Advent 2015: From Darkness to Light

The following comes from our community’s planning for this Advent 2015 season. We share to inspire your own planning and journey through this sacred time of year.

From Pax Christi USA

Theme: Through Darkness to Light

We are People of Hope because we believe in both the Promise of Darkness with its capacity for germination, its deep fecundity; AND we believe in the Promise of Light with its capacity for wisdom, guidance, warmth and its ever increasing understanding.

Can we experience such a life giving cycle when Darkness seems to engulf our world? How are we planting seeds of Hope right now?

The people of Hebrew Scriptures and ourselves and all people, hope for the same things: lasting peace, sufficient food, tranquil lives and an end to suffering. Early peoples were afraid that when the darkness came that was the end. They came to appreciate the cycle of life…the days, the seasons… from experience. Can we experience such a life giving cycle when Darkness seems to engulf our world? How are we planting seeds of Hope right now?

Another question we are asking: How can we take Advent to our neighbors?

Scripture

This liturgical year we use Cycle C in the lectionary. All Sunday gospel readings this year are from Luke. They are in a reverse-chronological order with the Second Coming of Jesus on the first Sunday and the Visitation on the fourth Sunday. The in between weeks are devoted to John the Baptist proclaiming the coming of the kingdom and the way to follow Jesus. John the Baptist points to Jesus, Light of the World, drawing us through the darkness (the shortest days of the year) to the ever-emerging light, all through the readings. We hear this theme repeated through the words of the prophets this year—Jeremiah, Baruch, Zephaniah and Micah. (This year we do not hear from Isaiah on Sundays as in other liturgical years.) The second reading on the Sundays from Paul’s letters encourage disciples to live in the way of following the Light of the World (Jesus.)

Resources

“The Promise of Light: Reflections for Advent and Christmas 2015.”  (Personal devotional resource of Pax Christi USA)  Individuals can reflect on the readings, the stories, and recall their own similar stories and encounters as well as receive an invitation to ask, “How might I be the “promise of light” in God’s world today?”

The Francis Effect – Reflection

Aimee Fritsch, Visitation Resident Lay Community

Aimee Fritsch, Visitation Resident Lay Community

by Guest Blogger Aimee Fritsch*

Oh my goodness, why does the Pope make me cry?

That crossed my mind more than once as my eyes watered up, sitting in the St. Jane House, watching the documentary “The Francis Effect”. The eyes of the world are on him, and I think what keeps us entranced, what fills my heart and my tear ducts, is the love with which he moves through the world.

Pope Francis has the heart of Christ, bringing love and tenderness to people around the world, especially those who are typically unloved. He is living the story of the Gospel, light breaking through into darkness, in a fresh, new 21st century way.

It is so beautiful, and so needed, so to see this loving light, well, it brings me to tears.

 

*Meet Aimee Fritsch

My name is Aimee Fritsch, I’m a graduate student at U of M in the Masters of Urban & Regional Planning Program, and a founding member of the Visitation Lay Residential Community. I first met the sisters when they showed up on my doorstep with peaches & brownie mix when I was a Jesuit Volunteer.

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Join the Visitation Sisters and Lay community for this Fall’s Salesian Monday series focusing on Catholic Social Teaching and the Two Francises: Pope Francis and St. Francis de Sales!

Day of Prayer: Sunday, September 13, 1-4:30pm

JOIN US!

Br. Mickey McGrath OSFS

Br. Mickey McGrath OSFS

This Sunday, September 13, 2015, from 1-4:30pm, our good friend and Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, Brother Mickey McGrath will be leading a Day of Prayer as part of the celebration of 2015 Year of Consecrated Life.

You know Brother Mickey McGrath as the artist who painted the Windsock Visitation which hangs at our monastery and anchors our webpages. He is as an award-winning artist and author who speaks on the connections between art and faith.

This Sunday’s Day of Prayer event is sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and local religious. Please join us! All are welcome!

WHAT: Day of Prayer with Members of Consecrated Life

WHEN: 1 to 4:30 p.m; Sunday, September 13, 2015.

WHERE: St. Mary’s University Center, 2540 Park Ave., Minneapolis, MN

RSVP: Registration is not required, only requested for help with planning. RSVP online. This event is FREE.

This event will include a panel response, small group sharing and prayer.

More information: Find more resources on the 2015 Year of Consecrated Life

Women of Prayer: An Invitation this Feast Day of St. Jane de Chantal!

St. Jane de Chantal

St. Jane de Chantal

Wife. Mother. Daughter. Widow. Sister. Friend. Leader. Contemplative Woman of Prayer.

Co-foundress of the Visitation Sisters, St. Jane Frances de Chantal embodied and lived many callings in her life. At the heart of her vocation to love and serve God was this ongoing commitment to prayer. Perhaps you find resonance with her and have a similar desire to have a life anchored by prayer? A desire to lead from within?

On this Feast day of St. Jane, we invite you to consider joining us for our fall discernment series, “Women of Prayer: Be who you are and be that well” — a five session course starting Monday, October 5,*  facilitated by S. Katherine Mullin, Visitation Companion Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde, and Pastor Karen Wight Hoogheem.

Join other women seekers to explore the way prayer grounds our discernment and calls us forward in leadership — in our faith communities and beyond!

Whether you are Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist or Baptist; single or married; a Pentecostal preacher or hospital chaplain; birth-worker, grief counselor or “From Death to Life” leader; a stay-at-home mother or corporate executive; a woman from the suburbs or dwelling in the inner-city; one immersed in justice ministry or simply desiring more from your faith journey– you are welcome in this series!  Come and explore how contemplative rhythms in community inspire your listening and leadership in life.

 

Register online. Or for more information, contact:

Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde

Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde

Karen Wight Hoogheem

Karen Wight Hoogheem

Sr. Katherine Mullin, VHM

Sr. Katherine Mullin, VHM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa Borgmann-Kiemde: melissa.kiemde@gmail.com

Karen Wight Hoogheem: kwhoog@gmail.com

S. Katherine Mullin: katherinefmullin@gmail.com

 

When: 7-9pm; Mondays, October 5, 19; November 2, 16, 30.

Where: St. Jane House, 1403 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Suggested donation: $50, payable at registration time.  We are happy to accept a sliding scale fee.

Nine Mendota Visitation High Seniors Encounter North Minneapolis Neighbors!

by S. Mary Frances Reis, VHM

Vis Seniors with some of our northside friends from Emerge and From Death to Life

Vis Seniors with some of our northside friends from Emerge and From Death to Life

For the past 20+ years the Sisters have sponsored an INNER CITY IMMERSION EXPERIENCE in North Minneapolis as one of the options for Senior Project. It has been a wonderful opportunity for service in this community and to experience another part of town!

The past three years we tried something new! We organized a mission trip right here North Minneapolis! Instead of going to Guatemala or Africa a group of 8 seniors discovered missionary territory right here in the city!

“Our prayer is that this will be an experience they can carry throughout their lives.” – S. Mary Frances

This year we have 9 Visitation women who will stay at our spirituality/retreat/meeting center in the neighborhood called the St. Jane House; a young adult Vis Alum will be staying with them and also and act as chaperone.

From May 26-June 4, 2015:

  • They will have a more in depth experience of our neighborhood and the people who are our neighbors;
  • They will have many opportunities to serve the community, to interact with young children, other teens and senior citizens;
  • They will have opportunities to spread the Salesian spirit of gentle presence.
  • They will have an opportunity to build community with one another and with the Sisters.
  • It will be lots of FUN & a great contribution to North Minneapolis!

Vis Seniors 2013 Service ImmersionGenerally, each day will begin with breakfast, prayer, and off to Northside Child Development Center for the morning where they will assist the teachers of 0-5 year olds. Over the lunch hour there will be speakers from the community to help them gain insight into the root causes of poverty, and also learn about many positive initiatives in place in our community. Afternoons include gardening, monastery jobs, help with computer skills at the local technology center, and maybe even Bingo at the Adult Day Care Center!

The students will prepare and serve their meals, have time to reflect on the day, and even go out on a police ride along! Visitation’s school motto is “NOT FOR SCHOOL BUT FOR LIFE.” Our prayer is that this will be an experience they can carry throughout their lives.

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Click to hear more from past Vis Seniors on their Service Immersion Experiences.

Click to hear more from past Vis Seniors on their Service Immersion Experiences.

Visit our Video page to hear more from past Vis seniors on their Apostolic Service Immersion experiences.

Open House at Visitation Monastery, Sunday, February 8; 1pm-4pm

The Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis

“Wake up the world! Be witnesses of a different way of acting, of living!”
– Pope Francis

Perhaps we’ve never met in person?
Or you came to like us through a mutual friend or social media? Maybe you’ve never visited a religious sister in a convent?

We welcome you to stop by tomorrow, Sunday, 2/8/15 between 1pm-4pm. See our monastery in Minneapolis. Grab a cookie, sip on a some tea, and enjoy a walk through the sacred dwelling space we call “home.” We welcome new and old friends!

As part of the 2015 “Wake Up the World –Year of Consecrated Life,” religious communities the world over are hosting open houses.

What: Open House
When: Sunday, February 8; 1-4pm
Where: 1527 Fremont Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411.
(Click for a map of this location)

Who: Visitors of all ages are welcome! Families are most welcome! 

All are welcome! No RSVP needed.

 

Following the Spirit Discernment Series is Back! Register Today….

Thinking about your career? Wondering how God is calling you in this new year? Contemplating your greatest gifts and passions? Longing to make a move?  Unpacking a season of change, struggle, or suffering? Or simply desiring quiet in a community to be still with the concept of vocation? Join us for this series.

Following the Spirit:

A small group at St. Jane House.

A small group at St. Jane House.

Following the Spirit is a five-part series led by Visitation Sister Katherine Mullin of north Minneapolis; Visitation Companion Melissa Borgmann-KiemdeFr. Ernie Martello of the Crosier Brothers and Fathers of Onamia, MN; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Pastor, Rev. Karen Wight Hoogheem of Faith Lutheran in Coon Rapids; and Sister Jill Underdahl and Jennifer Tacheny, from the Sisters of St. Joseph/ Celeste’s Dream community in St. Paul.*

Anchored in the rich tradition of discernment resources, each session will offer a different form of prayer, feature a vocation story, and include time in small groups to unpack participants’ discernment journeys, focusing on vocation. Attendance at all five discernment evenings is strongly encouraged.

The Visitation Community is happy to partner with the Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research using their adapted curriculum material for the series.

For more information and to register today, click here.

 

*Collaborating Communities:

sisters_of_st_joseph_of_carondelet_logo crosier FaithLogo4Windsock Logo Resized

Giving Thanks for 25 Years

"We the church of the People of God -- need to be standing in the near north." --Archbishop Roach, October 2, 1989

“We the church of the People of God — need to be standing in the near north.” –Archbishop Roach, October 2, 1989

So we had a party. Or rather, a WEEK of parties: merry-making, reflecting, celebrating, giving thanks, and marking our call to found a monastic community in the heart of north Minneapolis twenty-five years ago. From Monday to Sunday, our Salesian friends, family, neighbors, collaborators, and benefactors descended on our little corner of the northside, and together, we gave thanks for one another, and the Spirit at work in all of our lives calling us to “LIVE + JESUS!”

Week Overview:

  • Monday 9/29: Brenda Lisenby arrived for Monastic Immersion Experience. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Fr. Mike Newman, and six novices arrived to spend the week, staying at St. Jane House. 
  • Tuesday 9/30: Fr. Mike and the guys spent the day with us, hearing our history and doing service around the monastery.
  • Wednesday 10/1:  Sr. Mary Mao returned from New York.  The novices spent the entire day at Visitation School and Convent in Mendota.
  • Thursday, 10/2:  Foundation Day — Liturgy of Hours, Mass, Festive luncheon with representatives from each of our monasteries (Georgetown, Brooklyn, St. Louis) and Mendota Heights Visitation school, our Companions, Intern and the Oblates.
  • Friday, 10/3:   The novices and Fr. Mike joined us for Morning Prayer, meals, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Mass.
  • Saturday, 10/4 the BIG DAY: Celebration at Capri Theater with emcee Fr. Michael O’Connell, a slideshow by former Vis Neighbor, Jenny Larson,  and keynote by Fr. Mike Newman; dancers from Lundstrum Center of Performing Arts; followed by an intimate pizza party at Girard and Brother Mickey presenting us with a new painting. The Novices and Mike joined us for Morning Prayer/Communion Service and were on deck the entire day to help in countless ways. 
  • Sunday, 10/5: Church of the Ascension went all out to celebrate us!  Mass, gifts, reception.The Novices prepared our evening meal and farewell party/prayer; and the Sisters shared vocation stories with the novices in their own discernment. 

For those unable to be physically present with us, we invite you to visit any of the above links to photos of our guests, and video of our speakers, story-sharing, and reflecting. We are grateful for the work of so many hands, and the faith that has brought us to this moment. We don’t stand alone.

Cheers!

If the above links are too much to navigate, you can view documentation at:

LIVE + JESUS!