The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

It is the Feast of Francis.  Tonight we celebrate Francis as he goes to God with all creation.

Come and pray with us at 7 pm on Tuesday, October 3rd here at the Monastery.

The Celebration of the Eucharist is at 10 am October 4th.

Last Journey for this pilgrim, last leaving for this homeless wander; now, it is into the sea behind his Moses, his Lord, his love, into possession of the promised land where he too, will be clothed in light.
This crossing will be a simple one: the wars are done.  The winds of love sweep mightily, across the midnight sea.  Barefoot and blind, singing, he steps onto dry sands that sparkle gold, beneath his wounded feet.    Thank you Sister Kate.


Celebrating our Sister Clare of Assisi

The youngsters were quite impressed with these very kind policemen visiting on National Night Out.

The guardians of the peace visited with their Robbie the robot.

One of our youngest neighbors at National Night Out.

Celebrating our sister Clare of Assisi in our time.  Recently talking with people who have experience in real estate I learned about an acronym called “nimby,” Not In My Backyard.  Hmm, that was interesting!  And more recently I have learned about another acronym called “yimby,” Yes, in My Backyard.”  many of the “Yimbys” people are from the New York, Seattle and San Francisco areas, not surprisingly, and are promoting building small affordable homes in urban areas that ordinary poor people can finance and so stop paying horrendous renting rates in the big cities, plus many other wonderful advantages for these poorer people living close together and supporting one another in an extended family atmosphere with the possibility of walking to work and schools with needed resources near-by. 

Google has just bought a huge piece of real estate in the middle of the city of San Jose where the techies can live and walk to work.  How fine for them.  And by the way, Silicon Valley was named in the 1800’s Santa Clara Valley.  When the teckies take over the city of St. Francis what will they rename it?

I have been thinking about Clare and her friend, St. Francis.  As they began their Gospel project they both left Assisi.  Francis had his brothers gather down the hill at the Portiuncula a little chapel in the woods.  Later in the story that is where Francis and his brothers received Clare into the fraternity.  Bishop Guido offered Clare and her small group of sisters San Damiano, a small chapel outside the walls of Assisi on the other side of the hill.  In between the two communities was a leprosarium. I think that Francis and Clare would support the Yimbies.  They were not running away from people but running to people, to be in proximity to the neediest people in their time. 

Benedictine Sisters join the Clares to share their experience and wisdom.

As the Sisters so generously shared their personal experience of their move we could feel courage and clarily for our path.

Sisters Michaela and Ruth from St. Benedicts’ Monastery in St. Joseph Minnesota came south to visit us and share their experience of closing their previous home, the Monastery of St. Bede in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

We continued our conversation though lunch.

Spring Friends


Celebrating the Resurrection: Jesus in our Midst

After Father Michael Joncas blesses the Easter Water he makes the rounds in the Chapel while we are singing Everyone baptized in Christ has put on Christ, Alleluia

Christ is alive and we are alive in Christ. Alleluia!

The worshipers receive the living waters of Christian renewal.

Following our profoundly wonderful celebration of the Easter Triduum and the glorious Eucharist of Easter day I was looking for a book that might help me linger with these mysteries over the fifty Easter days leading us to Pentecost.  I went to Amazon to see what they were offering and found Jesus Risen in Our Midst.  This is a compilation of “essays on the Resurrection of Jesus in the Fourth Gospel”  by Sandra Schneiders.  It is a stellar work indeed.   My problem is that I cannot get past the title: Jesus Risen in Our Midst.  Holy Happy Easter Days!


Pascal Journey

Palm Sunday, April 9 at 9 am we begin HOLY WEEK the prelude to the Three Easter Days, celebrating the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord.  We gather at the Monastery at 9 am in the back of the Chapel.  The palms are blest and the first Scripture reading takes us into the Gospel of  Matthew and the triumphal ride of Jesus on the back of a donkey into Jerusalem, all the way acclaimed by the people.  In remembrance of this event we process to the front of the Chapel waving our palms.  The Readings of the Day prepare us for the narrative of the Passion according to Matthew solemnly proclaimed by four of the Sisters.

Palm Sunday at the Monastery

Palm Sunday









Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday

On April 13 at 6:30 pm we arrive at the Monastery for the Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper.  Following the proclamation of the Gospel we rise by ones and twos to move toward the back of the Chapel where the scene is set for the Washing of the Feet.  All are invited to participate in this ritual.  The Sacrament is taken to the Oratory where there is opportunity for Adoration  until Midnight.






Good Friday, April 14 at 3:30, we begin in deep silence preparing for the Service of the Lord’s Passion, commemorating His ultimate gift of love .   The presider and the assistants enter and prostrate on the Chapel floor remaining in prayer.  The Passion according to John is solemnly proclaimed.  We pray the Great Intercessions for all God’s People throughout the world.  Adoration of the Cross follows with the opportunity for each person to express her love and commitment to Christ.

Good Friday

Good Friday

The Solemn Vigil Service of Readings and responses begins on Saturday evening on April 15 at 7:30 pm in the Hospitality Area.  The presider lights and blesses the new fire from which he lights the Pascal Candle and sings the Exultet.   Each reader rises to recount the story of salvation history from the Book of Genesis to the Prophet Ezekiel, all responding with the appropriate psalms.  We end our service quietly in personal prayer in anticipation of the Easter celebration.

Easter Sunday Celbration, The Resurrection!

Easter Sunday Celebration, The Resurrection!

April 16 at 8:30 am. Please join us for the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord. This is not the end of the Story of Salvation but the beginning of the Great Fifty Days, celebrating the enduring love and faithfulness of our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Easter Sunday and the Water of Rebirth.

Easter Sunday and the Water of Rebirth.

After Eucharist the Sending Forth



                        Sunday at the Church of the Assumption 

Doctor Miguel Fiol, a professor of Neurological science at the University of Minnesota, an immigrant from Puerto Rico, and Doctor Betsy Murray, a professor of child psychology also at the University of Minnesota, met with parents of small children, fielding questions about these very dangerous times for immigrant families and the repercussions for their children. I was there as a quest observer.

     In a near-by gym the children were guided by professionals to express their feelings of fear and anger through various forms of art. These children know about “Trump” and he enters into their games, their fright-filled games.
     In the session for adults, one of the questions was, “How do I comfort my daughter when she comes home from school and tells me that an old woman, an Anglo, called her ‘dirty’ and told her to go back to Mexico.”
     Another mother asked: “How can I assure my child that we will be always there for him?” The professors emphasized how important it was to provide an atmosphere at home where the children could freely express their fears and know that what they were afraid of, namely that they would come home from school and their parents would not be there, is a real fear. At the same time they must know that their parents love them dearly and are working with good people all over the United States to change the behavior of ICE, and la Migra.

March, First Sunday of Lent


This morning on the web, New York Times free headlines edition, I read this powerful article by Austen Ivereigh:

                                          Is the Pope the Anti-Trump? 

This is an excellent article especial for those of us who are puzzled by what is going on in our world today. You can pull up the article on you smart phone or computer by calling for Google and typing in:

                                        Is the Pope the Anti-Trump 

As we used to say, “Feel the Bern”, and do something about it.

Here at our Chapel ready for Lent.

Our Chapel for Lent.

New Home for the Minneapolis Poor Clares


The Motherhouse at Assisi Heights

The Motherhouse at Assisi Height


Entrance to Assisi Heights, Home of the Rochester Franciscans

Entrance to Assisi Heights, Home of the Rochester Franciscans

Dear Friends and family,

In 1953 a small group of Poor Clare Sisters came down from Sauk Rapids MN to the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis to found a Franciscan Poor Clare Monastery here in Bloomington, south Minneapolis. Land was donated by the St. Martin family, a portion from their farm. Through the funding and help of the families and friends of the Sisters work began on the building and landscaping, including a two acre Pine forest on the almost 5 acre plot of land.

The monastery evolved in tandem with the archdiocese and along with the emerging cultural changes in our Country after World War II. The Second Vatican Council dramatically affected both our Church and our World including our Monastery. The Monastery was on path to becoming a house of prayer for all God’s people.

Now through prayer and discernment we are being asked to pass on this beloved home loaned to us for some sixty years. Due to the aging of our Sisters and the lack of new vocations to our form of life, we are no longer able to care for this beautiful place of peace and devotion and give the Sisters the care they need.

Our prayer is one of great gratitude for our time among you with a hope that the use of our property might continue to serve God’s people in new and wonderful ways. We will never forget you and ask for your remembrance of us in prayer.

Your Poor Clare Sisters

Your Clare Sisters will be living on the third floor in a wing of this beautiful building which we call “our Little Portion.”

A link to information about our new home at Assisi Heights in Rochester, MN