27 June 2009

Welcome Home Ma Mere

After a grace-filled week in Annecy with faculty and staff from our school, Mother is home. Yippie! Mother captured many highlights from her trip with a digital camera -- her first foray into the world of digital photography. We share here a couple of her best shots.

In addition to making friends with our sisters in the Annecy Visitation, Mother brought home a "friend:" sweet little Francois, the white clown-doll made by Sister Gabrielle. To the right of Mother is Sister Margaret Mary, one of the English-speaking sisters in Annecy.

The one-week pilgrimage covered many places sacred to our Holy Founders and the early mothers of our Order. On their last evening in Annecy, the group took a boat ride around lake Annecy. Buildings might be renovated and restored but the elements of nature remain unchanged. One can only wonder how many similar sunsets over the foothills of the Alps inspired St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal with a deep sense of God's presence in all of creation.

Stay tuned for an "album" of Mother's photos on the Monastery's FB page.

23 June 2009

Be a Fan!

Georgetown Visitation Monastery

As some of our astute readers have noticed, a Facebook badge went up in our sidebar this week. Georgetown Visitation Monastery now has a page on FB where readers can access our Mass schedule for the month -- even without having a FB account. A simple listing of the days of the month and the times of Mass is located on our "information" tab. Since our daily Mass schedule does change upon occasion, locals can check the FB schedule for an up-to-date listing of daily Mass for the month.

To see events (such as our soon-to-be-posted "Annual 4th of July Family and Friends BBQ Bash") and to RSVP to them, one needs an account on FB. Those readers with FB accounts can also become "Fans" of the monastery. Wonder what St. Francis de Sales would make of all this "social networking" ... he'd probably make good use of it if he were around today!

19 June 2009

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we begin the Year of the Priest. Pope Benedict declared this special time of prayer and celebration so as to encourage priests in their pursuit of spiritual perfection. Below is a minute and a half newsflash about this Jubilee year which begins today. Click here to read the Holy Father's letter to priests. Let us commend our clergy to the Most Sacred Heart of Our Lord by our prayers and our actions. At at time when many of our clergy are over-extended in their efforts to meet the needs of the faithful, let us find ways to show our gratitude and support.

"Yes, truly, ... divine love being seated upon our Savior's Heart as upon his royal throne, beholds by the cleft of his pierced side all the hearts of the sons of men: for this Heart being the King of hearts keeps his eyes ever fixed upon hearts."

St. Francis de Sales

15 June 2009

Corpus Christi

We were blessed with beautiful weather for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi: a warm day with very low humidity and a light breeze! We share with our readers a few moments of the celebration of Corpus Christi in a three and a half minute video below. Among the highlights not captured on camera was an anecdote in Father's homily. He shared a moving experience from his time as a transitional deacon when he prepared second graders for first holy communion. After carefully explaining all the vestments and sacred objects he asked the second graders what they would tell a non-Christian friend who might "peek" into a Catholic Church and ask "What's going on in there?" A little boy raised his hand and answered, "It's not a 'WHAT' it's a 'WHO!'" From the lips of babes.

One detail we forgot to take into account, as we were planning for Corpus Christi, was our dog. We forgot to tell Nicholas, our faithful watch dog, that the procession would travel along the monastery porch. He seemed a bit startled to see so many "strangers" in his territory. We did not edit out his contribution to the procession. He came in -- right on cue -- as the porch door opened and the procession began. You'll notice that after a few gentle reminders from sisters, he decided that we were a safe bunch up on the porch. Many thanks to all who contributed and participated in yesterday's celebration!

11 June 2009

Gardenin' Angels Part II

It almost looks like a garden!

After our first garden party of the season, we've had some other gardenin' angels who have helped to make the 27' x 75' vegetable plot look like a garden. Someone was outside early yesterday morning because an entire bed full of weeds disappeared overnight -- literally! It might have been the squirrels -- offering help for all the produce they eat -- becuase most of our sisters are still sore from Saturday's book-moving-escapade! Pictured below, Sister Mary de Sales, on her way out for a walk, stops for a few minutes to clean some weeds among the tomatoes and onions.

Coming soon ... colorful pictures of the non-edible section of the monastery garden (which is just about everything outside the green fence!)

07 June 2009

Nuns Stopping Traffic (and Neighbors!)

It was an ordinary Saturday until 7.15pm when, during recreation, the doorbell rang and the latest "shipment" of the new 400th Anniversary book arrived. Earlier this year we published a new history of the Order of the Visitation in the United States (soon to be available for purchase on line!) Neighbors stopped their cars to take pictures of nuns unloading the 125 cartons of books. Some neighbors even stopped to help!

Our good friend Michelle McAndrews (far right, top picture) was kind enough to use her business truck to collect the 5,000 books from our Monastery in Rockville, Virgina where they had been residing.

Book-signing at a moment's notice!

As neighbors stopped to help, our Sister Archivist decided to inscribe books for each of the recruited book-movers. Sister, along with Mother Mary Berchmans, contributed to several sections of the book.

Who needs a gym membership with housework like this!

When the books were unloaded from the truck, sisters and happy-helpers (recruited neighbors) wheeled them into our vault cellar where another group of sisters strong-armed the boxes into rows and stacks. We figure that at 40 lbs. a carton, the sisters and helpers hauled close to 5,000 lbs. in 45 minutes. Teamwork!

The unloading crew flexes their muscles for the camera.

Thanks to our happy helpers who helped to make light work of a two and a half ton job!

03 June 2009

Graduation 2009

With impending thunderstorms safely kept at bay (thanks, no doubt, to fervent prayers from Monday night's Baccalaureate Mass), yesterday morning's graduation was a picture-perfect event. At 11.00am 118 young women arrived at the tent as students; one hour and 55 minutes later, they left as alumnae. We've captured a few highlights to share with our readers. The address to the graduates was delivered by Liz McCartney, class of 1990, CNN's "Hero of the Year" and foundress of the St. Bernard Project. We excerpted a few minutes of Liz' inspiring and amusing remarks about her experiences in New Orleans. In addition, we have included a short sound byte of the student address which traced the journey of the class of 2009 using the metaphor of a diamond being formed in the earth. Do enjoy a visit to the tent on our McNabb field!

Congratulations to the class of 2009!