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.

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

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.

Come and Volunteer, Come and Join us: Neighborhood Night of Peace, Wednesday, August 6!

Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars!

Hello all!
Neighborhood Night of Peace is this week!  This is the North Minneapolis Visitation Monastery’s effort —
partnering with Basilica, the Mosque, Ascension and neighbors — to get Northside families together for
a peace-filled evening of fun, food and DOOR PRIZES.

COME AND JOIN US!

We are still looking for volunteers to help out with kids games on Wednesday, August 6 for Neighborhood Night of Peace from 5 pm-7 pm.

Helpers would run games with a partner and distribute prizes. We are looking for several volunteers for this AWESOME event. Please send us a message, or contact our Youth Games Coordinator: Claire K. at: clairemariekranz@gmail.com

LIVE + JESUS!

“I am thankful for YOU!” — Gratitude inspired by St. Francis de Sales

From Guest Blogger Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, Student at St. Louis University

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna; St. Louis University Student

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna; St. Louis University Student

Marvel at God’s goodness. ~St. Francis de Sales

Thanksgiving week is finally here and from a school and work perspective, I could not be more ready.  But, as I sit here, admittedly listening to Christmas music, I realize I am not truly ready.  It almost seems trite.  Thanksgiving’s not about the food, it’s about God. Sometimes, that’s hard to completely soak up.  We are thankful for God and all He has done, like provide the food and football.  The truth is, there is so much more to God’s work than the food, but sometimes, it can be hard to recognize.

We can make lists of all the things we are thankful for, say prayers of thanksgiving for all we have received, but all that recognizes the past. What about the present moment?  How can we experience gratitude for moments as they happen, not hours later when it is time for bed?  How can we “marvel at God’s goodness” as St. Francis de Sales suggests?

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

Every Thanksgiving, we are surrounded by incredible people.  They are family, friends, children of God.  All who gather on Thanksgiving represent an everyday piece of God’s goodness on a special day that allows us time to actually take in their spirits.  Thursday, and all this week, take time to experience the love and joy of the people around them.  Realize moments of gratitude and savor them as they happen.  Marvel at the incredible life God has placed before you, and all the amazing people who have graced it.  Be Thankful. Be Grateful.  Be Marveled.

V+J
Peace,
Claire

Salesian inspiration: Miracles born from our simple humanity

From Guest Blogger Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, Student at St. Louis University

Fr. Joe Krupp, OSFS

Fr. Joe Krupp, OSFS

God doesn’t call us to feed everyone, just to give Him everything we have.
~Fr. Joe Krupp, OSFS

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the National Salesian Conference here in St. Louis.  Among the speakers, was an oblate, Fr. Joe Krupp, who presented this interpretation of the gospel of the loaves and fishes.  Often times when we hear the story of Christ multiplying the loaves and the fishes, we focus on His miracle.  Yes, this miracle is incredible and we must never forget that through Christ, all things are possible.  But, where do we fall in the place of miracles?  Remember back in the beginning of the story, before Christ was even able to multiply the loaves and perform a miracle, there was a little boy.  This little boy brought his five loaves and two fish to Christ.  Some people might laugh at the little boy for even thinking that he could do anything for a hungry crowd of 2000 people, but this boy reminds us of what we really need to focus on.  God doesn’t ask us to feed the world, to bake 2000 loaves and catch 2000 fish.  That’s His job.  All God asks of us is to give Him everything we have.  Surrender all our gifts, talents, and joys to Christ.  The most brilliant part of this surrender is not the selflessness, but the miracle that God can create from our pure and simple humanity.  If we give God all we have, He will make us into all the world wants and needs.

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, St. Louis University Student

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna; St. Louis University Student

“If we give God all we have, He will make us into all the world wants and needs.”

This week, go, and give to God all that you can.  Remember that sometimes studying, going to class, having a good dinner, and keeping yourself healthy is all God needs you to give Him right now so that He can prepare you for the next stages of life.  Give God what you can.  Leave the rest up to Him.

V+J

Peace and Prayers,
Claire

“Be who you are, and be that well!”

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

Be who you are, and be that perfectly well. ~St. Francis de Sales

I believe this is the heart of Salesian Spirituality.  Simply to be who you are, be the person God made you to be.  The beauty of Salesian Spirituality is that it welcomes each and everyone of us to live for Christ exactly how we are, faults and all.  This is what draws me in so tightly to Salesian Spirituality.  We don’t have to be perfect to come to God, we just need to be willing to accept ourselves, all our talents and all our flaws.  St. Francis de Sales says it perfectly.  Be who you are, and be that perfectly well.  Don’t stress and agonize about all the flaws, embraced them, and live fully
in God’s glory!

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

V+J.

Peace and Prayers,
Claire

“COURAGE!” — Inspiration from St. Francis de Sales and Claire Kranz

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

The following post comes from Vis Alumna and St. Louis University student Claire Kranz. We are fortunate to share it here with you:

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

“Go courageously to do whatever
you are called to do.
If you have any fears, say to your soul:
”The Lord will provide for us.”
If your weakness troubles you,
cast yourselves on God, and trust in him.
Trust in him, depend on his providence;
fear nothing.

~St. Francis de Sales

God calls us to do many things.  Eventually, he has an occupation for us.  Maybe he is calling us to have a family or allow a monastic community to become our family.  Maybe he is calling us to volunteer or pray more deeply for someone who is struggling.  Right now, God may be calling us in simpler ways.  As students, we must write papers, study for tests, and participate in all that the college life may have to offer us.  Some of these callings, no matter how small, can seem so daunting. St. Francis de Sales reminds us tonight to face these with courage. Trust that God will provide for all that we are incapable of doing ourselves.

V+J.

Peace and Prayers,
Claire

As the School Year Begins — Words from St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

St. Francis de Sales, Co-Founder of the Visitation Sisters

From Guest Blogger Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, Student at St. Louis University

Have patience with all things.  But, first of all with yourself. ~St. Francis de Sales

A lot of us will begin a new school year tomorrow or later this week.  The first days of a new year can be stressful and full of uncertainties.  As I know I do every year, you too, may find yourself questioning if you even belong in the classes you are in.  Some of your classmates may seem smarter, more articulate, or better than you are, but do not think any less of yourself!  Remember that as we struggle through the first week of school, so too, are those around us.  Be patient with them.  Most of all, be patient with yourself.  When you allow yourself to be patient with YOU, you will have grace enough to be patient to those around you.  In the whirlwind that is the first week of school, remember to take time to find peace.  Be patient!  Let your heart and mind settle in to the new year.  Give it time to bring new and amazing things!

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Peace and Prayers for a great week, whatever you may be doing!
V+J.

“In the whirlwind that is the first week of school, remember to take time to find peace.  Be patient!  Let your heart and mind settle in to the new year.  Give it time to bring new and amazing things!”

“Help One Another Find God” – Claire Kranz Reflects on words from St. Jane de Chantal

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna

From Guest Blogger Claire Kranz, Vis Alumna, Student at St. Louis University

“We are companions on the journey, given to one another as helpers in doing God’s work.” ~St. Jane de Chantal.

During my senior year of high school at Visitation, I reflected on a Salesian quote or thought weekly and shared it with a few friends.  Now, three years later, I am bringing this practice back, and you are those with whom I have chosen to share it.  I am no where near an expert in Salesian Spirituality, but I have found that it is the strongest and truest force driving me in the way I live my life.  With this sharing, I hope that we all can take time to reflect and refocus on Sunday evenings before a busy week of classes and work begins allowing us to take a thought with us to strengthen us throughout this week.

“Salesian Spirituality… is the strongest and truest force driving me in the way I live my life.” — Claire Kranz

To the quote…

St. Jane de Chantal

St. Jane de Chantal

St. Jane de Chantal shares with us our truest and most important job here on earth, to be friends and walk with each other on our journey to find Jesus in our everyday lives.  Too often, I find myself overwhelmed with homework, activities, and just the daily grind of life.  I forget that my job is to simply to be present for other people as they do the same for me.  It is a simple and comforting idea.  If we can keep that in the forefront of our minds, our job is to help one another find God, and also remember that there are others who are doing the same for us, hopefully, we can find a little more peace and simplicity in all this chaos.

Peace and Prayers for a great week!

V+J.

Claire