Steve Hermann Photos of Passionist Monastery

“Can I take photos of the inside of your chapel?”, the eager man requested of Sr. Catherine Marie the afternoon of Sr. Mary Magdalen’s Golden Jubilee on August 13.  He could hardly contain his excitement.

We escorted him down to chapel and within 15 minutes he was on his way promising to send us the finished results. These photos are phenomenal and I know you will be as amazed as we were.

You can see more of his work at Steve Hermann Inspirational Photos.

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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Alas…Forgotten Blog Post

Hello dear friends, I put this post together some weeks ago but forgot to publish it…alas…losing my memory…the woes of running a monastery.🙂

Enjoy the post…

A couple weeks ago we celebrated the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. This feast was very important to our Holy Founder, St. Paul of the Cross. We prepared for this feast with a Solemn Community Novena. We make 5 of these solemn novenas a year. To help us prepare for the celebration we reflected upon Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII. The morning of the Feast we were free from unnecessary work and spent the morning hours in Eucharistic adoration.

After lunch we gathered to take a walk down memory lane. We divided up into 3 teams had acted out memorable events from the history of our monastic community.

By the way, Theresa was with us for her third visit. Please pray for her and all women who are discerning a vocation to our monastery!

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here one team talks about what they will act out.

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Sr. Lucia Marie and Theresa enjoy the skit of another team

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This scene is portraying the flood we had in the late 1990’s when water was pouring in through every nook and cranny in our basement walls. Since then the drainage problem has been “fixed”!

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Sr. Marie Michael enacts the time she almost cut of 3 fingers with an electric hedge trimmer!

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Theresa plays some lovely hymns and song for “After Meal Entertainment”

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Silence is usually kept at meals while listening/watching spiritual video/Catholic news…On special occasions we turn the tables and speak at meal time.

 

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Please keep Theresa and all our discerning friends in your prayers!

 

Finally – Photo of Aspirants

Sunday, August 28 Ruth and Olivia received their small Passion sign pin and officially entered the 3-month aspirancy program. They received their pin during Vespers of that Sunday.

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The following was the reading for Vespers that evening – how appropriate!

READING      2 Thessalonians 2:13-14
We are bound to thank God for you always, beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord, because you are the first fruits of those whom God has chosen for salvation, in holiness of spirit and fidelity to truth. He called you through our preaching of the good news so that you might achieve the glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

and the  RESPONSORY
Our Lord is great, mighty is his power.
– Our Lord is great, mighty is his power.
His wisdom is beyond compare,
– mighty is his power.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
– Our Lord is great, mighty is his power.

Indeed His wisdom is beyond compare!

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Please keep Ruth and Olivia in your prayers as they and we continue to discern God’s plan if it is indeed his will for them to be future Passionist Nuns.

This post is dedicated to the “aspirant moms”!

A Passionist Saint in the Making

I came across this article earlier this week and thought you would find it interesting. Apologies I haven’t gotten those aspirants posted yet – will do soon!

Father Ignatius Spencer - Passionist Missionary

Father Ignatius Spencer – Passionist Missionary

Priest related to Princess Diana on the path to sainthood

From EWTN News

A relative of Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry has moved one step closer to sainthood.

According to reports from the British news source Catholic Herald, a 20-year investigation into the life and works of Father Ignatius Spencer has recently been approved by Vatican historians.

The positio, or document used in the process to declare someone “venerable,” has officially been passed to the theologians of the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Sainthood.

If sufficient “evidence of sanctity” is found, they will appeal to Pope Francis to declare the Passionist priest “venerable,” the second of four major steps on the path to canonization as a saint in the Catholic Church.

Fr. Ignatius Spencer was born George Spencer in 1799 and was an Anglican clergyman in the area of Althorp, Northamptonshire, where Lady Diana was buried after she was killed in a Paris car crash in August 1997.

Fr. Spencer converted to Roman Catholicism at the age of 31, scandalizing some in the Victorian society.

The Spencer family, mostly members of the Church of England, were the fifth wealthiest family in the country at the time.

Early on in his priesthood, Fr. Spencer was attracted to the active contemplative community of the Passionists. He became known for his ecumenical efforts in pursuit of “unity in truth,” the same quest for truth that led him to the Catholic faith.

According to Fr. John Kearns, the British Passionist Provincial, Fr. Spencer also maintained his love for cricket, calling it “my mania.”

He was also known for his work with the poor, particularly with Irish immigrants. He once said that he wished he could die like Jesus – “in a ditch, unseen and unknown.” The words ended up being prophetic, because Fr. Spencer died alone after having a seizure on a country lane near Edinburgh, Scotland. His body is entombed in the Church of St Anne and Blessed Dominic in St Helens, Merseyside.

Fr. Spencer is the great-great-great uncle of the Princess Diana, as well as the great uncle of Winston Churchill.

Once Fr. Spencer is declared venerable, the next step in his canonization process would be beatification, which would require evidence of a miracle that occurs through the intercession.

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury told the Catholic Herald that Fr. Spencer’s life is a “heroic and often neglected” chapter of Catholicism in England.

“In facing the challenge of secularism, Fr Ignatius and his fellow Passionists – Blessed Dominic Barberi and Mother Elizabeth Prout – remind us of the missionary energy and purpose which marked ‘the second spring’ of the Catholic Church in England.”

Read Fr. Ignatius’ writings here.

Summer Newsletter and Aspirants!

Hello from a Kentucky cloister!

Our latest newsletter was just posted on our website. It features an interview with Mother John Mary.

And don’t miss the insert that shares the motive-force behind our retreat house and how you can make a holy “get away” to draw near to God in a silent and prayerful environment.

A N D   I   H A V E   F A B U L O U S   N E W S ! ! !

As of this past Saturday we have two aspirants!  Please pray for Ruth and Olivia as they begin this 3-month odyssey of seeking God and his plan for their lives. If all goes well they will discern entering our monastery in December!

I will post photos of them in my next blog post…I know…that’s kind of cruel isn’t it.🙂

God bless you! and be on the watch for two Passionist aspirants…

Monastery Summer Happenings 2016

Greetings to our blog family!  Thought you’d enjoy seeing some pictures of “photo-worthy” events that have happened this summer…

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Not only did we get a new superior in June but we also received a new chaplain! Fr. Lou Caporiccio, C.P.M. is no stranger to our community. His first work with us was back in 2001 as a chaplain for a vocation retreat. Father is a member of the Fathers of Mercy. Here is seen with Sr. Mary Veronica and Sr. Mary Therese while holding a relic of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Photos from some Strawberry days…

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The awesome staff of Trinity High School in Whitesville was here for a service day in July. They did everything from weeding, repairing flower bed borders and cutting down the forest in the veggie garden, to power washing and help prep newsletters for mailing. May God bless and reward you!

Photos from Peaches days…my did those peaches taste good!

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It was a blessing to have our friend Fr. Charles Connor with us for a week in August…he gave conferences to the nuns and led the Oblate retreat on the theme of the life and spirituality of Venerable Fulton J Sheen. We hope he’ll return…perhaps with conferences on St. Therese of Lisieux.

 

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This photo definitely received the highest raves when I asked earlier this year which you preferred to be used as a life-size vocation poster. We are in the process of having that banner created. This will draw youth to our display tables at various youth conferences. On the table they will see our vocation materials, including our brochure, which show the smiling faces of the young sisters (that is the “32 and under Gang”)

I heard from a young woman in California last week. I thought her message summed up what we want to show in our vocation materials and what so many of you wrote when you shared your suggestions…It is important to promote the heart of our mission, yet we must do that with joy!

She wrote the following:

I have been thinking about being a nun “when I grow up” since I was around six years old. [She is 17 y.o. now.] For the past year, I have been looking into different convents. I have been attracted to the cloistered contemplative life since my preteen years. I have developed a love for Christ in his Passion over the years as well. One priority of mine is to pray for souls, for my country, for everything and everyone! I think it is a neat idea to make a difference in the world through prayer as a nun.

I looked at the pictures on your website and was surprised and pleased to see that, despite your serious mission, you all look happy. To be honest, I am glad to see a few young faces in the pictures as well. I am thrilled to get know your order and can’t wait for a response! Please pray for me and my family.

Dear family, please pray we always be faithful to our mission in the Church and fulfill it with JOY!

God love you!

Sr. Mary Magdalen Celebrates 50 Years of Cloistered Life

A week ago today we had a wonderful celebration of Sr. Mary Magdalen’s Golden Jubilee of Passionist Profession. It was a very small celebration including Bishop Medley, some priest friends, family and friends.

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Mass for the 50th Anniversary of Passionist Vows

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Sr. Mary Magdalen with her siblings Patsy, Mike and Susie

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New gift of 8 vestments in honor of Sister’s Golden Jubilee

Fr. John Vaughan, a long-time friend of Sr. Mary Magdalen’s family, gave the homily. It was very inspiring. In it he includes a quote from Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation to Nuns entitled Vultum Dei Quaerere. Unfortunately there has been some bad press about the document (“nothing new under the sun!”) but here is a good summary.

Enjoy the homily!

            In the summer of 1964 I was preparing to enter my third year of seminary formation. It was at that time that I heard there was an older parishioner🙂 who was going to enter a Passionist Monastery in Owensboro (she was 19 years old when she entered!). I did not know her – nor did I know what a Passionist was either, but I was happy to

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A Woefully Late Post About the 4th of July!

Yikes! It has been too long since I shared a glimpse in our monastic life…

We are all beginning to get used to having a new mother superior. The funniest story of late…Sister Catherine Marie and I were out running an errand. While waiting in line, I proceeded to introduce myself by saying, “I’m Mother Catherine Marie.”  Sr. Catherine Marie looked at me and said, “No, you’re not.”  I looked at her…mystified…I couldn’t figure out what I had said wrong.

Anyway…here is a fun explanation of our celebration of Independence day back on July 4th, written by one of the novices…I hope as I get more adjusted to this new office that my blog posts won’t be so late!  Enjoy!

Oh beautiful, for cloudy skies, for driving sheets of rain…

America, America, God shed His grace on thee…If He sheds half as much grace as rain He shed this Independence day, our Nation will be blessed indeed!

The weather this Gaudeamus Day morning, in the 80s with about 420% humidity, posed an extra challenge to the two new grilling sisters. Mother John Mary, who has done the grilling for the past several years, passed the job on to Sr. Cecilia Maria and Sr. Rose Marie this year. Undaunted by the torrential rain, they set up the charcoal grill under the aluminum awning at one end of the Monastery. It took nearly an hour to get the coals to light, but lots of lighter fluid, help from grilling expert Christie, and fervent prayers, the valiant sisters succeeded in igniting the damp coal, and did a marvelous job preparing hotdogs, hamburgers, and grilled toast and garlic cloves just in time for Midday Prayer and Dinner.

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After a delicious dinner, and a penitential dessert of dirt and worms, several sisters took advantage of the beautiful weather for some time outdoors. Changing into ‘outdoor’ habits, the group took a leisurely stroll in the rain. To top off the splashy, sloshy, soak-to-the-skin afternoon, they returned to the monastery to make s’mores over the smoldering grill.

Thanks be to God for a beautiful day of celebrating the precious gift of our freedom. May He continue to shower down His grace and mercy in on our Nation.

A Small Catholic World Moment

Well folks…it has been a while since I touched base with you. And a lot has transpired!  It has been a whirlwind 3.5 weeks since our community elections. I have moved into the superior’s office (although, please don’t peek in the superior’s storeroom!) and this is the first time in my 21 years in the monastery to have an office with a window!  It is a delight to have natural lighting pouring in as I sit here at the computer. The windowsill is graced with a Jade plant and a Zebra Cactus flanking a statue of good St. Joseph.

This August we will have the joy of welcoming Olivia into the aspirancy program. Olivia was at the Steubenville Youth Conference last weekend and happened to see a young Franciscan Friar from afar whom she thought looked a lot like our Sr. Frances Marie. Turned out that indeed it was Sr. Frances Marie’s brother, Friar Emmanuel, or as he is better known, Brother Manny.

Olivia with two of Sr. Frances Marie's brothers Sam and Br. Manny.

Olivia with two of Sr. Frances Marie’s brothers Sam and Br. Manny.

As Br. Manny wrote: “It was a wonderful small Catholic world moment!”  (Hope you don’t mind me posting the photo and quoting you Br. Manny. Can this superior get away with “presuming” your permission?🙂 )

Her associate pastor, Fr. Scott Goodfellow, recently posted this in their parish bulletin:

The Veil and the Valedictorian

Congratulations to parishioner and high school graduate Olivia K. for being named valedictorian of the Euclid high school senior class of 2016! Olivia is faithful to daily Mass and prayer, and is a devoted member of our Lifeteen youth ministry program. For the past few years, she has been discerning a vocation to the religious life, and we are proud to say that this August she will be entering the order of Passionist Nuns in Kentucky. Olivia, we pray for you and your vocation to the religious life. May the gift of wisdom you have received and nourished guide you to a holy life and a deeper love of God! May we all continue to pray for vocations to religious life and priesthood!

Thanks for your support of our life of prayer through donations and prayers. Your prayers are bearing fruit!  I am counting on your prayers for our vocation retreat in two weeks. God reward you!

Monastery Election Results

On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, our community began a new chapter in our monastic history. Sr. John Mary Read (a.k.a. Sponsa Christi   to our vocation blog readers) was elected Mother Superior!   (Don’t worry. She will continue her blog posts!)

Fr. Pat Reynolds was the representative for our Bishop Medley who was unable to be present. Here he is with newly elected Mother John Mary and the monastic community

Fr. Pat Reynolds was the representative for our Bishop Medley who was unable to be present. Here he is with newly elected Mother John Mary and the monastic community

Mother John Mary came to us from Elberfeld, IN in 1995, and was a postulant during the construction years of our Crisp Road monastery. We have many humorous memories of that young postulant with long curly hair helping us pick up bricks that we Nuns deemed too good to throw away, or driving our 45-mile-an-hour old truck home from the construction site, her clothing spotted with various colors of paint just like all the rest of the famous “polka-dotted Nuns”. We are sure that throughout her “testing by paint” ordeal as a Passionist postulant, she never dreamed that in the plan of the Father, one day she would be called to lead our community as superior. But so it happened.

Throughout these 20 years here at our relocated monastery, Sister has been instrumental in working with prospective candidates to our life.  Hopefully, her vocation work can continue.  Since Mother John Mary is one of only two Sisters who fill a huge generation gap in our community, her election represents a new generation assuming leadership into our future.  As we begin this new chapter in the history of our monastery, we are so grateful to God that we have younger Nuns who give promise of our community continuing on into the future while continuing to attract more vocations.

In the meantime, we are having many laughs as we all adjust to “Mother” Catherine Marie being “Sister” Catherine Marie again; and “Sister” John Mary now being “Mother” John Mary. Throughout the day we hear, “Mother…err, I mean Sister….” And “Sister…err, I mean Mother.” We will soon get it right, especially if our new superior does not take a notion to give us a penance of a rosary for every time we use the wrong title!! Or, on second thought, that might help us make the adjustment faster!!!🙂

Please keep Mother and all our Nuns in your special prayers! And keep up those vocations prayers too!! Watch for our upcoming issue of “From the Foot of the Cross” for a complete story. Oh! and pray for the other Sisters elected to serve the community for another three years:

Vicar – Sr. Catherine Marie
Novice Directress – Sr. Mary Veronica
First Councilor – Sr. Mary Agnes
Second Councilor – Sr. Mary Veronica
Third Councilor – Sr. Mary Magdalen

Mother John Mary and her Council

Mother John Mary and her Council