Sunday, July 31, 2016

An Eventful July

It is hard to believe that August has arrived!  Life has been eventful on Mt. St. Francis, so that must have made the time fly.  The speediness of time experienced in the cloister may come as a surprise to those who think of monastic life as a dull, unchanging routine.  But in fact, “the Spirit breathes where He wills”, as our Lord says in the Gospel, and often He seems to be blowing at gale force! Just having coming out of our retreat given on the theme of the Holy Spirit, what else can we expect?
Today we look back on July, thankful for the rich harvest of summer vegetables as well as the grace to keep up with their preserving despite the demise of one of our large kitchen storage coolers.  Since said cooler cannot be repaired (it being too old) and its twin showing definite signs of imminent death, we have decided to construct an outdoor , walk-in cooler to take care of our produce needs.  This project, one of those things to do “someday” suddenly rocketed to the top of our priority list.  Yet, as Murphy’s law, particularly “Everything takes longer than expected”, holds true even in the cloister,  the new cooler is expected to be completed by the end of October!  So we have been earnestly praying that our remaining refrigeration will continue until then.  Meanwhile, as the summer fades, it is time to uproot the old and begin preparing for the fall garden!

Better news to share is that our novice Sister Veronica Mary received the “glad tidings” of her acceptance by the community to make her First Profession of Vows.  This blessed event will take place on Sept. 17, when Franciscans celebrate  the day our Father St. Francis received the wounds of Christ in his own flesh.  A perfect choice, for Sister Veronica Mary also bears as her religious title “of The Wounds of Christ”.
Thus not only do we look back, but we also look forward to the graces that lay ahead.  After celebrating Sister Veronica’s profession, we will then celebrate the Silver Jubilee of our Sister Mary Joyce on Sept. 29th
And if that were not enough, August itself holds the anticipated joy of Our Holy Mother St. Clare’s feast on the 11th, preceded by her public novena, and then of receiving a postulant on August 15, Feast of the Assumption.

St. Clare exhorted her daughters to go forward “with light step and unstumbling feet” along the way of our life, which after all, is Jesus Himself.  A breathtaking journey indeed!

Please share with us your intentions for prayer during our novena to St. Clare!  Also, anyone feeling inspired to donate toward our new cooler is also welcome! Here is the link to the contact page on our website: Contact/Donate

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Introducing our New Novice...

Sister Laetitia of the Merciful Heart of Jesus!
On June 22nd, which Poor Clares all over the world celebrate as “Covenant Day”, Mother Abbess gave the Holy Habit of St. Clare to Postulant Cecilia, transforming her into our newest novice.  We were all agreed that the name was perfectly chosen for this year of Mercy. 

Above is a collage of pictures taken of the transformation.
The center picture is of Sister Laetitia after receiving the white veil of a novice.
Then going around clockwise from upper left:

Two novices!  Old Sister Veronica Mary who is looking forward to her First Profession with Sister Laetitia and lonely Postulant Kathryn.  But next month Kathryn will have a postulant companion.

Kathryn and Sister Laetitia exchanging the Pax.

Mother Abbess placing the Habit over the bride and Sister Margaret Mary waiting to help.

Sister Margaret Mary and the Bride

Postulant Cecilia passing on the flame to her Sisters.

The cutting of the hair: a Poor Clare’s sacrificial offering.

Sister Margaret Mary, recently appointed as Novice Mistress, did very well in her first time role of assisting Mother at the Investiture ceremony.  It is lovely now to have two novices leading our monastic processions like the angels of the Resurrection.  Being of similar height and girth, they are a matching set.

Meanwhile, life continues on a more mundane, but not less eventful level.  The gardens are flourishing, producing flowers and vegetables in abundance.  The Sister in charge of the vegetable field wrote a poem about a special moment experienced when picking zucchini:

Zucchini Picking
Bending low I see
Orange-yellow stars aglow
In a firmament of green,
Open fully now
To the pollinating bee.
Florescent beauty
By the busy one unseen:

A nectar-fill for her-
Instilling hope for me.