29 June 2013

Remembering July 8, 1993

As we move toward the month of July our thoughts turn to July 8, 1993 - 20 years ago- when we experienced a fire that totally destroyed our main academic building. It was a blazing hot day - 103 plus - and painters using heat guns while painting the trim on our main building caused a huge fire that destroyed the five story academic building.

This incident in the history of our monastery and school reminded us of a steadfast teaching of our founder, Francis de Sales; namely, that God's good pleasure may be discovered in the incidents and accidents of our lives. It is our challenge to make certain that these incidents and/or accidents become blessings. 

Our fire indeed brought our monastery and school innumerable blessings as well as some huge challenges. We have grown stronger as a result of this experience which can be likened to the rise of the phoenix from the ashes

In the words of the Editor of our 1995 Yearbook: 

"This year we have truly risen to the occasion. We have adapted to our new situation (classrooms in trailers) and succeeded within its limitations. As the Academy building continues its journey to perfection, so do we. With each new day we rise like the phoenix."

May God be Praised!

Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

27 June 2013

Ordination of Ed Ogden

Today will be a day filled with blessings as we attend the ordination of our Campus Minister, Ed Ogden. Ed has been a brother in the Order of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for 25 years and during the past year discerned a call to the priesthood. 

Many members of our school and monastery communities will be traveling to de Sales University near Allentown, PA to witness this glorious occasion for soon-to-be Father Ed Ogden

Our Campus Minister has been a great source of Salesian spirituality for our faculty and staff and for many of our students who have participated in the Kairos retreats he leads.

Please add your prayers to ours as three members of the Oblate community will be ordained today Thursday, June 27.


Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

26 June 2013

Fill me with grace

Today I wish to share with you an inspiring prayer which fell into my lap a few days ago.  It beautifully expresses our Salesian spirituality and has given me an extra "oomph" in my efforts to follow Jesus more closely.
It comes from the Oblates Helper's Guild.

Jesus, be a guest in my heart today.
Help me always to recognize you.
When I feel sad, send me joy,
when I feel flawed, pour in your love,
when I feel empty, fill me with grace.

Jesus, I am grateful that you live in me.
Make my heart warmer, more vulnerable,
more pliable and easily mended.

O Jesus, let my attitude be yours. 
Help me to empty self
and be filled with service for others.
Engrave LIVE  JESUS on my heart
so that all my actions speak your love.
I ask this in your name.  Amen.

Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

25 June 2013

Calming the Tempest

Today we offer a timely thought from our Foundress, St. Jane de Chantal

She offers us a little model of what we might do when we are taken by surprise as we peacefully row our boat throughout our day.

"When all our emotions arise to stir up a great internal storm that seems certain to overwhelm us or drag us after it, we must not wish to calm this tempest ourselves. Rather, we must gently draw near the shore, keeping our will firmly in God and coast along the little waves which are found closer to the shore."

Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

Language Immersion Trip to Spain

Sr. Mary Roberta enjoying the beach in Cadiz, Spain, during a two-week, language-immersion trip from June 8th to June 22nd with a group of our school's juniors and seniors. More photos to come later!

24 June 2013

June 24, 1799

Today is the 214th anniversary of the founding of Georgetown Visitation in 1799. Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the rich history of our monastery and school. The Sisters who have gone before us experienced with courage the many vicissitudes that life brought them during these early years - wars, depressions, slavery, dire poverty - yet in the midst of these hardships our dear Sisters always showed a beautifully resilient spirit.

Today we stand on the shoulders of these remarkable women with hearts filled with gratitude for the rich heritage they have left us. It is  now our sacred responsibility to carry their spirit forward as we face the challenges of life in this 21st century. 

The history of our monastery and school continues to teach us many lessons of steadfast faith, long-lasting hope intertwined with an undying charity. God has blessed us in so many ways and we are deeply grateful.

Sr. Mary Berchmans Hannan, VHM

12 June 2013

St. Francis de Sales on "Devotion," offered by Sr. Eleanor


The virtue of devotion is neither more nor less than a general inclination and promptitude of spirit to do what we know is pleasing to God. It is the joyful expansion of the heart spoken of in the Psalms: "I have run in the way of your commandments since you have set me free."

Ordinary people walk along the path of God; devout people run; very devout people fly.

Times of prayer must become so much a part of our day that we never omit them except out of great necessity.

The length of our prayer should be in proportion to the amount of work we have to do.

From St. Francis de Sales, offered by Sr. Eleanor May Klaber, V.H.M.

We're back on the blog!

Response to moving to Facebook was not good, because even though our Facebook page is open to the public, many people cannot access it because of firewalls at their employers' offices. We know that you want to catch up with Visitation Monastery whenever you can throughout the day, so for now we will post in both places until another solution is found.

If you recall, originally everything posted here also showed up on the Facebook page, but that changed when Blogger (run by Google) and Facebook failed to reach an agreement on cross-posting. We'll do it mechanically for now and then keep you apprised of future changes.