How did the Visitation Sisters come to be in north Minneapolis? What prayer and discernment lead to the founding of this monastery 379 years after St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal first established the Visitation order in Annecy, France?
On Sunday, October 16, 2011, Sr. Mary Frances Reis answered a few of these questions as she spoke to a group of St. Mary’s students staying at the Visitation Sisters’ lay retreat space, St. Jane House, for an urban immersion experience. Sr. Katherine Mullin was on hand to record the question, answer, and story-telling period.
Excerpts from Sr. Mary Frances on the Visitation Sisters of Minneapolis:
“Francis de Sales’ dream for the Visitation was that we would be ‘Daughters of prayer'” and also “those that reached out and took Jesus to the ‘other,’ and there’s where we have the mystery of the Visitation.”
“Sr. Mary Margaret, Sr. Mary Virginia, Sr. Karen are originally from St. Louis. These three sisters in their prayer kept hearing: ‘Take the Visitation to the poor.'”
“From 1979 to 1989 three sisters of Visitation St. Louis got together every Sunday morning from 9:30am – 10:30am and just said, ‘Lord, what would you have us do?'”
“What became very clear: we weren’t to establish a school, or a free clothing store, a soup kitchen, day care, shelter, no. …’Simply go and take your bodies to live your life of prayer and community, and when the door bell rings, you will get your agenda,’ says the Lord, ‘because I will be there.'”