Sr. Catherine, bedecked in her handmade sweater and cap, undaunted by Minnesota cold.




Our chapel is anything but cold and colorless as the Sisters pass the peace with daily worshipers.



In a chapel scape of empty chairs Sr. Kate is content in her winter reading.

New Years Eve


              Prayer for Peace in our World

        for this New Year of our Lord, 2014


Taize #37 Within our Darkest Night

Lighting of candles near Our Lady of Compassion Icon

Leader begins:  Let us praise the Lord of days and seasons and years, saying: Glory to God in the Highest!

All respond:  And peace to God’s people on earth!

Taize #16 Glory to God in the Highest

Silence Taize # 29 Nothing Can Trouble


Passing of the Light

Lighting of the vigil lights

Taize # 36 The Lord is my Light


Leader: Our lives are made of days and nights, season and years, for we are part of a universe of suns and moons and planets.

We mark ends and we make beginnings and, in all, and we praise God for the grace and mercy that fill our days.

 Word of God

Reading from the Scripture, Gen. 1:14-19; 26-28a.


Taize #48 Sing Praises

 During the singing come forward and place your vigil light on the stand by Our Lady.

Psalm 91 prayed in choirs:

Universal Prayer

Taize #28 Come and Fill our Hearts

Let us pray for God’s blessing in this New Year.


Remember us, O God;

From age to age be our comforter.

You have given us the wonder of time,

blessings in days and nights, seasons and years.

Bless your children at the turning of the year

and fill our months ahead with the bright hope

that is ours in the coming of Christ.

You are our God, abiding with us for ever and ever.

R. Amen.


Taize #47 In the Lord I am ever thankful


Taize #30 Lord of All Goodnes

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The Icon of Our Lady of Compassion was written by Sr. Mary Charles, OSB, St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, MN. The very large original is venerated in the Adoration Chapel at St Olaf’s Church , downtown Minneapolis.


Christmas, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

Earth and sky are connected in this photo by Dale Kaminsky of Kearney, Nebraska.  In the photo we see lightning over a village, or a village calling forth lightning. For some people lightning could be a frequent experience that lights up the sky and passes in a moment. Or depending on your perspective, you might experience a cosmic moment of connectivity when the electrical energy in the atmosphere seeks a partner with the opposite charge, and equalizes the atmosphere with a show of light. When two of our Sisters saw Dale’s photo on CNN, they looked at one another and said “Christmas!” Sister Gabriel contacted her nephew and he agreed enthusiastically to let us use his photo for our Christmas greeting this year.

One Sister looked at the photo and saw the Word of God made flesh in a small town named Bethlehem, the sky alight with signs and wonders. For another Sister it was a dramatic demonstration of cosmic beauty that only now scientists are beginning to understand.  We see the little town and the great force of energy; the ordinary and the unusual.

The photo could be prompting our inner world, nudging memories and feelings from the past.  Or it could be calling our imagination into the future when ordinary people will ride a space craft beyond our atmosphere. It might be an invitation to ready ourselves to move from this life into the spiritual realm of life beyond death.

For all who are in awe of theology in conversation with scientific study, this is a reminder that theologians and scientists for most of the centuries following Christ’s life on earth worked closely together to express the reality and wonder of life.

The First Christmas was an open system, that is, people in their environment exchanging and sharing with one another: the Child, Mary, Joseph, shepherds and kings.  Animals provided not a small amount of chaos, entertainment and warmth. The Spirit of God works in openness and confusion.  God is with us.

United with you in prayer and affection,

your Sisters at St. Clare’s

091913 - Early Morning Nebraska Thunderstorms
What do you see?

Knight Rob and his Lady Lynne

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Rob and Lynne are part of our larger community. They worship with us and help with Chapel decor and computers. Shortly before this photo, our very large Douglas Fir at the back of Chapel decided to “walk.” Fortunately no one was in its path. Bill Weldon came to help, and Rob and Bill got the tree standing again and the lights on.

Getting ready for Christmas

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Oleg and Cole brought the Christmas trees, gift of Gary and Jane from Pahl’s Nursery in Burnsville. Sr. Gabriel supervises the raising of the trees.

Our Missionaries in Korea


Our Korean Missionaries, Sister Kate and Sister Donna, share a moment in the Chapel before Donna returns to South Korea where her Community is building a new monastery on the Island of Jeju.

Sister Kate was the first member of our Community to go to Korea in 1969 at the invitation of Bishop Henry.  She studied at the Columban language school in Seoul  before  heading to Jeju Island.

Photo ©Jill K H Geoffrion, Ph.D.,;  The Minnesoto Poor Clares  began work on Jeju in 1971.  Donna has been a member of the Poor Clare Community on Jeju from the beginning until the present.