On Monday, April 8, 2013, the Sisters and their lay counterparts convened their monthly Salesian gathering at the Girard House. This Monday's Salesian theme focused on Prayer. As one of the Seven Essentials of Monastic Life in North Minneapolis, Sr. Mary Frances Reis and longtime friend Dave Nimmer co-presented on this topic. They drew from Anne Lamott's book, "Help! Thanks! Wow!" telling stories of each of these kinds of "prayer" and then inviting us in our small groups to likewise reflect and share stories. We concluded with improvised, creative prayers from each group. Can you see the joy in our community? --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Vis Companion; Photos by Brian Mogren, Vis Companion
We are blessed to have S. Mary Mao taking and sharing so many photos of our northside community. These images come from a lively celebration of St. Patrick's Day at the Visitation Monastery -- with as much Nigerian Blue as there was Irish Green in our midst! Live + Jesus!
Five wonderful Visitation students came from Mendota and spent the evening with us; we gave out treats at both monasteries....and about 150 Trick or Treaters came from the neighborhood...Many of them donned the costumes provided by Vicki Bailey at the party we had earlier in the month. Aren't we so lucky be able to bridge like this between our communities? Blessings!--Sr. Mary Frances Reis, VHM
On Tuesday, October 2, 2012, the Sisters celebrated 23 years of life on the Northside with a Mass at the Girard House, celebrated by Fr. Jim Radde, SJ. After a delicious meal, several of us on the St. Jane House committee met to dream about the future of the Sisters' urban retreat center and house of hospitality (which will be celebrating its 5-year anniversary on June 8, 2013). Thank you Sisters for being a faithful, loving, inspiring presence in all our lives. Here's to many more wonderful years! Love, your brother Brian (a.k.a. Mr. St. Jane House)
As you know, we Sisters have two houses in the neighborhood. I live at the Girard House, about a half block from Fremont. We don't know our neighbors very well on our block, so we decided to have a National Night Out ice cream social. It was a great way to get to meet folks we have not known.....Enjoy the pictures -- they tell the story better than I could! Sr. Mary Frances
For 17 years, Vicki Bailey, her daughter Betsy, and their family have been sponsoring and organizing parties for northside children. Ever since Betsy was a 4th grader out at Visitation School in Mendota Heights, there have been quarterly events for the youth and their families around the Visitation Sisters' north Minneapolis neighborhood. These photos show the latest event bringing the 2012 Summer Olympic spirit from London to the northside. Can you identify the family flags created? See the games being played and prizes awarded? Where is your gold medal for such Summer fun? For more information on these events, or to volunteer or participate in one, please contact Sr. Mary Frances Reis at email@example.com. Live + Jesus! Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Vis Companion
On Saturday, January 28th, our friend Vicki Bailey hosted the 17th annual Valentine Party! This year had a new twist! Since families have requested more opportunities to enjoy quality time together, we decided to make this a FAMILY FRIENDLY party. Ten of our wonderful families came together and made Valentine's cards, played games, had treats and went home with a basket overflowing with household items as well as goodies for the children. Two neighborhood 'helper families' welcomed the chance to 'give back' by running games, etc. It was a great opportunity to bridge with friends from city and suburb.....Sr. Mary Frances' family even got into the act! Coming up: FAMILY SUMMER OLYMPICS!!!.... --Sr. Mary Frances Reis, VHM
Tuesday, November 16, 2011 marked the third year anniversary of the Centering Prayer group that convenes weekly at St. Jane House. Under the auspices of Visitation Companion, Brian Mogren, the group has grown to include almost 40 members of various religious denominations who are committed to this form of quiet meditation and prayer. On this occasion Brian acknowledged three different groups of religious sisters present, and took the opportunity to unveil a quilt purchased for St. Jane House. See the blog for more details! --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
On Monday, November 14, 2011, the Visitation Sisters hosted their monthly Salesian Spirituality evening at the Girard House Monastery featuring a presentation following a light meal and fellowship. The theme for this years' Salesian Mondays focuses on aspects of Leadership. What follows are images of November's gathering with co-presenters Will Wallace and Linda Goynes, who work and serve in the north Minneapolis community. What a night! Perhaps you will join us next month for such an experience? --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
On Saturday, October 29, 2011, The Visitation Sisters hosted one of the more popular neighborhood Halloween parties for children ages 5-12 from 3:00-4:30. This party, provided and run by Vicki Bailey, included games, prizes, treats, and a costume for EACH child! Joining the sisters were St. John's and St. Ben's students here for an "urban plunge" or immersion experience, along with Visitation School students from Mendota Heights, MN. These photos were taken by Visitation Companion, Brian Mogren. Enjoy!
On Saturday, October 15, 2011, from 9am to noon, the Visitation Sisters, in collaboration with students from Visitation School and Convent in Mendota Heights, MN, had a warm clothing giveaway for residents and friends in their north Minneapolis community. The Visitation Students came and delivered warm clothing items and set up a ‘store’ of sorts the day before. If you are interested in ever participating in such an event, please call Sr.Mary Frances at 612-529-8215.
On Sunday, September 4, 2011, the Visitation Sisters of north Minneapolis welcomed two new members into their community as lay women answering a call to live simply for one year immersed in their northside community and Salesian charism. What follows are a few photos documenting the commissioning of the inaugural class of the Visitation Internship Program. Join us in welcoming Kelly Schumacher and Beth Anne Cooper! --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
Who says the Sisters don't get out and play? Here are the latest photos from Sr. Mary Frances Reis documenting some of the fun that the sisters get to have with the families that they are in relationship with from their northside community. Included in this album are images of our long awaited Visitation Interns! (More on them later!) Summer Blessings! --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
On Saturday, August 13, 2011, the Visitation Sisters of north Minneapolis hosted a "Back to School" party for students starting or returning to school from their northside community. Under the leadership of Vis friend and mom, Vicki Bailey, there were 20 young people who came to volunteer and help coordinate the afternoon of games and goodies. Sr. Mary Frances was on hand to help document the occasion. See the blog for her latest reflections on the day and its many gifts! L+J! Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
As a lay retreat space and extension of the Visitation Sisters' hospitality, St. Jane House creates dynamic opportunities for Salesian Spirituality to flourish on the northside. This summer, Visitation Companion and St. Jane House director Brian Mogren captured some of these events taking place. What follows are images from longtime mentee, Trevon Money's graduation and college-sending off party; a Two Mother's Healing Group meeting; and the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board in a day-long retreat. --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
On Saturday, August 6, 2011, a group of Visitation sisters and Salesian friends convened at the Visitation School and Monastery in Mendota Heights for the 29th Annual National Salesian Conference. This LIVE telecast featured Father Eunan McDonnell, SDB, a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco, speaking from Wilmington, DE, and broadcast to ten different sites around the United States and Europe. His presentation was entitled, "God Desires You" on the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. What follows are snapshots of participants throughout the day -- tuning into Fr. McDonnell, in breakout discussion groups, at mass, during lunch and perusing the Salesian materials for sale. Thank you to all who made this event possible. Enjoy! Live+Jesus! --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
On Wednesday, August 3, 2011, the Visitation Sisters of north Minneapolis co-hosted an annual collaborative event entitled, "Neighborhood Night of Peace" at Church of the Ascension. What follows are images taken of the 500 person gathering, including the 40 plus volunteers and partners from Turning Point, Inc, Our Lady of the Lake in Spicer, MN; and the Basilica of St. Mary's. What a blessed evening! -Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
July 16-23 Srs. Suzanne, Mary Paula, and three neighborhood teens join Visitation students from around the country (Georgetown, St. Louis, Mendota Heights) for VISTORY: Visitation in Service to Others through Responsive Youth. Essentially, this is "a week of sisterhood, Salesian spirituality and community service." This event rotates cities each year and this year and is being held in the Twin Cities. This year's theme is IMMIGRATION. Stay tuned as photos are added to this album by participants and their mentors. --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
Every year the Visitation Sisters support a group of high school age students in their faith, service and leadership journeys as they attend the Youth in Theology and Ministry (YTM) camp at St. John's University. These pictures document four young people's service project presentations, along with images of those who have mentored them along the way. They convey a kind of Visitation story celebrating mutual relationship and the incarnation, don't you think? Enjoy! --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
The Visitation Sisters have the awesome privilege of being woven into the rich and diverse community that is north Minneapolis. On Saturday, June 11, at Church of the Ascension, they helped celebrate with longtime family friends, the Ochoa's, as their daughter Sylvia turned 15 years old. Here are photos documenting the day of her Quinceañera taken by Sr. Mary Frances. When you visit the monastery, you will see photos of older sister Marilyn's Quinceañera. (Who is now in college!) Happy Birthday to Sylvia! Love! Blessings!
In the wake of Sunday, May 22, 2011's tornado ripping through north Minneapolis, six young women from Visitation School in Mendota Heights, MN, arrive for their apostolic service project. This year, the senior girls are present for a new level of urban immersion and practicing Salesian Spirituality as they lend a hand to the Tornado response teams. Stay tuned as we continue to upload images from the Students' two weeks with us! --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
On Sunday, May 22, 2011, a tornado ripped through North Minneapolis. The Visitation Monastery and St. Jane Houses were fortunate to be left unscathed. However, many homes were destroyed and lives were uprooted by the magnitude of this storm. These photos capture just some of the devastation done to the terrain. What isn't seen here, are the markings on families spirits who dwell in this dear community. --Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
The Visitation Monastery and the Church of the Ascension in north Minneapolis co-sponsored a pilot program to help nine participants develop their leadership skills. The program began in June 2010 and concluded in the spring of 2011. Prayer, personal sharing and support, reflections on Salesian principles for leadership, and project management skill development were integrated in the program. These photos document the final evening of the cohort, their evaluation and graduation ceremony. Stay tuned for more! --Gil Gustafson, Facilitator, Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, Visitation Companion
Check out Sr. Mary Frances Reis' photos documenting the team planning and preparation time with Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS. Here, the retreat committee prepares for the Prayer-t-shirt activity, creating their own quilt designs as examples. In addition, the many donated quilts and flowers are arranged as door prizes/ decorations. What a treat!
The following images were taken at the annual Women's Retreat, sponsored by the Visitation Sisters in collaboration with Church of the Ascension and the women of north Minneapolis. This year's retreat featured our oblate brother, Mickey McGrath, OSFS, sharing stories of holy women who have inspired his artwork. We made prayer-t-shirts with meaningful symbols, and shared quality reflective, story-telling, prayer time.
The St. Jane House is a ministry of the Visitation Monastery of North Minneapolis. St. Jane House provides a welcoming space for groups and individuals to experience for themselves and seek expression in their own lives Salesian Spirituality at work. You can explore the possibilities this space offers at the following link: www.bewhoyouare.info/stjanehouse It’s a place of rest and delight in North Minneapolis, and part of our ministry.