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Showing posts from September, 2007

An International Joy

As we have now finished up our official meetings, I have time to post before we depart for Assisi! The time that we have thus far spent together as formation directors in our Congregation has been a great joy for each of us. We spoke at the end of our time about the graces that each of us received. One of those has been that we have all been touched in a very deep way is in the experience of the beauty of the way in which we have been called - a way inspired by Mother M. Anselma's response to the Holy Spirit in response to the needs of her time. We are each called to live out our lives in response to the Holy Spirit in our times and in our own cultures. "Simply ready in obedience to God's call." That is the spirit of a Thuine Franciscan. To live with joy the fullness of the life which we have chosen is what the Lord desires for each of us and for each young woman who is called to our community. We pray that those who are called, in each part of the world, be able to a

The Grandeur of the Church

Our first week of meetings has gone very well. We thank everyone for your prayers. There is such a richness here, having all of the formation directors of our Congregation able to speak (more or less!) with one another and share experiences. On Sunday, we were given a special gift - a trip to Osnabrück. Thuine is in the Diocese of Osnabrück, so we began our day in the city with Mass at the Cathedral. One of the things that struck me the most is that the Diocese was established around 780. Through many wars and other difficult times, the Church still remains. After Mass, we met and spent some time with Bishop Fraz-Josef Bode, the current Bishop. It was an honor to meet him and discuss the topic of formation. Also included in our trip to Osnabrück was a tour of the Dome (Cathedral), led by one of our own Sisters, Sister M. Annuntiata, who is stationed there at the cathedral. Down the street is the St. Francis of Assisi School which is also run by our Sisters. This is a professional prep

Blogging about Her September 15 Nameday

Our very own Sister M. Dolorosa is spending her time of mission as a second-year novice working in the Office of Youth Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Check out her blog entry about why she celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows as her nameday. You'll enjoy getting to know her better and learning more about our way of life through the eyes of a second-year novice. Let us know what you think about what she has written!

When is entrance day for our postulants?

The answer to the question in the poll in which 40 people have participated up until this moment is: September 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations, Winners! The prize is the joy of knowing you are included in our Sisters' prayers. To those who did not win, you are also being prayed for by our Franciscan Sisters. And above is the photo of our postulants - Elizabeth and Sarah - who entered our community that morning. Elizabeth - or "Liz" - comes to us from Hastings, Nebraska, where our Sisters have a convent and teach at St. Michael's Grade School and St. Cecilia Middle and High School. Sarah is from La Crosse, Wisconsin, where she attended Aquinas High School and got to know our Sisters because they teach there and also staff the Mater Redemptoris House of Formation for women ages 17-25. Amazingly, before entering our community, both graduated from colleges with degrees in Political Science. Hmmmm.... wonder what God has in store? And if you are someone who is interes

The Meetings Begin Today in Germany

The meetings for the formators of our worldwide congregation begin today. So Sister M. Beata will have to take a bit of a break from blogging, at least as often as she has been doing these past days. But do not fear! One or the other of us FSGMs - who remained home in the USA - will be drop in from time to time and say "Hi!" Stop by tomorrow. The poll ends tomorrow - you know, the one with the question: "When is entrance day for our postulants?" We'll give the answer AND we will introduce you to our two postulants who entered on... Until then..... P.S. In the meantime, here are some photos from our Sisters' website in Germany . Can you translate the German?

Ringing out the Praises of God

One of the often mentioned adventures of the Motherhouse is going to the top of the bell tower of Christ the King Church. This afternoon Schwester M. Sophia took several of us up and showed us the bells that produce such beautiful sounds, reminding us of the glory of God. Not only was climbing the narrow staircases exhilirating, but the joy of us all understanding, despite us speaking four different languages was also a grace from God. As this picture indicates, there are four main bells in the tower. There is a tradition in which each of the bells has a name. The largest is Christ the King. It tolls during processions for funerals. The next bell is Maria, which tolls each hour. The next bell is St. Joseph which tolls every quarter of an hour. The smallest bell is, appropriately, St. Francis. When all of the bells are rung together it is very beautiful. When they move here, the people of the village of Thuine have to sign an agreement that they will not complain about the frequent toll

Feast of the Birth of Mary

Today was Profession and Reception here at the Motherhouse. We celebrated with a very beautiful Mass which had much of the same ritual as we do in the United States. The things that differed was mostly the order in which it all progressed. The chapel was beautifully decorated and the choir sang very well! After Mass their was coffee for all of the guests in the school gymnasium and then the Feastday Sisters had lunch and visit time with their families. Today is also the Silver Jubilee of Sister M. Alexandra, Sister M. Kateri, Sister M. Rita, Sister M. Paula and Sister M. Josepha from our American Province. We wish them all a blessed day as they celebrate 25 years of the Lord's faithful love. This is also the Entrance day for our two new postulants, Sarah Reischl and Liz Sondag. We thank the Lord for them and for their response to His grace. Mary, our Mother and our guide, we pray for your Motherly intercession for all who are seeking to know and follow the will of your Son.

Mary, Queen of the Universe and of Poor Souls

We have returned to the Motherhouse in Thuine from three beautiful days in Heede. A little history of this Marian Shrine: It is said that from 1937-1940, Mary appeared 105 times to four children here in Heede. she desired to be honored as Queen of the Universe and Queen of Poor Souls. Since this time, a grotto has been built in her honor and many people come to Heede to honor the Mother of God and to pray. We have a convent across the street from the Shrine where the Sisters often spend vacation or retreat. It is perfect because of the many opportunities for prayer, Mass, adoration and Confession, etc. Our time here has been a grace in being able to be peaceful in the Lord's presence and with the prayers of Mary. It has also been a time in which we have prayed much for the needs of others and for those close to our hearts. Thank You, O Lord, for Your many blessings during these days!

Going on a Trip!

Today I wanted to give you a few pictures before we set off on a trip to Heede. I don't know a lot about this place yet, so I will fill you in when we return. Yesterday we went to a Sister's funeral in Schwagsdorf. It was very interesting to see the differences in funerals in other countries. They had a rosary, a procession to the cemetery, the burial and then the funeral Mass followed. The service at the cemetery was very beautiful. The casket was lowered into the ground and then at the end, each person came forward and blessed the grave with holy water. Schwagsdorf is the provincialate for the German province. So here are two photos: Sister M. Alexandra playing the organ in Christ the King Church at the Motherhouse. Schwester M. Frederika showing us one of the presses in the host bakery. Someone asked what aspostolic endeavors are on the Motherhouse grounds. There is the Generalate - Reverend Mother's office and all of the offices that help to run the whole Congregation.

A Day of Celebrations

Today is a day of many celebrations here at the Motherhouse! The pastor, Father Heinz-Gunter is celebrating his 40th Jubilee as a priest. He is also a Franciscan who is full of joy and enthusiasm... If only we could understand his homilies! The Mass this morning was very beautiful. The boys who live at the school here on the Motherhouse grounds were also at Mass, did readings, presented the gifts and interacted with Father during the homily. The choir sang beautifully, with three men employees of the school adding a very rich lower register! After Mass was a formal presentation of gifts and reception for Father. Some of his family was there as well. Today is also the nameday of the house Superior here - Schwester M. Ingrid, so everything has been very nice in the refectory for meals and we will have a special afternoon coffee with her at 3pm. One of the special things they put out today for lunch was water. Maybe they do this on all Sundays. I didn't think to ask. Otherwise, they e