Skip to main content

A Convent Advent

As soon as the turkey is put in its tupperware containers on Thanksgiving Day, the world goes right into “Christmas mode.” Many families (including my own) put up the Christmas tree and make plans for the shopping spree directly after the feast.

The wisdom of the Church gives us this holy season of advent to patiently and quietly prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ. It is a chance for us to slow down and calm ourselves interiorly so that our exterior will radiate with expectancy and not with Christmas lights and shiny new things.

During the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, the atmosphere of the convent is one of anticipation, hopefulness, conversion, and renewal. In order to better prepare our hearts for these holy seasons, we discuss beforehand as a community how we can physically, mentally, and spiritually take advantage of this time of grace. On Sundays of Advent and Lent, we keep silence until noon- this is to foster a prayerful spirit as we draw closer to Christ’s birth. We also try to cultivate silence in our everyday surroundings by more fervently keeping our Rule within enclosure and during the times asked of us in our Constitutions. The night before Advent begins, we each draw a Sisters’ name to remember in prayer and random acts of kindness- also known as “Advent Angel.” The tradition of Advent Angels continually draws us back to the real meaning of Advent and Christmas- a giving and receiving spirit in reflection of the Trinity who is a constant giving and receiving in love.

In the convent, we also have a bit of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. I admit, even before the turkey is on the table we have our Provincialate Christmas tree up and blinking- to welcome home our sisters who go to school. Slowly our hallways and lobbies are transformed into Christmas wonderlands. Our novitiate holds the annual Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) with German food, music, and gifts to purchase with prayers. Throughout Advent, our choir sings at our many hospital Christmas parties and a few of our sisters perform a candledance. Closer to the end of Advent, we do Christmas Caroling around both of our hospitals in Alton with the traditional Christmas Angels (young daughters of a few of our hospital employees) who pass out Christmas cards to all of our patients. Advent also wouldn’t be the same without the numerous school Christmas programs- the Mary who forgets her lines, the three-year-olds singing “Go Tell it on the Mountain” with as much gusto as they can manage (forget the verses, just sing the refrain over and over and over again), and the Sisters who sit down with a sigh and a smile of gratitude after it is all over.

Happy Advent!
- by Sr. M. Clementia, FSGM


Anonymous said…
Sounds awesome! My grandparents wanted something different, so they put their tree in the kitchen!
Michele said…
i'm still not in Christmas mode yet. not by a long shot.
i'm patiently waiting for Jesus. i'll probably do my shopping well after the 15th:) i like to enjoy Advent:)

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to our Family, Postulants!!!

Today, on the Feast of the Birth of Mary, our new postulants entered the postulancy of our American Province of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George! We thank God for the gift of these vocations. Pictured above - on their very first full day in the convent - are (from left) Ashley Vola, Samantha Goodson, Miranda Edgar, Jennifer Clark and Erin Leis. Welcome, Postulants! We Sisters are grateful that you have accepted Christ's invitation to belong totally to Him in our Franciscan community, and we support you wholeheartedly with our prayers and help! If you would like to send a word of welcome and encouragement to these new postulants, we will pass the greetings along to them. Just leave them as a "comment"!

Looking Back with Gratitude

“Christ is calling you; the Church needs you; the Pope believes in you and he expects great things of you!” My life would never be the same as the words of John Paul II coursed through my mind and beat with fervor in my heart. Me? Could he possibly mean me? Like many others, I felt Pope John Paul II was speaking directly to me as I sat behind him in the nose-bleed section of the stadium in Saint Louis. Throughout my high school years after this encounter, the idea of having a possible vocation to the religious life shocked and bewildered me, but at the same time brought me such peace. As each year came and went, my relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church grew with greater depth, understanding, and love. Through daily mass, Eucharistic Adoration, the Rosary, Scripture and God’s divine intervention through his priests and religious, I soon realized that, yes, the Pope did mean me. Christ was calling me and how could I say no? After one year of college, I soon came to the realizatio

Celebrating our August Feastdays

We are pleased to announce the  Reception into the Novitiate of Clare Kennedy - Sr. M. Veronica Gabrielle Burnham - Sr. Bethany Marie Sidney Ramaekers - Sr. M. Magnificat and the First Profession of Vows of Sr. M. Rose Thomas Weighner Sr. M. Cecilia Abbadessa Sr. Mary James Becker Sr. Peter Marie Tran The celebration of Holy Mass with the Rite of First Profession and Reception into the Novitiate  will take place on  Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 3:30 pm. We are pleased to announce the  Final Profession of Vows of  Sr. M. Lucy Gantt Sr. Karol Marie Baumgarten Sr. Teresa Maria Leis Sr. Mary Francis Goodson Sr. M. Caterina Vola Sr. M. Gemma Kissel The celebration of Holy Mass with the Rite of Final Profession will take place on  Monday, August 3, 2020 at 10:00 am. Due to restrictions in place, we are unable to invite you to attend the ceremonies, however you are welcome to join us in prayer and participation via Livestream.