Ministry of Presence
Meeting Jesus at the Door

The Visitation Sisters are monastic contemplatives. They consider their neighborhood to be their monastic garden, which they love and care for with gentle presence.

“Being present” means recognizing the importance of even the small things. It means respecting each moment for what it has to offer. It means celebrating the joy of Jesus in all people, no matter how broken their bodies or spirits. It means taking the time to smile and greet neighbors on the street and to welcome and befriend strangers.

We invite you to enjoy these special moments from Easter 2019 to Easter 2020. In the background, the Sisters are singing the Litany of the Saints, imploring our brothers and sisters in Heaven to intercede for us to the Lord our God in our work.

While the Sisters’ ministry of Presence pervades their everyday life and moment-to-moment decisions, it also takes form in larger patterns, where they go out of their way to be present. These traditions instill stability and belonging in their communities. Here are some examples:


Door Ministry: The Sisters have proactively committed to answering the doorbell whenever it rings and responding to the needs of those who come to call. They assist with basic daily needs (a neighbor has run out of toilet paper—do they have an extra roll?) and also connect with love, affirming the dignity of each person (a neighbor who has a story to tell finds a listening ear). Sometimes, the needs are greater than the Sisters can provide, so they advise on local agencies that are prepared to assist. The Sisters can offer grocery certificates and bus tokens as small gifts.



Bridging: The Sisters recognize that they are a meeting point for diverse communities who would not otherwise connect. Schools like Visitation High School and Creighton University and churches like St. Thomas Becket in Eagan visit North Minneapolis and learn to appreciate its lively culture. Similarly, neighborhood kids can enjoy theater productions at Visitation High School or a week bonding with nature at Catholic Youth Camp, and women are invited to a Mothers Day Retreat. The Sisters’ way of life attracts many friends, and those friends become friends, breaking down social barriers hardened by decades of institutional enforcement.


Education: While the Sisters mainly lead by example, they know the power of deliberate study. Every month between October and April, they host a dinner with a presentation and discussion so that friends can learn more about Salesian Spirituality, the guiding wisdom of the founders of the Visitation Order, Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane de Chantal.


All (even strangers!) are welcome. Please watch our Facebook page for events to be posted, or let us know that you would like to be added to the email list.

The general schedule for the evenings is

6:00 PM: Dinner is served
6:30 PM: Presentation begins, with discussion
8:15 PM: Night Prayer