Vis Sisters Be The Change

"We -- the Sisters -- are engaged! We are committed."

by Sr. Suzanne Homeyer, VHM

“We’re engaged!!”  was the Facebook message from a friend of mine in Mexico. Announcing this to the world through the social media? Why not? Of course! Being engaged to someone or with something should be out there for all to see.

Commitment is nothing to be taken lightly…WE — the Sisters — are engaged. Yes, you read that correctly….We ARE engaged. We are committed…

We are engaged with many people and committed to sharing our Visitation/Salesian spirituality with others. We want to insure that the ministry and mission and our way of living the Visitation charism  continues here on the north side well into the future.  To this end we have been exploring, praying about, formulating and putting into place a five-faceted plan of engagement. There are several ways a person may become engaged with us in our presence and ministry.

Visitation Engagement Programs

cross-in-handsWe are willing to join hands with people who are searching for God’s will in their lives.  Following the Spirit is a series of evenings on discernment and sharing about how God calls and how we can listen to God’s direction. Young adult men and women, single or married can participate in this form of engagement with us.  Space is limited but future sessions have been planned  and interested people can see more info on our website for the series beginning in the fall…there is even a new gem added to this form of engagement!

Our first group of VIP’s (Visitation Internship Program) participants are winding down their time of service and we are currently recruiting young people who are interested in giving a year of service, either in the midst of studies or after college. Sharing prayer, meals and ministry at the monastery and in the northside community are a part of this engagement picture. Building intentional community and living together in a home near the Sisters is yet another important facet of this form of engagement. Young adults, men or women, age 21 — 35  may apply now for next fall. An application can be found on our website.

Our first applicant in our Monastic Immersion Experience spent some time with us this past week.  Women, who are interested in living our contemplative lifestyle at any point in their life may consider spending 6 months to a year living, praying and ministering with us while living in the monastery. Of course, sharing domestic life with the Sisters is involved!

The Visitation Companions are a group of men and women who are interested in studying our spirituality and making a commitment to live it in their own daily life — taking it to the marketplace and wherever they may be.  It is not necessary to live in north Minneapolis, but sharing prayer and ministry with the Sisters whenever possible  and meeting together to share experience and develop their own sense of community is a goal.  Current Companions act as mentors for people interested in this form of Visitation engagement.  Currently there are about 18 Companions…talk about an 18- carat gold band!

And as our identifier says “we are looking for more visionary women to be a prayerful presence in North Minneapolis”  as Vowed Members.

We are not writing our proposal to you in an airplane on a clear blue sky but  know that this sincere invitation is lovingly offered to you and others you may know with open hands….won’t you put yours in ours?

“And So Begins Our Day” — An Invitation to Immerse Yourself in Prayer and Community

window“And So Begins Our Day”
–by Sr. Mary Virginia Schmidt

It is dark outside when we gather for Morning Prayer.
As I find my pages in the liturgy of the hours prayer book,
I am aware of the muted footsteps of the other sisters arriving  in the chapel.
A holy presence is there as I meet with such fidelity every morning.
I have done this for over 5o years.
Why is it so new to me each day?
The chanted psalms, the prayerful faith sharing never seems to grow old.
This is the place where our whole neighborhood worships.
Soon after the prayer time ends the door bell rings and we welcome the first of those for whom and on who’s behalf we have been praying.
And so begins our day.

I would love to have you come for a while and share this with us.

Are you called to immerse yourself in prayer and community?

Are you called to immerse yourself in prayer and community?

Are you called to immerse yourself in prayer and community?

Is Sr. Mary Virginia speaking to you? Are you called to a life of prayer and community? The Sisters of the Visitation of Minneapolis invite you to consider joining us for six to twelve months in a newly forming “Monastic Immersion Experience.”

As we listen to the Holy Spirit in the signs of the times, we discern a hunger for prayer and community among contemporary Christians. We know, too, that statistically the average person pursues several distinct directions in a lifetime. While commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is paramount in the lives of many lay persons we know, we recognize that permanent commitment may be “down the road” for them. Having the opportunity for an in depth experience of our monastic way of life in an urban setting would, at the very least, give them an opportunity to “try on” monastic customs/ values. The monastic community’s engagement with temporary commitment participants will help to keep the Salesian charism fresh and alive while nurturing the desire for prayer and community.

For more information, contact Sr. Mary Frances Reis at 612-529-8215, or email her at maryfranreis@aol.com.