Sunday, August 19, 2018

We have a problem...

Look about and see;
             they are all gathering
                         and coming to you...
         "This place is too narrow for me,
                          make room for me to live in." Is.18-20

Yes, indeed, we have a problem!  

But it is a nice problem to have
When we moved from Newport News to Barhamsville in 2004, it never occurred to our modest community of twelve to be concerned that our new monastery had a maximum capacity of thirty.  But here we are in 2018 numbering twenty-seven sisters, with more than three young women asking to share our Poor Clare life. 
The problem?  No more room!

 Our novitiate dormitory, containing 6 monastic “cells,” is filled to overflowing.  With your help, we hope to build a new novitiate addition comprising six more cells, two storage rooms and a bathroom.  We also plan to expand the novitiate “common room,” a multi-purpose area for work, study, and recreation, that is presently too small for our growing family.

Every vocation is a unique and unrepeatable mystery of God’s call and a young woman’s response.  Join us in thanking God for the gift of each of these ardent young vocations, and help us to make room for them in the heart of the Church.  Every donor to our novitiate building fund will be gratefully remembered in the prayers of our newest Poor Clares and in those of us “old timers” as well!

Donations can be made by check payable to:

Bethlehem Poor Clare Monastery and sent to:
5500 Holly Fork Rd, Barhamsville VA. 23011
or through PayPal (see the donate button above on the right!)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

August Gardening

I have heard it said that missionaries have a hard time explaining the concept of divine forgiveness to indigenous people who are nature worshipers because in their experience, “Mother Nature” does not forgive!  Our gardening experience confirms it.  This year we got did not get the compost into the squash row before planting and we got behind in the weeding.  The result? Not much squash. Never mind the excuses of not having time, etc.  Tell it to the birds.  They won’t listen either!  But then, sometimes Nature smiles like the sun on a clear day, and for some reason  things go marvelously well.  We had some volunteer pumpkins that ended up being the success story of this year’s garden.  Here is pictured our Sister Prabha holding our prize winner weighing a hefty 35 lbs!
We thank God for the pumpkins, the few squash we did get, the abundant cucumbers and tomatoes still being harvested.  But most of all we thank Him for His love that DOES FORGIVE US when we fail, even if we have to bear the consequences of our negligences.  That is what is called “the temporal punishment due to sin”.

We are now in the midst of our novena to our Mother St. Clare in preparation for the celebration of her feast on Saturday, August 11.  May she bless all of you with the gift of her intercession!