Monthly Archives: July 2010

Sisters’ Legacy

By Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan

It is Sunday night, and I have just returned from an evening with my sister, Anne, a Visitation graduate of the class of ’82 and

Madde Gibba First Day of School Visitation

Madde Gibba First Day of School Visitation

now Director of Salesian Studies at the Mendota Heights Visitation. We went to see Madde Gibba’s one woman show in Minneapolis at Illusion Theater called Confessions of a Catholic School Girl. Madde took the time to write down her memories of being a “lifer” at The Convent of the Visitation in Mendota Heights (someone who attends Visitation from Kindergarten to 12th grade), and weave them into art. She was poignant, funny, at times outlandishly irreverent and in the end real. Her take away is that the Sisters at the Visitation made her who she is today, a confident, young woman, who is not afraid to be herself and to do that well. Madde said she feels very loved for who she is and attributes this to her time in Mendota Heights. She even has a whole portion of her show dedicated to the Sisters of North Minneapolis, where she quite frankly had her heart broken to the realities of those who struggle for basic human needs and rights. Madde is a legacy of the Sisters gentle strength and inspiring love. She is a proclaimed life long learner at the tender age of 22. A woman, who as a senior at Visitation, contemplates becoming a nun to keep their legacy going, and who now chooses to make their legacy continue through art.

Meghan Wenger and Classmates from Vis with the Vis Sisters of North Mnpls

Meghan Wenger and Classmates from Vis with the Vis Sisters of North Mnpls

Meghan Wenger who we met recently on this blog, is also a legacy of the Sister’s gentle strength. Through her inspirational weekly Salesian quotes she shared with her classmates, she is a woman who lives out the Salesian charism and has woven it into her daily life. She takes the incredible gift of education that the Sisters so generously give to all they touch and proclaims its gifts. And so I share with you, another quote she shared with her classmates as a Senior on the cusp of graduation:

Sent: Mon, 4 May 2009 6:26 pm
Subject: Salesian Thought

Hi ! 🙂


How are you? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know there is a lot going on this week with AP Exams and end of the year activities. I thought this quote would remind us how to take one thing at a time. The quote is:
While I am busy with little things, I am not required to do greater things. St. Francis de Sales
Have a great week!
Love,
Meghan

Do you think St. Jane de Chantal could have ever fathomed the legacy her dedication, education, and compassion would give the world 400 years later? Did she imagine the types of women and men Salesian Spirituality would form, create, and bless? Did she envision a Madde? A Meghan? Women who would take her voice to the theater of Minneapolis, to the email threads of daily school life? What might she say to these women now? What might she say to women who contemplate joining an order steeped in tradition, unafraid to respond to the needs of today, and brimming with blessings and joy?

Sent: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 9:09 pm
Subject: Salesian Thought
Hi!

How are you? I hope you had a nice weekend. This week’s quote is:
“Live joyously and courageously, my dear daughter, never doubting that Jesus Christ is entirely yours.” St. Jane de Chantal
Have a great week! 🙂
Love,
Meghan

I am grateful for the way the Sisters’ legacy lives on in Madde, Meghan, and my relationship with my own sister–all of us

My sister, Anne, who visited us after the birth of our first son, Finny, a sacred time.

My sister, Anne, who visited us after the birth of our first son, Finny, a sacred time.

brimming with blessings from them!

Do you know someone who lives out their heritage of Salesian Spirituality? A Visitation Sister? An Alum? A Visitation Companion? A Neighbor? Yourself? Or someone who contemplates being one of the seven new women waiting to be welcomed by The Visitation Monastery of North Minneapolis? If so, please share a sweet story in the comments section of how you or they integrate Salesian Spirituality into daily life, through prayer, art, inspiration or more.

Daily with De Sales: A Prayer for “Coolness and Calm”

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Vis Companion

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

July 29
Be careful and attentive to all the matters God has committed to your care, but if possible do not be solicitous or worried; that is, do not burden yourself over them with uneasiness or anxiety. This worry only disturbs reason and good judgment and prevents you from doing well the very things you are worried about…A job done anxiously and hurriedly is never done well; we must do things with coolness and calm. (INT. Part III, Ch. 10; O. III, pp. 169-170)

Coolness and calm? Francis is calling me to “coolness and calm“?! God help me! I laugh typing this. “Do not burden myself with uneasiness or anxiety?” Please.

I think a giant portion of my life, my work thus far, has been carried out with something akin to diesel fuel running through my veins. It’s as if  petroleum is on fire coursing through my body and I feign calm and cool tending to tasks at hand. Standing in front of 33 sophomores at Minneapolis North High School, asking them to choose which character they most resemble in Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” – I’m half crazed.  Or facilitating a room of 27 seven graders at Sheridan Middle School, as they simultaneously stand, close their eyes and recite aloud lines from spoken word poems they have written – I have electricity zapping my whole body. Or even quietly working with Writing as Performance students, as they write furiously into their journals lines of poetry or prose that come from their imaginations or lived experience. It all makes me quake inside a bit, as I feel the power and awesome responsibility of teaching -teaching young people.

faces2

What trips you up as you go about your work, prayer, ministry?

“Oranges and onions churning together in my belly,” is how I’ve often thought of anxiety at work in me during such endeavors.

I wonder who else has such feelings of anxiety in their daily life? How do you characterize your angst? What trips you up as you go about your work, prayer, ministry?

daily_with_desales

I take a deep breath, and recognize the wisdom of St. Francis’ words; and invite his counsel to permeate the (hopefully) more evolved neo-cortex of my brain. Exhaling, I release all the tension in my neck and shoulders, and let the ultimate joy of my heart to register on my lips. I smile. I see Francis. I say, “Okay. Yes. Oui. Calm. I can do this. God can do this.”  I let go and trust.

Will you join me?

Happy Contemplating! Happy Prayer!

Meditation on Transformation: Butterfly Prayer

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Vis Companion

Click to watch video by Vis Companion, Brian Mogren

Click on image to watch video by Vis Companion, Brian Mogren, captured at St. Jane House

Who has ever watched a caterpillar turn into a butterfly? The notion of this for me conjures up science lessons from grade school and my own earliest fascinations with educational video on PBS. As an adult and contemplative prayer woman, something in me leaps with the opportunity to observe such a transformation in our natural world. I think, “if a caterpillar can do this, goodness, what might I be able to do? (What might God make possible in and through me?)”

I think, “if a caterpillar can do this, goodness, what might I be able to do? (What might God make possible in and through me?)”

For anyone craving a bit of meditative prayer this day, check out this latest video created by Vis Companion, Brian Mogren, on the transformation process he observed and documented at his home, otherwise known as St. Jane House. (Thanks for sharing Brian!)

Happy Contemplating!

On Being Fed: A Reflection on Mass and Mealtime at the Monastery

How many ways are there to be fed?

How many ways are there to be fed?

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

It had been a while. A month at least, since I had stepped foot in the Visitation Sister’s North Minneapolis Monastery. And goodness how my bones were missing the place! (While I have the privilege of writing and posting blogs for the sisters from my perch in St. Paul, it’s not daily that I have the good fortune to spend time on the ground floor with these beloved women. This last month was a special exception, too — for not being explicitly, physically present with my Northside crew — as I had been blessedly holed up with my newborn daughter, Ms. Marguerite Marie Kiemde. Suffice it to say, our eventual visit to the Monastery last Tuesday evening was a special, sacred time re-connecting with my dear spiritual sister clan, and introducing Baby Maggie to the nuns.

In reflecting on the experience of taking my new little girl to meet the sisters for the first time, I back up and find myself asking:
What does a visit to the Northside Monastery entail?
What does my daughter glean from such an encounter?
What good energy eeks out and over and upon a child in this environment?
Who does she meet?
What gets discussed?
What does she learn?
How might she be changed?

And it occurs to me:

These are questions I could pose for any woman or man coming to the monastery for the first time!

Sr. Mary Margaret holding Marguerite Marie for the first time, next to parents François and Melissa

Sr. Mary Margaret holding Marguerite Marie for the first time, next to parents François and Melissa

As I work to compose this reflection, I note that what Maggie Kiemde encounters and is nurtured by, might be similar for those visiting and possibly discerning further alliance or membership with the blessed Salesian order.

On this particular evening, there was an intimate gathering of people for mass and the following dinner meal. Besides the sisters, my husband François, baby Maggie, and myself, we had one other lay visitor and our dear priest. Brendan was an Americorp volunteer, originally hailing from the East Coast, and returning to the monastery for mass and nourishment – having found the Salesian charism a welcome space for him in his Minnesota tenure. As a graduate from a De LaSalle institute, he felt at home in the monastery. I shook his hand and felt instantly like I’d known him for years. (He physically resembled another friend completing his Masters in Divinity out East.) Fr. Jim Radde, our Jesuit presider, as an old friend newly acquainted with my husband, was warm and deeply contemplative as he said mass, inviting us as usual into a spiritual space piercing both my heart and mind. (“What does it mean to really love yourself? How do fear and self-doubt impair our abilities?”)

With our daughter Marguerite calm and resting in her baby carrier, I found myself at peace in the Fremont Avenue Monastery living room. In this chapel space, with these women, and in this configuration of blessed humans listening and reflecting together on scripture, I was at home. I took inventory of my bones, my limbs, noted my breathing, and exhaled realizing how much I crave this kind of experience,  this community.

Our evening flowed from a mass with communal reflection time and space — where each was invited to give voice to his or her prayerful thoughts, questions, hopes– to a dining experience complete with charged, inspiring conversation.

Girard House Monastery

Girard House Monastery

Over a blessed meal at the table in the sisters’ dining room, I heard from Sr. Mary Frances about a latest leadership initiative involving Northside community members. I took note as Fr. Radde, S.J,. challenged Brendan about his peaceful communication practices as the young man prepares for employment with Pax Christi International in Belgium. I chimed in with my own questions and theoretical and applied knowledge of story-telling when Fr. Jim brought up his passions around restorative justice circles. I smiled as our own circle of stories intersected and overlapped while we enjoyed our pot roast and vegetables.

Sister elaborated on the Leadership Initiative.  Having come from a recent convening at St. Jane House, she shared some of the goals of the diverse group of participants:

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales

“We are teaching principles of Salesian Leadership and inviting the members to pose their own goals for change. They will create action plans over the course of the next ten months.”

Father disclosed his sadness having learned he wouldn’t be making a long-planned trip to Uganda, but eeked of hope and enthusiasm around how his study of narrative practices would be pursued in local urban classrooms. My daughter slept, my husband smiled and sighed. The sisters fawned over the resting presence of our little girl. I moved back and forth in my mind between Maggie’s life here as a child, and an imagined space in proximity to the newly-acquainted-with-Brendan-going-to Belgium. Oh, where would she be twenty years from now? Where might any of us be? How would we be “living Jesus,” as the Vis sisters say?

What a room of people! What an experience of faith and community and love and hope! What a way to be fed!

As I close this reflection out, I’m grateful for the sisters’ presence at 16th and Fremont (and 17th and Girard) in North Minneapolis. I’m mindful of how lucky my child is to even sit in the same space with these women, their friends, and to have a mom and dad who find such sustenance in visiting them.

Perhaps Marguerite will be called to be a nun someday? Perhaps she’ll follow suit in some way as her namesake, Visitation Sister: St. Marguerite Marie Alacoque? Or maybe, she’ll find her way in some fashion as her parents, living Salesian spirituality in their own subtle and intentional manners in the lay world? Regardless, Maggie is blessed, as we all are, to be in any proximity to this sacred monastic space called The Visitation Monastery in North Minneapolis.

LIVE + JESUS!

What do you carry?

By Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan

As meditation, I sat down to write. I needed to clear my mind and heart, to declutter. To make room for more. So as prayer, I opened my bag and emptied it’s contents to list what I carry with me. I share my prayer below:

My bare feet, slipped out from flip-flops, rest on my gray bag. They feel its uneven bulkiness, and the sailcloth it is made out of as I store it underneath the seat in front of me. I look out the window as the plane departs Albuquerque, leaving my red earthen roads of Santa Fe behind.

It’s bulkiness contains my mail from 1107 Sangre de Cristo Street, our rented home in Santa Fe; a newsletter from the Minneapolis Zen Center, a place I wish to check out; a flyer for the home we may buy in St. Paul; a receipt for Integrative Holistic

On a hike with Henry, the littles and Peter

On a hike with Henry, the littles and Peter

Healing Center, where I faithfully went week after week to get my hair to grow back after I lost it post babies, to no avail; a letter of praise from Bob Gilsdorf about the Sisters’ Blog. Inside it houses two rubbery play watches for my older boys from their cousin’s birthday; a boys winter cap, pair of boys underwear, a pair of boys socks; bark ‘n boot liners for my dog, Henry, who after trail running post snow cut up his paws in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, bad enough to warrant a trip to the vet. An eyeglass case, trail mix, and a no longer usable cell phone that is now for play. My pocketbook filled with no-longer-needed receipts, my Minnesota driver’s license, my one credit card and one bank card, I don’t like having more than one, and grateful to be able to have one; my library cards and the boys, as well as my insurance card and the boys; vitamin e stick for my lips, and gloss for when I need some shimmer on. Keys to the car in Minnesota, the rental home in Minnesota and our rental in Santa Fe.

This bag is bulky and unruly and I feel it as I try and sling it over my shoulder this past trip. It feels weighted, a counterpoint as the plane departs for takeoff. It holds the weight of just-in-cases: just-in-case Finn or Liam have an accident, the extra underwear; or we need some socks to avoid blisters. Just-in-case I need a change of hat for a different occasion. It holds the just-in-case we need some energy with food, and some medical help with insurance cards, or knowledge with library cards. Or the biggest just-in-case we move.

I have not cleaned my bag out since the changing of winter to spring. It is now summer. I still carry the lotion my mom

Bell on a wall

Bell on a wall

bequeathed to Finn for his ever so chapped hands when she visited in February. I thought his extreme skin was from an onset of OCD and fear of germs, turned out the dryness of the desert had more to do with their redness, their scales, their roughness on such youth. As I dug in the crevice of my bag’s corners, where secrets might be kept, I unearth a small wooden block with a bell in it that Kieran clutched too when the snow began to melt and accidentally took with him to the Santa Fe Children’s Museum. For Buddhists a sound of a bell brings the wisdom of emptiness. My bag could use such wisdom.

Scattered throughout the bottom of the bag like seeds are the pieces to a small puzzle of an elephant given to Finn in his Easter basket, waiting to bloom. Two ziplock baggies, one filled with another vitamin e stick and a not needed hair holder; the other with two hand sanitizers and lollipops–remnants of past flights. A charger for my ear piece that no longer works, and a prize toy from St. Vincent when we went as a family to get a blood work panel done for Celiac testing. I carry these memories of place waiting to be ordered, sifted, sorted. The block needs to go back with the other blocks, the clothes need to find their drawers, and papers await to be recycled into something new. The bag recycled into something lighter, my mind into something emptier.

As I reflect on this list. What happens to those many families and people who do not have just-in-cases? How does what I carry prohibit me from being closer to those who suffer? Who need my friendship and I theirs? How does what I carry keep me from integrating the preferential option for the poor? How does what I carry give me hope? The wise St. Francis de Sales says, “It is not necessary always to feel strong. It is sufficient to have hope that we will be strong enough at the proper time and place.” And, so I look on myself and all I carry with compassionate hope.

What do you carry? What does it reveal about your life? Your patterns? Your desires? What do you need to let go of to make

A nest of baby wrens

A nest of baby wrens

room for what you need to receive? A bag is like a nest, it holds what connects us to life, to ourselves in a moment in time. Like the nest that cradled the baby wren’s, which was knocked down only to provide a valuable lesson on the sanctity of life.

Visitation Monastery North Minneapolis wrote on July 16 at 8:10 pm: Story-kids dumping wren house continues. 4 baby birds left to be rescued by nuns -unsuccessfully. MP responded on FB giving title, “The Dead Bird.” I got it and waited for the opportunity to get the children over to read. Happened tonight! 5 children came, ages 3-11. As I read, only a few guilty glances gave them away. They got the point, without having to lie or admit, just as I had hoped. God’s creatures matter

Sometimes a bag anchors us, providing a base from which to fly. Other times it needs to be emptied in order to be filled with life to travel the roads we need to go.

______________________________________________________________________

Please click on the comments section below to read what the Sisters carry with them when they join the Monastery. We invite you to share your own meditation on the contents of your bag and what you carry in the comments section.

For further prayer, meditatively read Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, about his time as a soldier in Vietnam.

Daily with De Sales: Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

St Francis de Sales

St Francis de Sales

July 22
Today I want to wish you one of the blessings accorded to Saint Mary Magdalene; not her ecstasies or extraordinary gifts, but imitating her by sitting at the feet of Jesus all the days of our life. Above all, I hope you have the courage to overcome the difficulties that impede you from God. Therefore, continually seek the Lord and do not give up until you have found Him. Seek Him out during this mortal life, not risen and glorious, but crucified and dead. Prepare your shoulders to carry the cross of the Crucified with love, and if the burden is heavy, console yourself, because courage and love will give you the strength.
(Sermons 48; O. X, p. 96)

This thought from St. Francis de Sales moves me deeply. What an invitation he extends to us in this passage! We are encouraged to imitate Mary Magdalene as she sits before the all-loving, forgiving, human and divine Christ. With all of our own failings and sorrows and sufferings, we are invited to find a grace in the way this Savior doesn’t keep us from our troubles, but instead aligns Himself completely and utterly with us: and offers the hope of transformation, of resurrection, as He conquers death. Oh! To meditate with Mary. To sit silently at Christ’s feet and dare to perceive His wretched and rejected state, His utter feeling of abandonment; and yet to know His love, His faith, the promise of new life that He extends to us all through His passion!

What do you see from Mary’s perspective? What does your heart, your sorrow, your own suffering show and teach you about Christ? (What does Christ’s heart, sorrow, suffering teach you about Love?) How are you Mary Magdalene? How are you Christ? What mercies and blessings are granted to you today?

Happy Contemplating!

The Gospel according to Gustavo Gutierrez: Living The God of Life in the Midst

By Sr. Joanna O’Meara, VHS

The Jesuits have a way with words. They have coined a well known phrase that some of you might have come across when speaking about an experience in life that is more than one expects or anticipated.  To ‘be ruined for life’ is the phrase, and it aptly sums up my two week immersion at Boston College with Professor James Nickoloff and Gustavo Gutierrez learning the way of the Spirituality of Liberation.

As many of you are aware, our Minneapolis Visitation arose from the impetus of expressing a desire to be Visitation with the marginalized in the inner city:

“The Option for the poor must lead us to friendship with the poor. It is an option for concrete persons, not just a social class. Friendship means equality and dignity – with friends we share our lives. Without friendship there is no option for the poor. Without equality, we have no love.” –Gustavo Gutierrez.

The learning experience of being with close to 100 people from seven different continents provided a breadth of different cultural, social, economic and global perspectives that called each of us out of our comfort zones and to reflect on our call to discipleship in the light of Gustavo’s message.

For me personally I had internalized from listening to my Community why they came here to North Minneapolis. Now I realize that this was only half the story. I was not ‘ruined’ enough. Following two weeks of intense immersion, I see that I had to make my own journey of head and heart to realize for myself what this means, and why living ‘The God of Life’ in our neighborhood is so important.

I see that I had to make my own journey of head and heart to realize for myself … why living ‘The God of Life’ in our neighborhood is so important. – Sr. Joanna O’Meara, VHS

Gustavo ended his time with us by giving us a blessing of ‘Hope’.  I know that being present here means transmitting hope in tangible ways – in community – ‘one with’ our neighbors.

Sharing Salesian Spirituality: One Quote at a Time!

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

Francis Jane Heart Prayer“Be who you are and be that well, to serve the Master Craftsman whose handiwork we are.” – St. Francis de Sales

One of our goals in the Visitation community is to extend the spirit and teaching of our co-founders, Saints Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal. Their way of living the Gospel inspires all of us  in and through this spirituality referred to as “Salesian” –  or of Francis de Sales. The Salesian charism is written about extensively and is something we work to make visible in our work and ministry — much of which we hope is reflected here in these web pages.

Visitation School, Mendota Heights, MN

Visitation School, Mendota Heights, MN

Just recently, however, I was delightfully surprised when I gleaned another sweet, simple, and powerful way that Salesian Spirituality was being shared – not by a Visitation Sister in North Minneapolis; not in their daily relationship building activities in our inner city;  not in these website pages and blog entries; but by a Visitation School STUDENT  in weekly emails to her classmates. Oh, be still my heart! The mere notion of this brings me such joy.

It was Sr. Katherine who sent me the following e-note, describing how 2009 Vis Grad, Meghan Weneger,  shared a “Salesian Thought” once a week during the school year with her peers at Visitation School in Mendota Heights, MN.

Sr. Katherine writes:

FYI, Melissa,We have been having 2009 Vis grads over for an evening of helping us [do] a variety of things. Last night they came and I was asking them to run off some Salesian quotes for [Blogger] Beth – who had asked for them,  when one of them said, “Sister, On my computer I have hundreds of them.  I put one out every day when I was a senior for the student body.” So here is Meghan Wenenger’s work for all of us to use freely.

Katherine

Does this inspire you? It got me! (Perhaps as someone who finds herself poised and praying often at the computer screen, and pouring over email.) The accessibility of Francis and Jane’s words, and applications for Salesian Spirituality are endless. Read on to see one example by this young woman as she shares Francis de Sales words with her fellow Vis friends during exam week.

cross-in-handsFrom: Meghan
To: Visitation Students
Subject: Salesian Thought

Hi ! 🙂

How are you? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I know there is a lot going on this week with AP Exams and end of the year activities. I thought this quote would remind u s how to take one thing at a time. The quote is:

While I am busy with little things, I am not required to do greater things. – St. Francis de Sales

Have a great week!

Love,
Meghan

How might this spirituality play a part in your life? Let us know!
Live+Jesus!

St Jane Speaks

by Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan

St. Jane de Chantal

St. Jane de Chantal

Many of you were excited to hear St. Jane de Chantal in her own words last week. With your encouragement and response, I will post more of her sage wisdom under “St. Jane Speaks.” Here are some more exerts from our lovely St. Jane de Chantal. The more I read her voice and about her, the more my love for this woman grows.

In last week’s blog, St. Jane’s quote, “Ask for nothing, and refuse nothing,” raised some good discussion among readers. To some the refuse nothing made a lot of sense, but not the ask for nothing. I have pondered this and wonder, is this sentiment more indicative of the culture and time St. Jane was living? Or is it an attempt to free ourselves from suffering? For if we do not want, we do not suffer? Today we are implored to ask God for our deepest desires, for in imagining them they are more likely to become a reality. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe as St. Jane professes to ask for nothing? Or when you pray do you bring your requests to God?

As the Minneapolis Monastery lives out their mission to be a prayerful presence to their neighbor, St. Jane reflects on love for our neighbor in the following excerpts:

From the writings of St. Jane de Chantal’s testimony in the canonization process of St. Francis de Sales:

“In all the years I had the happiness of knowing him well, both before and after I became a nun, I never knew him to fail to do for his neighbor all the good that lay within his power. He never spared himself in this service; I am quite sure of this, and have seen and experienced more of it than I can ever tell you….. He once wrote to me: ‘When shall we be really steeped in a sweet and tender love for our neighbor? When shall,we really see his soul in our Savior? Alas, if we look at him in any other way, we run the risk of not loving him purely, faithfully, and each one alike. But who could help loving him in Our Lord, putting up with Him and bearing his faults? Who could then find him unattractive or tiresome? For that is where our neighbor really is, right in our Divine Savior’s heart, so beloved and so lovable that the Lover dies for love of him'”….

from Her Exhortations, Conferences and Instructions:

“Our Lord told us that we should love as he loved us. He said to His disciples, ‘By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’… .Certainly, we can never reach the perfection of this holy love and union with God unless we have this love of neighbor. Yesterday, I was reading what St. John wrote: ‘If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar, for he who does not love his brother, whom he sees, cannot love God whom he does not see.’ If we don’t have heartfelt love and holy affection towards our sisters, who represent God’s image to us, we must conclude that we don’t have true love of God….

Real charity and true virtue require that we speak to all our sisters in the same way, gently, cordially, with humble frankness, sweet confidence, holy joy, and gladness, and with a good word about all…it is in this that virtue lies, not in our own preferences. And if we happen to find some.. . disagreeable or hostile toward us, we must remember this:

‘Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.’

Let’s all examine our hearts…..and if we find in ourselves any resentment, aversion, or remembrance of past wrongs, let’s immediately pick up the pruning hook of God’s holy fear and cut off this evil shoot… .In it’s place, let’s build up love for this great commandment towards our neighbor and for following this holy precept to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).”

Snapshots from the Sisterhood: Title This!

The  latest installment in this series: a photo from St. Jane House shenanigans with the Visitation Sisters and Vis Companion, Brian Mogren, aka, “Mr. St. Jane.” This photo was taken on the occasion of Brian’s 44th Birthday. You may recognize Northside neighbors;  the Peace Foundation President; the founder of “Two Mothers: From Death to Life” and a board member; a city Councilman for Minneapolis; Landmark Forum participants; St. John’s latest “M.Div” student; a baker from West Africa; a recent transplant from Austin, Texas; a little girl named after the sainted Alacoque Visitation Sister; and Brian’s godchild and family.

Care to give it a title? We welcome your creativity!

Care to provide a creative caption? We welcome your words!

Care to provide a creative caption? We welcome your words!