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
During the period of what the Church calls Ordinary Time, Pat Leighton, a member of our extended worshipping family here at the Monastery was moving around in the Chapel taking photos. We did not know to what purpose was this photographic endeavor but we appreciated his interest in the Chapel and the grounds of the Monastery.
At Christmas time we unwrapped the mystery tied to his labor: beautiful cards depicting cherished spots of prayer in and around the Monastery. We offer some of the photos here on our Blog through the graciousness of Pat and above all as a tribute to our loving God who created this beautiful house of prayer through the hearts and hands of many.
Pope Francis and President Barack Obama smile as they exchange gifts, at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014. President Barack Obama called himself a “great admirer” of Pope Francis whom he considers a kindred spirit on issues of economic inequality, immigration and so many more global concerns essential for the well being of God’s people. Here is a salute to one of the finest American presidents ever elected by the people to serve this United States of America. AD Multos Annos!
Looking back on these last few years of the ministry of Pope Francis to the Church and the World we give thanks for his example of universal and all inclusive ministry of mercy, kindness and largeness of spirit, never narrow minded, partial or bigoted. May we walk with these two great men into the future in solidarity with all God’s people especially with those most in need.
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Photos of Monastery Crèches – Lynne Morin
Vinyl to digital conversion – Robb Morin
Technical Expertise – The Borchards
Creative Design – Sister Beth Lynn
The Music of Spain
Bell Ringers of the Dawn
Every Sunday morning between four and six, a
group of men – Bell Ringers of the Dawn –
circulate through the streets of the mountain
village of Arriate.
Andalusian Liturgy Part 1 & 2
In the Andalusian mountain town of Ronda, a
religious order of women lives in a convent with
the mission to tend the sick at night. Each
morning they gather in their chapel to sing
during the Mass. This religious order shuns
publicity of any kind. The mother superior
permitted the taping of the music on the
condition that the sisters remain unaware.
The spirit lives on in the beautiful feast of our Sister Clare. Eighty friends were here to celebrate the Word and Sacrament with Archbishop Hebda and our Community. The Archbishop spiced his homily with memories of Assisi leading youth groups from New Jersey, this done during his eighteen years studying and then working at the Vatican. Bob Frazzetta and the Franciscan Friars at St. Anthony’s, Butler, NJ were among the many of you who joined us through gifts of flowers and cards.
Come and join us for the celebration of Clare of Assisi:
The Transitus or Passing of St. Clare is at 7 PM on Wednesday, August 10, 2016.
The Eucharist is at 10 AM August 11, 2016.
Our new archbishop, Bernard Hebda, will preside at the Eucharist. We are grateful for Bishop Hebda’s presence. Poor Clares have a special relationship with their bishops which goes back to the early 13th century when Bishop Guido of Assisi gave his full support to Francis and Clare at the very beginning of the Franciscan movement. God bless Bishop Guido. You could think of him as a Medieval Bernie Sanders: open to the new and attracting the young.
Hello to all you good folks out there. We are up again and happy to invite you to celebrate Eucharist with us on the fourth of July at 9:oo am.
We are thinking Pilgrimage here at the Monastery as two of our Sisters are preparing to head out with Friar Tom Hartle to Assisi. There are two ways to look at Pilgrimage: one focus is on the going, and the other is on the arrival— you might call the latter a “destination” pilgrimage.
San Damiano, the proto monastery of the women’s branch of the Franciscan family, is the focus of my muse these days.
Why did Francis take Clare to San Damiano or why did Clare insist on going to San Damiano? It was a wreck of a place( Fortini…)—and very dangerous outside the walls of Assisi. Maybe that was the point: to get out from behind the walls. Maybe they wanted to get out of Assisi with freedom to be poor, vulnerable, available, interdependent. If that was the case they got what they were looking for. But…as soon as Clare died the nuns scuttled inside the walls.
I put the question to one of my favorite Franciscan specialists, Jean Francois Godet:
Regarding your question, I think you already have the right answer. Clare and her companions wanted to join the evangelical/penitential movement started by Francis. That meant leaving Assisi, its wealth, its power, its protection, its privileges, and getting close to the outcasts, the nobodies, in particular the people with leprosy. San Damiano was an ideal place: it was outside the city, close to the leper colonies, had the three ingredients of the early Franciscan settlements: a little church, a spring of water, and near a road (the Assisi-Foligno road). It was the property of the diocese. Since bishop Guido was blessing, protecting and promoting the new movement, there was no obstacle. Soon after Clare died, the sisters were moved inside the walls, not only the walls of the city, but also the walls of a monastery. That was a major change that separated them from the people, and in particular the people that Clare, like Francis, wanted to be close to and to serve. But by that time, the same thing had already happened to the brothers. I believe that the spirit and life of Clare and Francis will always survive because it is simply, but radically, living the Gospel. However, the future is in the roots. We need to go back to the sources and rebuild the Franciscan movement.
I would just add that Francis and Clare were motivated by one thing: to do mercy, facere misericordiam, because it was in that experience that they were experiencing who God is, the Father of mercies as Clare says at the beginning of her testament, quoting Paul in 2 Corinthians. The whole Franciscan adventure began with Francis’ experience with the outcasts of Assisi, the people with leprosy: feci misericordiam cum illis, I did mercy with them, writes Francis at the beginning of his testament, quoting Luke and the parable of the good Samaritan.