Sisters of Pro Ecclesia Sancta

     The News is out.  The beautiful Sisters of Pro Ecclesia Sancta will be moving into our precious monastery as we leave for Assisi Heights.  We have been in dialog with them for many months.  Only God could give us such fine young women to carry on the life of prayer here, and from here to offer apostolic service in our Archdiocese.           The female branch of Pro Ecclesia Sancta was founded in Peru only 25 years ago.  Their numbers have grown steadily and they have missions as far away as Spain.

Sisters Gabriel and Eileen are in conversation, while Sister Jo and Sister Frances are talking across the circle with Sisters Fabiola, Helen, Emy, Margaret and Cinthya.

Srs Emy, Gabriel, Fabiola and Eileen; Srs. Fabiola, Helen, Eileen, Jo and Emy.

                  Sister Julieta is front and center.  Hail, hail the Gangs all Here!

Getting into the spirit, hard hats and all.

Here we all are in our construction finery!  Mr. Don DeCramer, project director  of the renovation of our community home on third floor, invited us to go down to Assisi Heights to see the progress of the reconstruction of our wing.  The stipulation of the invitation was that we must wear hard hats, vests and sensible shoes.  Kathy Gatliff, director of Communications & Public Relations at Assisi Heights,  took these great photos.  



November, the month to remember.

The community gathered at Resurrection Cemetery to pray and sing with Sister Anne at her grave site. It is almost two years since her death. Her presence is very much here among us at the Monastery in Bloomington, and we are sure that she is blessing us with strength and courage in our move to Rochester, as we do what is necessary in caring for the needs of our Sisters.

Remembering Sister Anne this November.















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.