A Simple Life: Lent at the Monastery

by Anna Dourgarian


At the Visitation monasteries, the shelves and tables have been stripped of their usual decoration. Spare change is collected in Basilica St. Vincent de Paul Ministry containers. No Christ candle is lit on Sundays, no Alleluia or Gloria is sung at Mass, and no gathering music is played before Office. The Sisters have embraced simplicity for their Lenten journey.

In addition to the traditional observances of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, this Lent the Sisters are continuing to explore their 2018 theme of Home. In Sister Suzanne’s words, “Lent is Jesus’ own journey back home to God,” and the Sisters are inspired by Him to create home for others. For instance, they have been meeting with social justice communities around North Minneapolis to learn about affordable housing and homelessness. Also, they have challenged themselves to make a better home for each other at the monasteries: by letting someone know that she or he is appreciated, by doing one thing well and with full attention, by saying “yes” to the day’s gifts. (These suggestions are offered by Vinita Hampton Wright on dotMagis, the blog of IgnatianSpirituality.com.) Every step of their journey is a contribution to community.

For each week of Lent, the Sisters will introduce a new prayer focus based on their theme of “Home”:

  1. The monastery Homes (Fremont House and Girard House)
  2. The door ministry and visitors to their Homes
  3. St. Jane House
  4. Ascension Church community
  5. Other communities working on housing issues

The Sisters ask for your prayers throughout Lent. Please join them in praying for their weekly theme, and please pray for their strength as they support homes in North Minneapolis.

For the first week of Lent, the Sisters prayerfully focus on their own homes: Fremont House and Girard House.

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