Monthly Archives: August 2011

Jubilee! Notes on Sr. Katherine’s 50th Anniversary Mass

Celebrating Sr. Katherine Mullin, VHM!

Celebrating Sr. Katherine Mullin, VHM!

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

“You are divinely made and called to Love! You are blessed!”

There are liturgies that are especially inspiring to me as a catholic; and there are Eucharistic celebrations that not only buoy who I am in my faith, but restore me on a level, and remind me exactly why I am where I am in my journey as a spiritual being on this planet. Saturday’s service in the park, honoring Sr. Katherine Mullin in her 50th year as a Visitation Sister, was just such a liturgical experience. I was fed by the Word broken open by Fr. Michael O’Connell;  by this sister’s witness to her faith and life as a nun renewing her vows; and the shared wonder of a faith community coming together in this particular place.

Tune into the Visitation Sisters’ YouTube Channel:

Click to watch video

Click to watch video

VIDEO OF SR. KATHERINE MULLIN’s 50th JUBILEE:

Setting: North Common’s Park, North Minneapolis

The Opening of Sr. Katherine’s Welcoming Address

Sr. Katherine’s Vow Renewal

Prayers of the Faithful

Conclusion: 50 Doves Released

We gathered under the trees on a glorious summer day at North Commons’ Park in north Minneapolis. There, in jarring proximity to the location of the recent murder of 14  year old Quantell Braxton, (a spot in which Sr. Katherine and I prayed three days prior;) a few hundred friends, family members and former students of Sr. Katherine convened.  In my mind it was a claiming of the fullness of life and love, death and resurrection, and our collective vocations as we celebrated mass in that space.

“[W]e are all called; there is not a hierarchy of blessedness, but a universal invitation of Love to be powerfully who God made us to be and, as St. Francis de Sales says, “be that well.”

Sr. Katherine began by welcoming us all, underscoring the various factions of folks present and hailing from the decades of her life. She greeted her siblings, Visitation Mendota and Minneapolis sisters, classmates, her mom’s best friend, Kaye, (who was 95!), the young women who are discerning religious vocations, neighbors, and all who she calls friends .  It took me to my own place in the congregation, claiming my role as Visitation Companion, woman of faith, and fellow vocations partner.

In Sr. Katherine’s address to us, her choice of readings, and Fr. O’Connell’s homily, there was a through-line, a message of invitation and shared vocational blessing. Fr. Michael underscored this most powerfully for me, as he reflected on the selected scripture and stated clearly: we are all called; there is not a hierarchy of blessedness, but a universal invitation of Love to be powerfully who God made us to be and, as St. Francis de Sales says, “be that well.”

Father reflected on his shared journey as a religious peer of Sr. Katherine’s, weaving humor and personal touches into his homily. (“We double dated, didn’t we Sr. Katherine? Shhhhh.. don’t tell anyone.”) He spoke about the evolution of vocational callings within in the catholic church over the past 50 years, moving from a culture of rules and fear (where we have to “prove” our worthiness), to one of spirit and love, where we know we are divinely made, beyond any devout actions we take. Whew! His homily really moved this lay woman, reminding me of my own calling, and inspiring me to look around and smile at each and every person present.  “You are divinely made and called to Love! You are blessed!” I got to do this and celebrate the person who so beautifully has modeled vocation and religious life: Sr. Katherine Mullin!

The conclusion of the service was marked with a beautiful symbol of Spirit, fidelity, faithfulness, as fifty doves were released in honor of Sr. Katherine’s fifty years as a Visitation Sister. What a sight to behold!

Sister Katherine Mullin of Visitation Monastery Minneapolis Celebrates Her 50th Anniversary Jubilee

“As I reflect back on my ‘one wild life’ [from Mary Oliver, The Summer Day], it has been one of growth in faith, seeking insight into life, and being adaptable to what God is calling me to do.” -Sr. Katherine Mullin

Katherine
Mullin
of
Visitation
Monastery
Minneapolis
Celebrates
Her
50th
Anniversary
Jubilee
“As
I
reflect
back
on
my
‘one
wild
life’
[from
Mary
Oliver,
The
Summer
Day],
it
has
been
one
of
growth
in
faith,
seeking
insight
into
life,
and
being
adaptable
to
what
God
is
calling
me
to
do.
Minneapolis,
MN—11
August
2011—Sister
Katherine
Mullin,
VHM,
is
celebrating
her
Jubilee
50th
Anniversary
of
becoming
a
Visitation
Sister.
She
joined
the
Visitation
Sisters
when
she
was
19
years
old,
in
1961.
Sister
Katherine
Mullin
joined
the
Monastery
at
the
Visitation
School,
first
in
St.
Paul
and
more
recently
in
Mendota
Heights,
before
moving
to
the
north
Minneapolis
monastery
in
2001.
Working
with
students
and
their
families
in
the
earlier
years
of
her
vocation
strengthened
in
her
the
virtue
of
hope,
as
she
was
able
to
experience
life
through
the
eyes
of
a
child
and
feel
the
energy
that
children
bring
to
the
school
setting.
And
now,
after
ten
years
of
living
in
an
urban
monastic
community
on
the
north
side
of
Minneapolis,
Sister
Katherine
says
she
has
deepened
her
ability
to
love
and
feel
gratitude.
Says
Sister
Katherine,
“When
I
ask
our
neighbors,
“How
are
you?,”
they
tell
me,
“Blessed
and
highly
favored!”
This
response
often
comes
despite
great
adversity
in
their
lives.
Such
is
love.”
“I
feel
blessed
to
be
a
member
of
the
Visitation
community…women
of
joy,
women
dedicated
to
prayer
and
community.
I
consider
this
celebration
of
my
50th
anniversary
of
vows
to
be
a
celebration
of
God’s
fidelity,
not
only
to
me,
but
to
all
people
who
try
to
live
a
life
of
faithful
loving.”
Media
Opportunity:
Sister
Katherine’s
Jubilee
Celebration
will
be
held
on
Saturday,
August
27
at
North
Commons
Park,
1801
James
Ave.
N
Minneapolis,
MN
55411.
Mass
will
be
held
at
11:00
a.m.,
followed
by
a
picnic
lunch.
Photo
opportunities
will
be
available
throughout.
In
addition,
Sister
Katherine
is
available
in
advance
of
this
Jubilee
Celebration
for
photographs
and/or
interviews.
The
Sisters
of
the
Visitation
of
Minneapolis
are
centered
in
a
dynamic,
extended
community
in
North
Minneapolis
where
they
strive
to
be
a
faith-­‐filled
and
whole-­‐hearted
proclamation
that
“Jesus
Lives!”
They
are
committed
to
expressing
their
Salesian
spirituality
by
offering
neighbors
peaceful
presence,
radical
hospitality,
and
participation
in
regular,
frequent
prayer.
The
Sisters
live
discerning
lives
in
a
community
of
mutual
leadership
responding
to
and
expressing
God’s
love
incarnated
in
a
kind
of
urban
monasticism“As I reflect back on my ‘one wild life’ [from Mary Oliver, The Summer Day], it has been one of growth in faith, seeking insight into life, and being adaptable to what God is calling me to do. “

Sister Katherine Mullin, VHM, is celebrating her Jubilee 50th Anniversary of becoming a Visitation Sister. She joined the Visitation Sisters when she was 19 years old, in 1961. Sister Katherine Mullin joined the Monastery at the Visitation School, first in St. Paul and more recently in Mendota Heights, before moving to the north Minneapolis monastery in 2001.

Celebrating Sr. Katherine Mullin, VHM!

Celebrating Sr. Katherine Mullin, VHM!

Working with students and their families in the earlier years of her vocation strengthened in her the virtue of hope, as she was able to experience life through the eyes of a child and feel the energy that children bring to the school setting. And now, after ten years of living in an urban monastic community on the north side of Minneapolis, Sister Katherine says she has deepened her ability to love and feel gratitude. Says Sister Katherine, “When I ask our neighbors, “How are you?,” they tell me, “Blessed and highly favored!” This response often comes despite great adversity in their lives. Such is love.”

“I feel blessed to be a member of the Visitation community…women of joy, women dedicated to prayer and community. I consider this celebration of my 50th anniversary of vows to be a celebration of God’s fidelity, not only to me, but to all people who try to live a life of faithful loving.”

WE INVITE YOU TO SHARE A MEMORY OF SR. KATHERINE MULLIN IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS BLOG–YOUR WORDS ARE A GREAT GIFT TO HER AS SHE CELEBRATES! Live + Jesus!

The Sisters of the Visitation of Minneapolis are centered in a dynamic, extended community in North Minneapolis where they strive to be a faith-­‐filled and whole-­‐hearted proclamation that “Jesus Lives!” They are committed to expressing their Salesian spirituality by offering neighbors peaceful presence, radical hospitality, and participation in regular, frequent prayer. The Sisters live discerning lives in a community of mutual leadership responding to and expressing God’s love incarnated in a unique kind of urban monasticism.

“Gentle Among You:” St. Paul, St. Francis and Sr. Katherine

Mother and Child from The London Studio

"Mother and Child" from The London Studio

by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

[W]e were gentle among you,
as a nursing mother cares for her children. —
1 Thes 2: 7

What does it mean to be truly gentle in this day and age? In today’s first reading, Paul offers us this glimpse of gentleness among the Thessalonians; he likens his presence to that of a mother caring for a child, and speaks of his  desire to share his very being with people of the community. I hear inklings of St. Francis de Sales in this text, and our co-founders’ teachings of gentleness — a hallmark of Salesian Spirituality.  I’m taken to a note from Sr. Katherine on a recent experience of hers answering the door. It’s early morning at the monastery, and SK2, (as we call her), greets a familiar northside woman at the door. This is a woman who trusts sister, and who sister receives with a full heart knowing she is a “woman of the street.” SK2 welcomes her in, recognizing her tired demeanor.

Sr. Katherine writes:

She’d been up all night and wanted bus tokens. She asked, “Have something for me to ‘crunch’ on? I am awfully hungry.”

Sr. Katherine and she share breakfast. Across cereal and coffee, this woman and nun are present to one another for a brief moment. Is it a gentleness? Grace? A kind of mercy each experience? A mother and child kind of encounter?

As I move through this day and night, I think about how I might try to be gentleness. Be as Paul emulating Christ among us. Be as Francis de Sales inspired us to live. Be as Sr. Katherine to a neighbor at the door.  Will you join me?

“Live +Jesus!”

Get Ready, Get Set–Back to School AND A Party!

by Sr. Mary Frances Reis, VHM

Back2SchoolParty2After a torrential midnight rainfall, ominous clouds hovered over our city the morning of  Saturday, August 13…the very DAY of our Back to School Party! Our “spiritual meteorologist”, Linda, got busy and by 1:00 pm: not a cloud in the sky!!!

At 2:00 pm, Vicki Bailey and a crew of about 20 teens and adults arrived at Fremont to team up with about the same number of neighborhood teens and adults to set up for the party….Games, treats, school supplies, and more!!! (A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF BRIDGING AND BRINGING FOLKS TOGETHER!)

At 3:00 pm 50 to 60 eager children and their parents signed in to get names tags, a brand new back pack, and a check off list to play the 10 or so games that had been set up.  As children played each game (run by our teens from suburb and city,) they filled their school bags with everything needed for the coming school year.

Back2SchoolParty18It was a peaceful, fun filled family afternoon which concluded with treats, door prizes and a PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING, not only for Vicki’s generosity, but also for beautiful weather and for the upcoming school year.  We even tucked in a prayer for teachers and bus drivers and cooks!

Two wonderful offshoots of this party:  Parents have one less worry in getting their children ready for school…AND, the Sisters’ neighbor and friend, Leo, prepared and served dinner for our tired but happy community…..As the neighbors say, WE ARE BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED!!!

Click here to see the entire photo album.

Prayer and Service: Salesian Perspectives from Vis Religion Teacher

Heart to Heart Ministry: Visitation Co-founders Sts Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal

Heart to Heart Ministry: Visitation Co-founders Sts Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal

by Tricia Menzhuber, Convent of the Visitation School Teacher, guest blogger*

Once again the annual Salesian Conference sponsored by DeSales Resource and Ministry was a wonderful opportunity to connect with people in faith about important topics that inspire all who seek to follow the ways of St. Francis de Sales.  As a teacher at Visitation School in Mendota Heights, I not only grow in my personal faith life through the presentations and conversations the annual Conference provides, but I also gain valuable insights about our Salesian heritage that I share with my students.

St. Francis explains prayer as a response to God’s love…the prayer begins with God sharing God’s loving heart with us and ends with our great “I love you too.”

I admit that as a teacher, I am always a learner as well.  I have pages of notes from the lectures of Fr. Eunan McDonnell, SDB, this year’s featured presenter, all of which will inform my teaching this year.  But, there are a few of Fr. Eunan’s teachings that will definitely be a part of my senior religion class curriculum this fall.

Visitation School: What does Salesian Leadership look like?

Visitation School: Teaching Salesian Leadership to all seniors

This year, all seniors at Visitation will be taking a newly created elective called “Salesian Leadership.”  The idea of the course is to combine the practice of prayer with the students’ experiences of liturgical, retreat, and service leadership.  Early on in my career teaching high school religion, I realized that service cannot be activism (as Fr. Eunan warned), but it should stem from an intimate relationship with Jesus.  St. Francis de Sales’ teachings on prayer will aid in making this course a transformative experience for students and teachers alike!

Prayer is an intimate relationship, a friendship; it takes us out of ourselves to be a gift for God and for others.

St. Francis explains prayer as a response to God’s love…the prayer begins with God sharing God’s loving heart with us and ends with our great “I love you too.”  I especially love St. Francis’ image of God as the perfume that arouses us to prayer and the sun that warms and enlightens us to prayer.

Fr. Eunan McDonnell, SDB

Fr. Eunan McDonnell, SDB

Prayer is an intimate relationship, a friendship; it takes us out of ourselves to be a gift for God and for others.  I was struck by Fr. Eunan’s many references to this intimate prayer relationship between God and person like that of marriage.  St. Francis teaches that God kisses humanity through Mary, that God weds God’s self to humanity in the Incarnation of our Lord.  What a passionate and loving image of God!  How can we NOT respond to this intimate love of God in prayer?  This image of marriage, of course, is Biblical.  We have included the study reading and study of the Song of Songs in our senior courses, but this direct connection to the prayer relationship with the Incarnate God will lead to really great discussions and hopefully even better experiences of prayer and leadership in our courses this year.

Teacher as Student: Tricia Menzhuber in small group discussion

Teacher as Student: Tricia Menzhuber in small group discussion

The marriage image continues as Fr. Eunan asks the question, “how do we know we have prayed well?”  How do we know we have “kissed God on the mouth?”  He answers, “Check your heart!  How are you in your relationships with others?  Especially with the person you love the least?”  During the conference, the sighs, the nods, the comments, the silence, was very telling as Fr. Eunan reached his point.  Like the marriage vows, do we kiss God—obey him (obedience) and do his will (fidelity) so that our love brings us out of our self?  How do we love God who we can’t see if we don’t love the neighbor that we can see?  All of us in the room that wonderful afternoon knew this, had heard it before.  But for me, the context St. Francis puts this in…the prayer relationship…must have a struck a special chord.  I am hoping that by helping students understand the God who is in a loving prayer relationship with them, a marital relationship in the most theological sense, they will begin to accept God’s grace to help them in the events of their everyday life, their relationships, and their leadership experiences.

“how do we know we have prayed well?”  [Fr. Eunan] answers, “Check your heart!  How are you in your relationships with others?  Especially with the person you love the least?”

DeSales Resources and Ministry

This connection between the solitary prayer relationship we have with God (accepting the “affective” love of God) and the relationships we have with others (accepting the “effective” love of God) will be the end goal of our teachings about prayer.  As St. Francis illustrated, we are like magnets.  Just as the metal attracted to the magnet becomes magnetized, so we draw to God in prayer and begin to take on the attributes of God…just in time to reach out to our neighbor with the love of God.  I cannot think of a better lesson, “not for school, but for life,” that we can teach our students at Visitation.  God bless De Sales Resources and Ministry in their very important work on behalf of the Salesian community!

*************************************************************************************************************

*On behalf of the Visitation Sisters and blog team, thank you to Tricia Menzhuber for her time here and reflection on the 2011 Salesian Conference. I had the pleasure of sitting in a small group discussion at the conference with this religion teacher/ mom/wife, and was deeply moved by her perspectives on the material and her applications to life and the classroom. Your students are lucky to have you, Mrs. Menzhuber!
Peace, Gratitude, “Live +Jesus!”
Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

Celebrating Sr. Katherine Mullin: 50 Years as Visitation Sister!

Celebrating Sr. Katherine Mullin, VHM!

Celebrating 50 years as a Visitation Sister: Katherine Mullin, VHM

by Brigid Ryan-Ling, Vis Alumna

“As I reflect back on my ‘one wild life’ [from Mary Oliver, The Summer Day],
it has been one of growth in faith, seeking insight into life,
and being adaptable to what God is calling me to do.”

Minneapolis, MN — Sister Katherine Mullin, VHM, is celebrating her Jubilee 50th Anniversary of becoming a Visitation Sister.  She joined the Visitation Sisters when she was 19 years old, in 1961.  Sister Katherine Mullin joined the Monastery at the Visitation School, first in St. Paul and more recently in Mendota Heights, before moving to the north Minneapolis monastery in 2001.

Working with students and their families in the earlier years of her vocation strengthened in her the virtue of hope, as she was able to experience life through the eyes of a child and feel the energy that children bring to the school setting.

And now, after ten years of living in an urban monastic community on the north side of Minneapolis, Sister Katherine says she has deepened her ability to love and feel gratitude.  Says Sister Katherine, “When I ask our neighbors, “How are you?,” they tell me, “Blessed and highly favored!” This response often comes despite great adversity in their lives.  Such is love.”

“I feel blessed to be a member of the Visitation community…women of joy, women dedicated to prayer and community.  I consider this celebration of my 50th anniversary of vows to be a celebration of God’s fidelity, not only to me, but to all people who try to live a life of faithful loving.”

Do you have a story to share about Sr. Katherine?

Do you have a story to share about Sr. Katherine?

Invitation:
Do you have a favorite story, memory, image of Sr. Katherine to share? Please post here –  in the comments section below,  or email to Visitation Companion, Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde at queenmab31@yahoo.com and these will be compiled and given to Sr. Katherine on her jubilee.


***


Sister Katherine’s Jubilee Celebration
Saturday, August 27 at North Commons Park,

1801 James Ave. N
Minneapolis, MN 55411.
Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., followed by a picnic lunch.

The Sisters of the Visitation of Minneapolis are centered in a dynamic, extended community in North Minneapolis where they strive to be a faith-filled and whole-hearted proclamation that “Jesus Lives!” They are committed to expressing their Salesian spirituality by offering neighbors peaceful presence, radical hospitality, and participation in regular, frequent prayer.  The Sisters live discerning lives in a community of mutual leadership responding to and expressing God’s love incarnated in a unique kind of urban monasticism.

Salesian Conference Reflection

Written by Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan, Visitation Alumna

Our presenter, Eunan McDonnell, SDB. was a Salesian of Don Bosco from Ireland, and author of the book “God Desires You”, Francis de Sales on Living the Gospel. The day at Visitation was a beautiful summer day with beautiful people who came together because of their different relationships with Visitation. Fr. Eunan spoke about the Salesian Virtue of Relationships, and the importance of friendship that St. Jane and St. Francis so eloquently and gracefully model for us. He then drew upon how God calls us to be in relationship with him through two poignant ways the first is through God’s invitation of creation.

Creation-our first invitation from God

Creation-our first invitation from God

The second way God calls us into relationship with him is through incarnation.

Gods second invitation into relationship with us--incarnation

God's second invitation into relationship with us--incarnation

It’s the latter that I have been in deep reflection upon how God created us to be in our human form. Spirits inhabiting a body, a form, the physical world in order to be alive and delight in his creation. One of the first things we do when we are birthed is breathe. We need our breath to live. The longer I live the more aware I am on the necessity to have my breath inhabit my body fully. Not just shallow, barely breathing breath but full belly, pelvic floor breathing. When I take the time to breathe deeply, fully, into my sacrum, I am more calm, joyous, aware, and grounded in my body, in my holy incarnation than I am when my spirit is running ahead of my body forcing shallow breaths. Or my body is fleeing against my spirit’s wishes by physically pushing myself when I find myself spent.

Big, full, bold, beautiful breath

Big, full, bold, beautiful breath

Fr. Eunan went on to say that one way we find we need God is when we catch ourselves restless. That the only way to find rest is when we find God at the center of our lives by being in relationship with God. There we are again relationship. Relationship with God, with God’s creation and with our own incarnation just might be a holy trinity! Can our breath help us get there? Can our breath be prayer? I think it just might.

What did you leave the Salesian Conference of 2011 praying over? Please share as we continue to live out our Salesian spirituality in relationship with one another.

Back to School Parties!

Back to school party

Are you ready for school to start?

by Sr. Mary Frances Reis, VHM

Two hundred young people received school supplies at Neighborhood Night of Peace. On Saturday, August 13, 48 more children and teens from our northside community will receive school supplies to get them underway, just before the fall semester commences.

We are so thankful to all our friends who were able to make this possible with their donations of time, financial and educational resources. Special thanks go to Vicki and Betsey Bailey,  mom and Vis Alumna, as they co-host this party for youth on Saturday.  Who isn’t in need of some end-of-summer fun and school supplies?! A good time will be had with this crew of children we have the pleasure of knowing.

We look forward to next year’s northside network of children being equally engaged and provided for through our friends’ generosity! (Let us know if you are called  to volunteer for one of these future school events.)

A few of the 200 northside youth who received school supplies at NNOP 2011

A few of the 200 northside youth who received school supplies at NNOP 2011

August 13
3:00 PM – Back to School Party

1527 Fremont Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN

Sat, Aug 13, 2011, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Who: Children from the north Minneapolis neighborhood. If anyone is interested in volunteering for the party, please contact Sister Mary Frances at maryfranreis@aol.com

Snapshots from the Sisters: Title This!

Photo and text by Brian Mogren, Visitation Companion; posted by Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion

Care to provide a creative caption or title? Comment below!

Care to provide a creative caption or title? Comment below!

On Saturday, August 6th, mothers from Kathy Beck’s prison support ministry group were hosted at St. Jane House by Mary Johnson and the Two Mother’s healing group. After over 8 years of having the vision for mothers on both sides of the tragedy of homicide to come and heal together, it happened here at St. Jane House.

After a delicious brunch, the mother’s made friendship bracelets and exchanged them with one another. Mary invited St. Jane House director, Two Mother’s board member and Visitation Companion, Brian Mogren to be there in support. All the mothers welcomed him to take photos to remember this special occasion. The above image comes from this latest photo album.

Click here to see all recent St. Jane House happening photos.

Salesian Conference

Posted by Elizabeth Eilers Sullivan, Visitation Alumna

On the evening before the Salesian Conference I find myself excited at the prospects of tomorrow’s day of prayerful reflection. To be with others listening to the wise words of St Jane and St. Francis at my alma mater has me looking forward to the experience! What you are looking forward to learning? Why? I invite you to post your responses. Also, if you are tuning in after the conference, what did you take away from the experience and lessons?

Salesian Conference

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The 29th Annual National Salesian Conference will be held on Saturday, August 6 at Visitation School. This LIVE telecast will feature Father Eunan McDonnell, SDB. Fr. Eunan McDonnell is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco, having completed his Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) from the Salesian University, Rome, in 1994. Since then he has been involved in lecturing in theology at Maynooth Pontifical University (Ireland)and has been head of department of spirituality at All Hallows College, Dublin, where he lectured in theology and spirituality.

Father McDonnell has published a book on the spirituality of St Francis de Sales: God Desires You (2001).

To find more information go to DeSales Resources and Ministries, Inc.