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”.