Archive for December, 2009

Scheduled Events

David web January 3, 2010, Feast of the Ephipany at the Monastery.  David Haschka, S.J., the founding president of Christo Rey Jesuit High School in south Minneapolis, was our presider.  Sister Gabriel made the beautiful stole contructed from the fabric one of our Sisters brought to her from Guatemala.                                  

Jeremy  Clare.JPGweb

Clare and Jeremy Biedny with their dad and our long time friend, Jay, joined us for the Eucharist.

PEACE VIGIL AT THE MONATERY, December 31, 2009: adoration with readings, song and prayer, open to all, 7:00 to 8:30 PM.   You are invited to stay as long as you choose.  Office of Readings at 8:30 PM.






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These are the days when the whole pattern
is spread before us:  the long intricate past,
the wars and wanderings, prophets and kings;
and the future as well, the vineyards and orchards 
of the age to come, the safe and happy children
playing in the streets, the high road to peace.

And our eyes are drawn to the center,
to the jewel at the heart of the plotted web,
to a girl in a village and her ordinary life,
to her willing response to mystery
when it came seeking her,
to the answer she gave
and the light it poured
over the whole story.
Advent, 09webadalter

Our Advent Chapel: a place for remembering and longing…

Fr. Mike Joncas with Sr. Margaret following Eucharist celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Fr. Mike Joncas and Sr. Margaret in the sacristy following our beautiful Eucharist honoring  Our Lady of Guadalupe.
On the 17 of December we begin singing the great O Antiphons:

O WISDOM      Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ

            O WISDOM!
You are the Source of this love-enfolded universe,
life-breath of its inmost grace.

            This is what we breathe: your joyful plan
            that we receive our life from yours,
and play and make and dream
in you and from and unto you.

Breath of Life in all that is!
You are our imagination and our gasp of wonder.
When we whisper words of  tenderness
we are your gentle respiration,
when we sing or sigh or pray
      we are your voice, your energy, your intent.     

            O WISDOM, divine Pattern of all that is,
            wind for the weather
            fragrance for flowers wild and gardened,
            earth for the potter, color for the artist’s eye,
            sound and rhythm for the piper and the violinist.
And love for lovers, Holy Wisdom, you are love for lovers.

These manifest your presence and so do we all.
In everything you make you make yourself known.
            Come! we say, and when you come among us,
it is the truth of who we are meant to be, that is revealed.

                                             Kate Martin, osc


Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ


Suppose that Moses rose before first light
And saw the unexpected glow,
the incandescence, where on other mornings
Only darkness waited .
Mountains, desert, storm clouds in the background;
night, reluctant to depart;
and there, alive and dangerous with holiness,
a bush on fire,
growing its ruby flames like leaves,
bearing an awesome seed,
a saving Name.too holy to be spoken.

Who are we to name Your Name, recite Your covenant,
proclaim Your boundless love for us?
Your Name, when we attempt to speak it, turns to fire in our mouths,
so we contain it in a title:  LORD!  ADONAI! 
and take the fire inside to purify our hearts.

When you entrust us with your Name
you draw us near until,
in the flames that cauterize our dry assumptions
You reveal Your Name enfleshed:
The burning bush will bear its fruit
wherever seekers  wake to the illumined night,
and, stumbling barefoot toward the Holy One,
reach toward the fire
and call upon the Name.                              Sr. Kate


           O Key of David!                      Sr. Ansgar


O Key of David, Liberator, come!

From his great heart erupts a tide of tenderness

rushing to sweep away the barriers,

all the blocked and burdened places on this planet:


To every home shut up in sorrow,

To every fortress built of loneliness and guilt;

To every dank cave of shame and hopelessness,

O Key of David, come, come in!


He is the Free One, and his freedom bursts upon our shadows

like the lightning.

He holds the key releasing every heart sentenced to darkness,

rescuing the fettered imagination,

opening the clenched fist.

O come, Key to the Kingdom; unbind, unshell, untangle us.


Those in the half-light sense the changing climate of their prison  

when his love breaks in,

they recognize a sudden light and air and movement. 

He grasps their hands and leads the way to liberty. 

O Key of David, interrupt our long captivity;

free us from the limits of our love.   

                                                                           Sr. Kate

VariousThe Sisters with our dear friend, Jill Geoffrion, following Sunday morning prayer.  To learn more about Jill and Tim, and their ministries see:,




If he came in the night, then nighttime is blessed forever.
If it was at dawn that he made his way into our midst,
then dawn is eternally hallowed. When his mother
pressed him to her breast, every mother, every child,
was suffused with the light of grace, sweeter than morning,
and the cherishing strength of her husband was a sacrament
of love for all spouses, all times.  All that is made,
that is born, stirred at that coming of his and was changed,
lifted into the possibility of its original self.

Come to the manger and stay awhile in its silence,
and know why songs of angels haunt us in every moment of joy.
See that the humble regard of shepherds is the wondering prayer
of the universe, the awe of the soul of the world.  

web crib 

Greetings to all of you, dear friends, at this beautiful holiday season.

A few days ago we hosted a “Nun Run” here at the Monastery.  This is not a sponsored athletic event but an occasion for young women to visit and pray with the Sisters here at the Monastery.  Four religious communities collaborate to offer a rounded experience of different ways to commit one’s life to service among God’s people.  We are the third stop on this religious pilgrimage around the Twin Cities.  As we all know, in our time large numbers of young people are not entering religious life. However we do see great enthusiasm among God’s people in married and single life to commit time and treasure to prayer and to service of others.  Ours is a wonderful time!

 The twenty-first century has much in common with the thirteenth century and the beginning of the Franciscan “movement.”  We call it a movement because in the beginning many types of people from various strata of society were involved. It was a lay, not a monastic or clerical, movement. Ordinary people were drawing near to Christ as they heard and met him in the gospel readings at Mass, and saw the scriptures portrayed in sacred art and enacted on the street as “mystery plays.”  Francis and his brothers went around Assisi and the near-by towns preaching conversion and penance.  Conversion had the sense of turning one’s life around, and penance was “doing mercy.”  The Father of Mercies had sent His Son among us as Mercy Incarnate.  And the Spirit of Jesus was enacting mercy within and among God’s people.

 One of the first things that happened when people heard the Good News of salvation as preached by the early Franciscans was that they wanted to go on pilgrimage. They wanted to see and feel the holy places where Jesus was born, lived, died and rose from the dead. They wanted to get closer to Jesus by being in the same places made holy by God’s Son.  Palestine was very far from Umbria. It was a long and expensive journey that placed great hardships on the pilgrim’s family. Francis was a man possessed of great mercy for the people.  He and his brothers believed that the Spirit of Jesus was right there at home with them. So to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord they set up the Christmas scene at Greccio and invited the people to come and celebrate Midnight Mass in the woods.  Ever since the 13th century Christians have been placing Christmas cribs in churches and we know that all of heaven is with us there as we celebrate the Christmas Eucharist.  Come, let us worship.

 Your sisters of St. Clare websmchapel The Chapel is ready for Christman night Eucharist.


Choristers from St Odilia’s School get us in the spirit.


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The Knights were here with an early Christmas gift.  Our good friends, Gene Drabec and Jim Haeg, representing the local branch of the Knights of Colombus, gifted the Community with a new TV.  Sisters, Anne, Helen and Margaret, are the delighted recipients.Knightstvweb1