24 February 2007

"A" is for Archivist

Preparations for our 400th anniversary have begun and as we approach 2010 our Religious Assistant to the Holy See, Father Valentin Viguera, has suggested that the years leading up to this great jubilee be marked by a theme. For 2007 he proposes our Holy Founder, Saint Francis de Sales. In a letter from his feast, 24 January 2007, Father Viguera suggests that we disseminate the spirituality of Saint Francis de Sales in a variety of ways. In the spirit of this request, our blog will post a feature about Saint Francis on the 24th of every month. In this first post, our archivist, Sister Mada-anne, reflects upon one of her favorite quotations:

"St. Francis de Sales wrote frequently about work.Here's a favorite: 'Flies trouble us by their numbers,not their strength; in the same way, little things trouble us more than great things by their very number. Accept the duties that come to you peacefully, taking them one by one . . .' The Georgetown Visitation Monastery Archives contain--literally--millions of manuscripts and papers, some important, some not. All of them must be preserved and catalogued so that the information they contain will be accessible to researchers and scholars. Even more important to the community is the archivist's duty to make sure that the traditions of the monastery itself are handed down from generation to generation intact, and that's a challenge, but also, fun! The office of Archivist is a dream job, especially since it also involves keeping track of the art works in the community. This is a favorite: (note the statue she is touching ... right next to the mouse pad featuring our Holy Founders) a marvelous woodcarving of St. Francis de Sales done in1985 and presented to the sisters by its creator, artist Nancy Hanel. This wonderfully lively statue presides over the archives, with occasional forays into the chapel, or the choir, or the schoolroom--a most important reminder of our living heritage, and, incidentally, the all time favorite of the archivist. "

Coming soon (coming eventually...) a video tour of the new monastery archives.

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