by Sister Mary Frances Reis on Monday, May 1, 2023

It has been just a year, almost to the day, since we Visitation Sisters had our first listening session with neighbors and friends. Purpose? Having lived in this neighborhood for 33 years, and now in our new monastery, we felt it was time to “take stock” and hear articulated the graces and challenges of these years from others’ perspectives. We even had a QR code in our newsletter that enabled us to survey our readers’ thoughts and insights. (Oh, yes!! We are in the 21st century.) Thanks, Everyone!!!

The responders expressed repeatedly that our charism of prayer, presence, and contemplative hospitality is a treasured gift to north Minneapolis. What we did NOT hear was that people appreciated joining us for our community prayer. As a result, we decided to initiate a seasonal series that we entitled “Pause, Ponder, and Pray.” These Saturday mornings include monastic prayer with the Sisters, refreshments, fellowship, a Salesian theme, and an introduction to one of the following prayer forms: centering prayer, lexio divina, body prayer, coloring, meditation, Zentangle, etc. And of course, we close with a little treat or door prize for each.

St. Francis de Sales wisely taught that each person has a different way to pray. What is important is to get in touch with the Divine Mystery within, to savor it and to share it with others. Several participants have found new ways to pause, ponder, and pray! Amen! Alleluia!

We have one more Saturday morning in this seasonal series. Feel free to join us on Saturday, June 17, 2023, from 9:00 AM to noon. Please email Sister Mary Frances at if you are interested. She will see that you get the invitation/registration information.