Monday, August 12, 2019

Feast of Our Holy Mother St. Clare

Our Aspirant Mariana, first time gardener that she is, successfully grew these sunflowers in St. Clare's garden.  Here they looked like an honor guard for our Seraphic Mother during her novena, until...

  ...Sister Sacristan cut them for the bouquet at the foot of the altar.  They are still there as I write, our 2nd day for celebrating the feast of St. Clare.  I am sure she is as happy as we are that "her" sunflowers were given over to our Eucharistic Lord.

As I was passing by our construction area on Saturday, the vigil of the great feast, I happened to see our Sister Elise engaged in her own construction project: a flower stand.
Since St. Clare' s feast fell on a Sunday, many of our friends were able to attend Holy Mass and celebrate with us.  Here are the petitions we offered on that day:

That St. Clare, who contemplated the face of Christ in the darkness of faith and now lives in the brightness of His glory, may pray for Pope Francis and all Bishops, that they may govern the Church in the light of that same glory.

That faithful believers living in the hope of salvation, may shine as guiding stars on a world lost in the night of atheism and despair.

That through the intercession of St. Clare, those who feel acutely the wasting away of their bodies through any affliction, may not lose heart, but may keep their eyes fixed on Christ who prepares for them an eternal weight of glory.

That all of us gathered here to celebrate the feast of our Mother St. Clare, along with our friends, relatives and benefactors present in spirit and in our hearts, may ever abide in the love of Jesus, and being true branches united to the true Vine, may yield abundant fruit for the kingdom of heaven.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

St. Clare's Novena and Construction

We have begun our novena in honor of St. Clare!  Being still in the midst of our current construction project, it seems natural for us to reflect on our Foundress' experience of building.

When St. Francis brought Clare to the church of San Damiano outside of Assisi, it was not a monastery.  Rather, it was simply a country chapel that had at one time served a hospital.  Its patron, St. Damien, himself an early Roman Martyr, was also a physician.  St. Clare took up residence and soon was joined by a group of like-minded women to live a life dedicated to God in prayer and self-sacrifice.  It was not long before the little chapel with its upstairs attic proved inadequate.  In the picture shown above, you can see the original chapel facade along with the first addition St. Clare built to the right of the original building.  Notice that the rose window ended up off center to the whole.  Looking carefully, the line joining the two buildings up the middle can be seen. Later, she had to build a monastic refectory and infirmary to house her growing community.  It is good to know, as we live through the sights, sounds and smells of construction, that St. Clare lived through the same, minus the power tools and gas run engines!
Here are some photos of our project:

While the men were away, the novitiate went exploring their new dormitory.

We need some gutters and downspouts!

The novice mistress' office in its present state!

August 31st is supposed to be the completion date!  God only knows...Please do know that we remember you all in our prayers to St. Clare as we prepare for her August 11 feastday.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Construction Progress!

A lot has happened since our last post!  Let the pictures tell the story:

Concrete poured and smoothed out to make a lovely floor.

Walls and roof came next.

 Once the shingles were on, the building came alive!

Men working hard in 90 degree weather!

View from the "inside".

Doors being cut out of the original cinder block wall.

So there you have it!  Tomorrow will be an exciting and challenging day for us as the floors will be laid in our newly renovated kitchen area.  That means all kitchen operations will be done in our bakery down the hall for the next 2 days.  We will let you know if we survived.  Pray for us!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Sister Chiara Marie makes her First Profession of Vows

I come from the beautiful ceremony of our Sister Chiara Marie's First Holy Profession to share with you some photos.  Above pictured is our new bride along with her formation director, Sister Margaret Mary.

Entrance Procession
Greeting her Family

Veni Creator Spiritus!

The Profession
Reception of the Black Veil
Festive Crown

It was a special joy to have newly ordained Father Dan (far left), Sister Chiara Marie's friend, with us for her day

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Making Room for Them!

Above is the beautiful Golden Jubilee remembrance card of one of our Sisters in another monastery.  It seemed perfect for a this sharing being posted on Trinity Sunday.  What else can be said?  Contemplation of the incomprehensible Trinity brings one inevitably to silent adoration.

Coming back to earth, however, we do have some exciting news:
We have floors!  Never before have we appreciated that common reality of a solid floor beneath our feet.  The novitiate took the opportunity at evening recreation time to explore and enjoy their new dormitory and expanded common room as they have been constructed up to this point.

 Although we have a dormitory floor, we do not yet have a door!  Access is through the window!  Here Aspirant Mariana gets her first try.

 Novices and Juniors follow.

The setting sun gave a nice accent!

A happy Novitiate!

Going inside 
A big common room!
Since then, concrete has been poured.
More pictures next time!

Meanwhile, pray for Sister Chiara Marie who goes on retreat this week to prepare for her Holy Profession on Saturday.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Diamond Jubilee of Sister Mary Joseph

Last Monday, the men got off to a good start in the kitchen, only to hit a snag that kept them from continuing their work until Friday.  Although we were sad about the delay, we could not help but enjoy the quiet as we celebrated our Sister Mary Joseph's Diamond Jubilee. Yes, she has spent 60 years of her life in faithful Poor Clare living, longer than most of us have been alive!  Here are some pictures of her great day:

Sister Joseph in her garden which she lovingly tends with the help of some of her novitiate friends. 

Sister Joseph renewing her vows for the 60th time in the hands of our Mother Abbess.  How many octogenarians could kneel like that?

On special occasions, our Novices and Postulants kneel in the middle of our refectory with all of us gathered around to make their petitions.  White veiled Novices ask for the grace to make Holy Profession, and Postulants ask to receive the Holy Habit.  Only 3 Novices are pictured here because our Sister Chiara Marie has already received the promise that she will take her vows on June 22nd.

After having resolved their problem, the men returned to the job on Friday.  The coming week promises to be exciting.!
Blessed Pentecost and the resuming of the so-called Ordinary Time!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Concrete and Steel

I have been remiss in keeping our faithful readers up to date with our construction!  A lot has been happening and we are doing our best to keep up with it.  It has been fascinating to watch the process of restoring our concrete walkway.  Here are some pictures:
Plastic and wire go underneath
The concrete poured looked pink!
Some of us were worried...

No fear!  The top layer washed off!

New concrete!
Then came the steel men to finish their part of the dormitory floor:

At the beginning of this project, there were discussions as to how they would get their steel inside when they would begin work in our kitchen.  The solution? The ever useful crane!


Through the window!
This weekend we move out of the kitchen so that work can begin there.  Should be an adventure for us all!

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Post Easter Construction

We took a Holy Week/Easter break from both blogging and construction, but we are here at it again!  It was wonderful to be workmen-free to celebrate the great Paschal Mysteries.

A few of us took the opportunity to plant some flowers out of range of the construction site.  Now, however, workmen with their noise and dust have returned to our lives.  Yet we are happy they are making our proposed novitiate dorm a reality.  

After the ever useful crane lifted the steel into our enclosed courtyard, the men could start putting it together. 
At last!  We can see the novitiate dorm rise up from the mud!  This week promises to bring more concrete and also work in our kitchen areas.  Stay tuned, as they used to say!