Sunday, December 9, 2018

Construction/Fundraising Update

We have good news….                And not so good news….

We have a contract and the price is not as high as we feared it would be!
                                                                                                                                                But it is high enough.

We have raised enough funds to pay for the architectural plans!
                                                                But we still need money for things like bricks, windows, doors….

Novitiate Dorm Fundraising Goal:  $100,000

As the insurance company and our contractor debated the merits of the contract, the Poor Clare crew set to work.  Mother Vicaress emptied her storage closets destined for demolition and the novitiate Sisters removed the doors.(No one is quite sure where the contents of the closets went.  It is Mother Vicaress’ secret)

Our good lawn maintenance man cut down the courtyard trees that were in the way of construction, while the Poor Clare gardeners transplanted shrubs and flowers.

This little engineer’s flag marking the site of soil testing in our courtyard is our sign of hope that construction will soon begin!  When?  God knows even if we don’t!  We thank you for all your help and ask you to continue your support of our project both by your donations and your good prayers!

You can use our Paypal button at the right hand corner or send us a check through the mail:  Bethlehem Monastery of Poor Clares, 5500 Holly Fork Rd., Barhamsville, VA 23011.

Those who use Facebook may want to consider doing a fundraising campaign for us there.  We have heard these can be quite successful!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.

We are in the first week of Advent, yet we do not forget why He came and His Passion lived out in the crisis afflicting the Church at the present time.  One of us wrote a poem a year ago after taking care of a persistent wound for an elder Sister.  This year, the poem seems prophetic.

Your Body

Your body is so very wounded,
It wearies me.
Sores all over, unhealed, unsalved,
No hope of healing.
Woe, woe for wounds that weep,
Sores that seep
When I bandage them,
They fester beneath the gauze.
There is no soundness to be found in You-
Even exhausted pores sweat blood.

Where the end
To anguish beyond remedy?
I too have sinned;
I look upon You, and my own battered body
Resonates within.
I lay my hands upon You to heal,
Only to inflict infection.

Your Body wounded all over
Has been bought in blood;
Her slavery to sin has ended-
There remain now the open stripes.
Help us, Lord;
Have mercy.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Sister Laetitia's First Profession

Our New Bride with St. Clare

Sister Laetitia made her First Profession of Vows on Wednesday, the feast of the Presentation of Mary in the temple.  Her large family was able to attend the ceremony with us to share our joy.  Below are some scenes from that glorious event:

Entrance Procession
Mother Abbess Therese, Sister Laetitia, Sister Margaret Mary (Novice Mistress)

The Examination

The Profession of Vows

A Moment of Prayer

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Keep on Living!

Remember that monster squash vine that I was going to pull up but didn’t?  Well, it made about 10 various sized pumpkin-like squash!  The novitiate carved them up to make Poor Clare style Jack-o-lanterns pictured here-(a few donated pumpkins were included)

The next week after a good frost I thought that now was the time.  But when I went out to the vegetable field, I saw new green leaves unfurling among the frost bitten yellow ones!  So the vine had another reprieve.  It ended up making 3 more squash:  small, medium and large.

Over the many years I have gardened, the field has taught me many lessons.  Recently, it has been reminding me of my mortality as the tasks to be done take longer to do and I find myself saying, “I’ll wait until the novitiate come out for that”.  God bless them!  They have so much energy while I…”The old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be”.  But as I gazed at that old squash vine, I heard the message it was trying to give me:  even if you are half dead, keep on living!  You never know what great things you will yet do!

This Thanksgiving, thank God for the gift of life and the opportunities to love!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Novitiate Slide Show

This is the first time I have tried this:  upload a video here on Blogger.  Above, please find this first attempt.  It is a simple slide show featuring our novitiate, some recent photos of ceremonies and more prosaic scenes.  In the background you will hear them singing a Christmas Poem.  The sudden cold weather here in Barhamsville after an overly long, hot summer makes me think of Christmas!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Construction Update

So far, this little flag is the only outward sign that we are about to construct a new novitiate dormitory.  It was placed there to mark the location where a sample of our ground was to be taken to determine how deep to put the posts that will hold up said dorm.  We are happy to report that the posts do not have to go too deep!

On our library table is the other evidence of our intent:  the newly drawn up construction plans!  Here is a pertinent picture:

Then, our insurance company wants to know the exact location of the construction.  So here is a modified excerpt from our old plans:

The Sister in charge of our finances informs me that we have so far raised enough money to pay for our new construction drawings.  Hurrah for us and all of our good benefactors!  But we are going to need more funds for things like bricks, mortar, windows, doors...So if you can help us out, please give what you can by using our little donate button at the top of the page.  All donations are tax deductible and more importantly, will be rewarded by our good God who is never outdone in generosity.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Our Newest Novice

As promised, we have for you the best of our pictures of our newest novice, invested with the Holy Habit yesterday, feast of St. Faustina and nameday of her twin Sister!  It was a wonderful day for us all.