Sunday, August 2, 2015

Only Too Much Is Enough!

 Franciscans know how to celebrate!  One day is not enough for a Silver Jubilee, so we always have three days.  Our eldest Sister, octogenarian Sister Mary Christine, who is most experienced in the art of celebration, was in charge of making Mother Abbess’ jubilee crowns and corsages.  If one rose was good on her first day crown, four roses were better!  Was it too much?  Maybe so…But as our celebrant for Mother’s second day jubilee Mass said in his homily: Jesus made too much wine at the wedding feast (120 gallons!).  He made too much bread and fish at the multiplication of the loves (12 baskets of leftovers!).  When He saved us, He shed every drop of His blood.  Theologians say that one drop would have been enough.  But God is not a theologian; God is love.  And for love, only too much is enough!

One of our community poets, inspired by Mother’s red rose, expressed her thought in this way:

Bridal Rose

O Red
O Sacred Heart
Too deep to speak
Yet you beat
So meek
My ear can hear
Inside, inside
You speak within
my poor and needy heart
Too deep, too deep for speaking words
But inside my eyes can see
And ears, they hear
You speaking unto me
So meek:
“My dear, my dear, come
And take my yoke
And I can teach
you, not so meek
To seek, to learn, discern
To see and hear me
In the Red”
Beloved Red
O Red Rose, O Red, You Bled
O Sacred Hart
You beat
Hearing certainly can hear
Seeing most assuredly can see You,

beating meekly inside me

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sarah Enters Our Community

Sarah joined us last Wednesday and is hard at learning all the ins and outs of Poor Clare living.  Here she is in her simple aspirant’s attire consisting of a small white veil, with white blouse and dark skirt.  Being eager to learn our Gregorian Chant, Sarah is already plucking out the melodies on our novitiate keyboard.

Stay tuned for more jubilee news as we continue to celebrate Mother Abbess’ silver anniversary this coming week!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Silver Jubilee of Mother Therese

On July 16th, feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, we celebrated our Reverend Mother Abbess’s Silver Jubilee of Holy Profession.  It was a lovely day to celebrate, as she is named for the great Carmelite Saint, St. Therese.

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo presided over the Sacred Liturgy, concelebrating with some of our dear priest friends.  Many of Mother Abbess’ extended family were able to attend as well as our good and faithful benefactors.

Mother looked like a young bride, decked in the flower crown made by our eldest Sister Mary Christine.  All were amazed that the central red rose was still fresh at the end of a long day!  We think it a minor miracle from Saint Therese who bestows her graces in the form of roses.

Mother designed her remembrance card, also featuring a single red rose that for her symbolized God’s unfailing love.

Our community surrounded Mother with love and prayers.  Here are the petitions that were offered during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass:

That as we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of our Mother Abbess’ Holy Profession, the Church may see in her what each is called to be:  the faithful Spouse of Christ who like Him, lays down her life for the sake of all.

That our society, so infected by an atheistic materialism, may see in our Mother Abbess’ commitment to Holy Poverty, a witness to the hope of an imperishable inheritance that awaits everyone who is faithful to Jesus.

That those who are suffering the purifying fire of trial and tribulation, may take courage from the joy of those who love without seeing and who have that peace which surpasses understanding.

That Christ Jesus, the Father’s seal upon the heart of our Mother Abbess, may continue to impart His love to her and through this spousal union, may the fruits of love be abundantly given to her family, our friends, our Bishop and diocese, our community and all who join us in spirit this day.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Fireworks, 2015 A Poor Clare Fourth of July

The Poor Clares of Barhamsville are very patriotic!  Throughout the year we pray daily for our beloved country, rejoicing in her great heritage, her good people and natural beauty.  At the same time we grieve for every injustice done and every freedom misused.

Our traditional observances for the Fourth of July are:  to have a picnic recreation (Poor Clare terminology for the rare times we speak at our common meal instead of the usual silent listening to a Sister read while we eat), to sing all the verses of our patriotic songs (the last verses often are very God-centered), and to set off fireworks in our courtyard.  Here are some photos of our sparkling:

 Sister Angelique and Postulant Cecilia dance with their sparklers.

Sister Veronica and Sister Jean-Colette show off theirs.

Our immigrant Sisters love America too! 

As the youngest and fleetest among us, Postulant Cecilia was commissioned to light the fuse.  Here she is running from the about to explode firework! 
Good job, Cecilia!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

July Novitiate Update

Our Novitiate
Sister Angelique, Sister Veronica
Postulant Cecilia
Aspirant Sarah (outside the enclosure grille, for now!)
Our Aspirant Sarah is scheduled to join our community on July 22, feast of St. Mary Magdalene, one of our favorite saints.  Along with the feast of St. Thomas, which we celebrated it is like a little Easter in the middle of summer.  The Paschal Mystery is never far from our hearts, indeed it is a part of our daily reality.

In the last few months we have had to bid farewell to some of our novitiate Sisters as it became clear that God was not calling them to remain with us forever.  In the midst of good-by embraces and tears, we assured them that it is always a blessing when God reveals His will, even when it is not as we would will.  And while we were together, we have been a blessing to each other in what we have shared and learned about Him and about ourselves.  We go forward now without regrets and knowing that we will ever be united in the Heart of Christ, as long as we are faithful to Him.  Yet it has been hard, as always the Cross is.  So we look forward with special Easter joy to welcoming a new one into our midst in a few weeks.

Sarah’s journey has been arduous as she had a large student loan to pay before she could enter religious life.  But diligent work with the Laboure Society has enabled her to successfully raise enough funds to pay off her loan.

Our two "Sarahs"
Sister Veronica (formerly Sarah Golden
and Aspirant Sarah Meier
Our other “Sarah”, now our Sister Veronica Mary, also paid back her student loan through the Laboure Society.  It was enlightening to find out that many young people are prevented from following their vocations because of onerous student debt.  Anyone interested in donating to a worthy cause could check out this website:   www.

On June 14th, Monsignor Keeney, pastor of St. Bede’s parish in nearby Williamsburg, VA, allowed Sarah to speak about her vocation and the good work at Laboure to the congregations at all the Sunday Masses.  Because of the generous response, she was able to meet and even surpass her fundraising goal.  May God bless and reward all our good friends at St. Bede’s.

Tomorrow we have a young discerner visiting us for a few days.  Pray for her and for us as we seek to know God’s Holy Will.  He tells us that He gives us “a future full of hope”.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

To Be More: A Lesson From a Pollen Covered Bumble Bee

Last week's bumble bee inspired this little poem:

To Be More

My love is living in the lilied being,
Fragrancing the flower from its core.
He calls through petal lattices entreating
Me, the bumble bee, to come, be more.

He tumbles me in dusty, depths of gold.
Silently, I sip His hundredfold,
Then lift from lily lip into the light,
A glinting hum of glory and delight.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Garden Update

It has been awhile since I have given a Poor Clare Garden Update.  Here are some recent pictures of this year's vegetable garden:

Potatoes on the far left
Cucumbers at center
"Volunteer Row" (Where we deposited our kitchen compost) on the far right


Zucchini and Yellow Squash
Beyond the gate is our new section,
planted with Buckwheat as a soil builder

So far we have harvested lots of Asparagus, some Kale, Beets, and Lettuce.  The Squash and Zucchini have lots of flowers with fruit already beginning to form.  Green Beans, Tomatoes, Eggplant are up and coming.  Potato greens are beginning to die off so harvest is just around the corner.  Butternut Squash will be planted next week, God willing, along with a second planting of Green Beans.  Our roto-tiller is ailing so our friend Joe has been called to fix it along with our push mower.  While I was watering this morning, a bumble bee, covered with orange yellow pollen, stopped to watch.  Yes, summer is here!  Happy Father's Day to all our Dads!