Amazing things happen in May

The month of May here at Assisi Heights was a time of comings and goings. Sister Madonna Winkels is here with us from Cheju, Korea. Madonna was born in Iowa, grew up in Minnesota and studied nursing at the University of Minnesota. She entered the community of Poor Clares in Bloomington, Minnesota in 1959. Soon after Bishop Herald Henry, a missionary bishop in Korea, visited with the Clares and asked them to host some young Korean women interested in religious life. The women came from Korea and the Clares expressed delight in receiving them. Sister Madonna was inspired by their eagerness to learn about and experience religious life in the monastery. She helped the women as she was able while they were in Minnesota. Not long after the Poor Clares, Sister Madonna and others from Bloomington made a foundation on Cheju Island off the southern coast of Korea where Sister Madonna spent most of her Religious life. Now the Community of Cheju is flourishing and they have a foundation in the northern part of South Korea.


APRIL, 2022


“April is a beautiful month for those who love the softening of winter with the promise of a gentle sun. This is the month to end all wars and settle down together to enjoy the beautiful planet our God has given to us.

At the end of April the war of Mr. Putin against a sovereign country rages on.  Nation states and countries send their weaponry but “no boots on the ground.” Let us send one great and heartfelt prayer to our loving God to end this war.  Let us pray also for the Russian Orthodox Church that she may speak out against this terrible war.  


Ides of March, 2022

Ides of March” means the middle of the month of March.  Among the ancients of Rome, it was a frightful time.  I think that we can understand their fear.  The universal virus is still making its devious way around our planet in the form of variants.  Mr. Putin of  Russia has invaded his neighbor, Ukraine, killing indiscriminately children, mothers, fathers, grand parents, etc.  My prayer is that they have a place for Mr. Putin at the Hague, and there to try his case, crimes against humanity.    Sister Beth



Four years ago the Poor Clares of Bloomington moved to Rochester, Minnesota. The drawing card was health care for our Poor Clare Sisters who needed professional care around the clock. The Sisters of Saint Francis,  Rochester, Minnesota, offered us a corridor on the third floor of their large motherhouse.  In this small wing we have set up our “monastery.”  The Franciscan Sisters invite us to celebrate Eucharist with them in their large chapel three times a week.  Two of us have joined their choir: Sister Jo with her voice and Sister Beth with her guitar.  When the Mass is not celebrated down stairs in our Lady of Lourdes Chapel we celebrate Eucharist on our 3rd floor via the internet.  We have found our liturgical nitch with the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Portlaoise, Ireland.  And there we  join people from all over our planet who love the liturgy at Sts Peter and Paul as do we. 


Our Lenten Chapel

Lent is a many faceted time of the year.  It means many  things to many people.  A lot depends on what is going on and around our planet.  At this time a war is waging in the East.  As always the innocents pay the highest price.  The media outlets focus on the children and perhaps they are our teachers, models as only they can be.  Blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God. 


February on the Move

At this time of year we begin to look forward to change.  What is ahead for us as we move away from deep winter with the melting snow and the greenery poking up its welcome heads.  Across our beloved planet we are at a cross road, choosing life or decline.  Lets us be with those who choose life and make it happen through care for one another and planet earth.



Camping on the Edge of the Planet

Interview Sr. Kathleen

Our planet and all that is on it is waking up. Before us are the many gifts that our forebears have left us to use with care and creativity so as to pass them along to the many who will follow. At this campsite in the Chapel of the Franciscan Sisters of Rochester, Minnesota I think of our patron Francis of Assisi. Aware that he was coming to the end of his life on planet Earth he chose a hut near his friends, Clare and the poor Sisters, who lived down the hill from Assisi. As we move on to new dimensions of our lives we need friends. I was blessed by young parents who loved to camp out on the beautiful mountains and rivers of California and of course, the Pacific Ocean. My thoughts go to the millions of people who are camping out not by choice. They cannot tidy up their campsite and go home. They are home and will remain there until we do something about it.


Monterey Bay, a bite from the California Coast

Walking West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz—kind to myself.

Who am I, made of blue water, tan colored sand,

cement, wooden stairs down to the beach

that plays to the rhythm of the waves.

“O how sweet thou are.” The sun going down

over waters so deep, so blue,

the scene composed by a wildly wonderful God. 

Now the moment is passing,

no not passing,

it lives and moves within me.

Wherever I go, the blue Pacific is part of me,

and Santa Cruz is the gateway to the Bay of Monterey.

Sister Beth Lynn, OSC, a native daughter

PS My daddy told me that I was “hatched on a hot rock in the middle of the Bay.”

It sounded good to me.


Winter’s Welcome January 2022

Earthscapes from Friar Vincent Petersen, saving the earth one day at a time.

Last Snow

Beyond the window, branches heavy

with the last snow of a long winter…

one final time the morning is stilled by the sight

and soundlessness of snowfall.

It lies heavy on the trees, white as moonlight,

making fantastic patterns of wet black boughs,

and towers of evergreens.

What is spring in the windowpane

is like deep-sea landscape:

fantasy of snow-feathered fronds

weighted, gleaming, seen for the first and last time.

Sister Kate Martin


Into this New Year…

Yes, the Sisters of St. Clare are back. It is a new year, even though so many of the directives for surviving a pandemic are the same. We here at the Motherhouse of the Franciscans follow all the rules with fervor because what we might get as a simple cold could cause an older Sister to die. The elders here at Assisi Heights are much too beautiful to let go of just yet. So…we follow the guidelines to keeping Assisi Heights free of the viruses.

Breaking news: The Roman Catholic Church world wide, is called forth by Pope Francis, to engage in a Synod, 2021-2023. I can hear the Roman Catholics now. Are not Synods the work of Anglicans and Lutherans and Reformed Churches. It is true they engage in Synods much more frequently than the Romans. For myself and for you I looked at Webster’s take on “Synods.” We Catholics can definitively have one. I must say that for me I am weeping for joy.