Wednesday, December 21, 2011

O Emmanuel, Ruler and Lawgiver, Desire of all nations, Savior of all people:Come and set us free, O God.

The Collage of Events of 2011

Friar Steve Kluge OFM, blessed the new grave stones for Sister Marge and Sister Shirley.

Sister Nelia and Sister Karen received the Poor Clare habit on January 15th and January 17th  respectively .  Roberta Peters is a young woman who is interested in our Poor Clare Life.

Friar Michael Lasky was celebrate for our Holy Week Services.  Saint Clare began her way of following Francis on Palm Sunday 1212 so it is 800 years that the Poor Clare Life has been part of our world.  The picture with the Sisters holding Palm Branches is symbolic of this beginning.

Book Club:  Sisters Agnes, Mary Frances and Natalie are discussing our book "The Poor Sisters of Saint Clare:Their Form of Life and Identity,by Sister Diana Papa OSC

Friar Kyle came for our Saint Clare Transitus and the Mass next day. His picture is small and pious looking.  Can you find it???

August Picnic:  to celebrate the beginning of our 800 Celebration of our way of life The Capuchin Poor Clares of Wilmington, Delaware joined us for a day of Prayer and Play.

Celebrations"  Sister Miriam celebrated 50 years of Poor Clare Life and Sister Donna celebrated 25 years.  Thank you for witness to us and to the world our Gospel Way of Life.

Workshop: Friar Jim Van Vurst OFM from the Cincinnati Province , shared with us "Life as a Journey" and also showed us how to do watercolor paintings.

Friar John O'Connor OFM Provincial of the Holy Name Province came for a visit and we were all glad to meet him.

Our Sister Mary McCourt's memorial is on an older post.

A Musing on Christmas and the Incarnation

The coming of the Peace of Peace,
The coming of His reign.
for the dumb to speak
for the deaf to hear.
But wait
no one seems to care.

The poet of the season stands
The poet of the season bids
All Creation
leap for joy-
All the beasts
dance with gladness
But wait
we're busy at the malls.

The God of peace looks down
The God of mercy waits
For the world, 
weary and wayward,
For us...
who poke around in darkness.
But wait,
many begin to see.

Love comes down as a Babe-
Love comes down for us.
It looks
so good on paper-
it passes for the Truth.
But wait,
The Truth -
God does dwell with us-
Our Emmanuel.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Memorial for Sister Mary McCourt OSC

Rainbow Road

Our Sister Mary loved Rainbows and the morning she died, Saturday December 3, 2011 there was a rainbow over our woods and it had not been raining.
Sr. Mary died peacefully in her sleep and now is in His presence for all eternity and interceding
for us here on earth.
Remember, Mary, to send us two good women to be Poor Clares and if you want, send a dog like Maggie whom you loved very much.

Here is the musing from Sr. Mary's 25th Anniversary of her Profession 1984:

The Mosaic of a Life
Moments of joy, pockets of pain
fuse with all the yesterdays-
held together by right faith, firm hope,
perfect charity, the ideal.
the mosaic of your life.
Dark colors and shadowy hues,
place in relief
the contrasting brilliance of goodness,
bringing before the world
and announcing to all
the light comes from Him.
Who else could do it.
Fashioned by events,
Your parents, family, friends,
you burn to be earthy colors
at one with the Son of Man
"who did not deem equality with
God something to be grasped at."
He chose and you  choose in
profound humility
to be simply life the rest of humanity-
to be no more or no less than
who you are,
with your feet firmly planted on the earth,
with flights of fancy now and then
to the sky of blue.
Your love of the rainbow
reveals your hidden desire
to be, in wisdom and perception,
"All things to all people"
The mosaic of your life-
the rainbow -
Behold this rainbow
and Bless your Maker,"
For that s where
Glory belongs

S Florence OSC

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ADVENT 2011 -A SEASON OF HOPE- And a Dedication in memory of Vincent Cannuli

Vincent M. Cannuli HAMILTON - Vincent M. Cannuli, 64, of Hamilton, NJ, passed away into God's loving care on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, at home, with his loving family at his side.

We thank Vincent for his work on our website- all done through his generosity. May God reward Vincent's kindness to us.

Carol of Hope
Text by William Gay
Each winter as the year grows older,
We grow older too.
the chill sets in a little colder,
The verities we knew
seem shaken and untrue.

When race and class cry out for treason,
when sirens call for war,
they over shout the voice of reason,
and scream till we ignore
All we held dear before.

Yet I believe beyond believing,
that life can spring from death;
that growth can flower from our grieving;
That we can catch our breath
And turn transfixed by faith.

So even as the sun is turning.
to journey to the north,
The living flame in secret burning,
Can kindle on the earth,
and bring God's love to birth.

O Child of ecstasy and sorrows,
O Prince of Peace and pain,
Brighten today's world by tomorrow's,
Renew our lives again;
Lord Jesus, come and reign!

From Isaiah chapter 40 verse 11:

Like a Shepherd, he will care for his flock,
gathering the lambs in his arms,
hugging them as he carries them,
leading the nursing ewes to good pasture.
Translation The Message.

Our good Shepherd prepares the time, waiting to gather us during this Advent time.
We thank God for His many blessings.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks for all Our Gifts

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Lord of all to You we raise
This our gift of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent child
Friends on earth and
Friends above
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
This our gift of grateful praise
Conrad Kocher 1786-1872 Adapt by William H. Monk 1823-1899

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sister Donna celebrated her 25th Anniversary of Entrance to our Poor Clare Form of Life. Thank you, Sister Donna and may God bless you always.

Father Andrew Reitz OFM, a Holy Name Friar, celebrated Mass and had dinner with us .
We thank him for his continued kindness to us . Sister Donna was grateful too for his presence
and for the whole day.

We thank Sister Donna for the gift that she is to our community.
God be with you, Sister Donna, now and always.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

We are put on the earth a little space that we may learn to bear the beams of love.
William Blake

Monday, October 3, 2011

Poor Clares Celebrate the Transitus of the Death of St. Francis of Assisi -800 years ago

Father Peter Cebulka celebrated Mass for us on the Feast of Saint Francis and joined in a festive meal with us

In a simple but beautiful Prayer Service, we here at the Monastery, celebrated quietly the memorial of the death of St. Francis.
We included you in our thoughts, prayers and our hearts.
Happy Feast of Saint Francis.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sister Miriam celebrated her 50th year of entrance to the Poor Clare way of life, September 24,1961-2011

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The contemplative life, which St. Clare of Assisi loved with all her heart,
inspired Sister Miriam
as a young woman to follow her example. Day after day Sister Miriam and those like her,
surrender their will in little things and help to change the world, though unseen by anyone.
Thank you, Sister Miriam ,for your witness to Gospel Values and congratulations from all your Sisters.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Continued quotes on Gertrude von le Fort's book The Eternal woman

Christ does not emerge in a struggle against the cross but on the cross just as love always is triumphant in surrender.
Our weakness is our only strength and our surrender to God's will our only victory.

Surrender to God is the only absolute power with which the creature is endowed and to bring about our salvation all we have to contribute is our readiness to give ourselves absolutely and completely.

Pride or surrender is the tremendous alternative.

Gertrud von le Fort Baroness Gertrude von Lefort (1876–1971) is the author of over 20 books (poems, novels and short stories), honorary Doctor of Theology and «the greatest contemporary transcendent poet». Her works are appreciated for their breath-taking profoundness and virtuosity, beauty and actuality of her ideas, and for the sophisticateGertrud von le Fortd refinement of the form. Hermann Hesse, who evaluated her talent, proposed her as a candidate for the Nobel Prize.

Von le Fort was born in Westphalia, Germany, and studied at the Universities of Heidelberg and Berlin. A Protestant of Huguenot descent, von le Fort converted early to Catholicism.

Her novel Die Letze am Schafott (The Last or Song at the Scaffold), by far her most famous work, was the basis for Dialogues of the Carmelites. Set during the time........... of the French Revolution, the von le Fort novel tells the story of a troubled, frightened, and strange girl, Blanche de la Force, who has lived in fear from the moment of her birth. To overcome her affliction, she decides to become a nun of Carmel. Little does she know that she is no safer from fear at this convent than in the secular world.

The character of Blanche was von le Fort’s creation, but the other nuns in the story historical figures. Notice the similarity of "von le Fort" to "de la Force." This was no coincidence: much of Gertrud von le Fort’s inspiration for her novel came from her own experiences during World War II and her hatred of Nazism.

She recorded the origin of her 1931 novel: " The point of departure for my creation was not primarily the destiny of the sixteen Carmelites of Compi├Ęgne but the figure of the young Blanche. In a historic sense she never lived, but she received the breath of life from my internal spirit, and she cannot be detached from the origin, which is hers. Born in the profound horror of a time darkened by the signs of destiny, this figure arose before me in some way as the embodiment of the mortal agony of an era going totally to its ruin."

Thoughts and quotes from the book:

Forward: Gertrude von Le Fort addresses the topic of the role of woman in the Salvation of the world which is the battlefield between good and veil, life and death.

Since the Garden of Eden the Evil one and the woman have been in the arena.

We have to look on the positive place of woman and not the negative aspect of womanhood.

Her privileges:

1: Her body is not from dust but from the flesh of a human person.

2: She is called "Mother of Life."

3: That the female womb would one day be a tabernacle for the Holy One

It is Mary, the Mother of God, who teaches that receptivity-total openess to God's word-is the royal road to holiness.

To Be continued

Saturday, September 10, 2011

In Memory of 9/11 . We at the Monastery join in prayer for all those who died and for those who mourn them.

Friar Mychal Judge, was the first and most famous victim of the World Trade Center attack, and we in the Franciscan Family remember him in prayer and ask him to intercede for us and the World.
We pray for the firefighters, police and first re-sponders who brought comfort the best they could.
We hold you all in prayer.

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Out in the yard with your wife and children
Working on some stage in LA
Did you stand there in shock at the site of
That black smoke rising against that blue sky
Did you shout out in anger
In fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry

Did you weep for the children
Who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don't know
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below

Did you burst out in pride
For the red white and blue
The heroes who died just doing what they do
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself to what really matters

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN but I'm not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith hope and love are some good things he gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day
Teaching a class full of innocent children
Driving down some cold interstate
Did you feel guilty cause you're a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone
Did you call up your mother and tell her you love her
Did you dust off that bible at home
Did you open your eyes and hope it never happened

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Franciscorps Visits the Monastery

The Franciscorps , directed by Friars Jim and Rick visited our Monastery so that we could learn about their new ministries and for them to learn our way of life.
All the young men and women are college graduates who have given one year to the service of the Poor.
Our Faith is enriched by their witness
of commitment.
We continue to pray for them.

Capuchin Poor Clares of Wilmington, DE join us to celebrate 800 Years of Clare Heritage

We began our celebration with a prayer service followed by a delicious dinner
prepared by Sisters Fran, Etta, Nelia and Karen.
We had lively discussions at the dinner table about our way of life and everyone went away enriched by the day.

Visitors in August

Friar Frank Walter visit us from Rome.
Father Resti celebrates his 20th anniversary of Ordination to the priesthood with us. Father Peter Cebulka joined in the celebration.

Friar Steve Kluge OFM blesses the grave markers for Sisters Marge and Shirley

Friar Steve blesses the grave markers
during a prayer service in the cemetery of The Poor Clare Sisters in Chesterfield, NJ

Friday, August 12, 2011

August the 11, Feast of Saint Clare

Evening Prayer,on the Feast of Saint Clare, was celebrated with the Friars and The Divine Word Community. Our Bordentown Knights of Columbus and Lady Yolanda, provided a festive meal for our guests and for us. The Knights have been doing this for over 35 years and we are most grateful to them.
At 7:00 PM all our friends joined us for the Eucharist. Friar Kyle Haden once again gave a very
meaningful reflection on being true to our identity and making Jesus the person we identify with each day.

August 10- Our Transitus of St. Clare

August 10th, at 7:00PM, The Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) joined us to celebrate the death and passing of our Foundress, Saint Clare.
Friar Kyle Haden OFM, from the Holy Name of Jesus Province, shared his reflections on Saint Clare telling us that Clare, along with us, had to find her true identity by surrounding ourselves with friends and relatives that have the same value system.
One true friend for Clare was Jesus. So as Clare was dying she was able to say to her soul,

"Go in peace, my soul, because you will have a good escort.
The One Who created you
has made you holy.
The One Who created you
has infused the Holy Spirit in you
and then guarded you
as a mother does her littlest child. "
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Feast Day Greetings

Secluded but monitoring the world -
Our Poor Clare Life

We are preparing for the Feast of Saint Clare and we hold you all in prayer for all your loved ones, living and deceased.

Happy Feast to all our Brothers and sisters Throughout the world.
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Friday, August 5, 2011

Prayer to Saint Clare

O good and gracious God, we thank you for all that you have done for us.
Through the intersession of Saint Clare who, in her life time healed many
people, heal all our loved ones in body and spirit. Keep them in peace and joy.
We ask this through your Son and our Brother, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

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Secluded but Monitoring the World- The Poor Clare Life

St. Clare of Assisi
Foundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, 16 July, 1194; died there 11 August, 1253.

She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio. Such at least is the traditional account. Her mother, Ortolana, belonged to the noble family of Fiumi and was conspicuous for her zeal and piety.

From her earliest years Clare seems to have been endowed with the rarest virtues. As a child she was most devoted to prayer and to practices of mortification, and as she passed into girlhood her distaste for the world and her yearning for a more spiritual life increased. She was eighteen years of age when St. Francis came to preach the Lenten course in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi. The inspired words of the Poverello kindled a flame in the heart of Clare; she sought him out secretly and begged him to help her that she too might live "after the manner of the holy Gospel". St. Francis, who at once recognized in Clare one of those chosen souls destined by God for great things, and who also, doubtless, foresaw that many would follow her example, promised to assist her. On Palm Sunday Clare, arrayed in all her finery, attended high Mass at the cathedral, but when the others pressed forward to the altar-rail to receive a branch of palm, she remained in her place as if rapt in a dream. All eyes were upon the young girl as the bishop descended from the sanctuary and placed the palm in her hand. That was the last time the world beheld Clare. On the night of the same day she secretly left her father's house, by St. Francis's advice and, accompanied by her aunt Bianca and another companion, proceeded to the humble chapel of the Porziuncula, where St. Francis and his disciples met her with lights in their hands. Clare then laid aside her rich dress, and St. Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil, and in this way the young heroine vowed herself to the service of Jesus Christ. This was 20 March, 1212.

Clare was placed by St. Francis provisionally with the Benedictine nuns of San Paolo, near Bastia, but her father, who had expected her to make a splendid marriage, and who was furious at her secret flight, on discovering her retreat, did his utmost to dissuade Clare from her heroic proposals, and even tried to drag her home by force. But Clare held her own with a firmness above her years, and Count Favorino was finally obliged to leave her in peace. A few days later St. Francis, in order to secure Clare the greater solitude she desired, transferred her to Sant' Angelo in Panzo, another monastery of the Benedictine nuns on one of the flanks of Subasio. Here some sixteen days after her own flight, Clare was joined by her younger sister Agnes, whom she was instrumental in delivering from the persecution of their infuriated relatives. Clare and her sister remained with the nuns at Sant' Angelo until they and the other fugitives from the world who had followed them were established by St. Francis in a rude dwelling adjoining the poor chapel of San Damiano, situated outside the town which he had to a great extent rebuilt with his own hands, and which he now obtained from the Benedictines as a permanent abode for his spiritual daughters. Thus was founded the first community of the Order of Poor Ladies, or of Poor Clares, as this second order of St. Francis came to be called.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sister Denise Boyle from Franciscans International visits us.

Sister Denise, a Franciscan Sister from Ireland and Executive Director of Franciscans International, visited us on April 8th and 9th to share with us her work on the Franciscan NGO, Non Governmental Orgination of the United Nations for the poor of the world. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures but you can find more about the Organization on their web page The FI do marvelous work and we pray and support their efforts.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Father John O'Connor OFM, Provincial of the Holy Name Friars, visits the Poor Clare Community

Father John O'Connor OFM, Holy Name Province Provincial, visited us today March 21,the first day of Spring. Father John celebrated the liturgy and stayed for dinner prepared by Sister Etta, which by the way was delicious. After dinner we visited in our community room with Father John. Thank you for the visit.

Christmas Newsletter 2018