Our dear friends,
“The day has come, Your saving day, in which all things shall bloom anew.” Yes, spring has come to Mt. St. Francis, and with it the renewal of the earth heralded by the filmy green appearing on trees and the dauntless crocus coming up in odd places – reminders of the days not too long ago when flower beds had not yet been delineated nor lawns been planted and construction was still very much a part of our lives. And yet, as we begin our fourth year in our new home, we discover that construction will likely continue to be as ongoing materially as it should be in our spiritual lives. Looking back over these past few months, we see much in both areas.
We closed our third Christmas season here on Mt. St. Francis on January 7th with the restoration of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament on a regular basis each Sunday following sung Vespers (Evening Prayer) and the recitation of the rosary or some other seasonal devotion. On that memorable day, for example, we sang one of our favorite Christmas “specials” between each decade of the Joyful Mysteries, while on the First Sunday of Lent, we read excerpts from our Holy Father’s message for Lent between each decade of the Divine Mercy Chaplet. We were pleased that a number of our friends came to join us that day in January, and, to a greater or lesser extent, the following Sundays as well. And so, we would like to renew our invitation to join us at 3:40 p.m. on Sunday afternoons (Palm Sunday being the one exception) as an opportunity for spiritual refreshment and renewal especially in this Lenten and soon-to-be Paschal season.
Another opportunity of spiritual construction for us was the arrival on March 3rd of Mother Miriam, P.C.C., abbess of our Poor Clare monastery in Kokomo, Indiana, who is the head of our Poor Clare Federation of Mary Immaculate, and her companion, Sister Michael Marie. It was a time of rich sharing based on Mother’s keen interest and experience in gardening. As little plants of our Father St. Francis, as our Holy Mother St. Clare delighted in calling herself, we relished her advice on the multiple variety evident in every garden and the fact that plant differeth from plant (to paraphrase St. Paul) not only as regards proper watering and pruning, but also in what one can expect each plant to produce. A plant that is supposed to bloom once a year or once in a lifetime cannot be expected to do so every month, for example, as much as one might like it to. Wishing to share as much as possible of our own unique garden, we took Mother hiking to several of our favorite outdoor meditation areas. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of a number of our friends with chain saws and several other volunteer groups we now have four or five trails and three outdoor stairways that make these areas more accessible to us.
Accessibility to the high places has turned out to be one of the happiest benefits of the new asphalt road we had put in last December, even though its primary purpose had been better erosion control. Thus, we made the decision to extend it all the way over the hill and down to an area overlooking Godden’s Pond where we had gathered to pray First Vespers of the Solemnity of our Holy Father Francis after our ground blessing ceremony in October of 1999.
At present, our construction plans are focused on the building of the small house for our chaplain, Father Francis Simeone, near the front entrance of our driveway. At this writing Father has a well and an access road. Soon – if the rains that delayed our own building continue to hold off - there may be a foundation laid and walls going up. Father opted for a log-cabin type house, something he has dreamed of for a number of years. It is a joy for us to be able to provide this for him who so faithfully provides the Bread of Life each morning for us and for all who frequent our chapel.
We invite you to join us in the celebration of the great Paschal Triduum April 5 – 8. To our great delight our liturgical calendar coincides this year with that of our Eastern Rite brothers and sisters, so that with one voice the cry may go forth:
Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Hrestoss vosskrese! Voestos vosskrese!
Our Holy Week Liturgies in this year of the Lord 2007:
April 5, Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper 5:00 p.m.
April 6, Good Friday Celebration of the Lord’s Passion 3:00 p.m.
April 7, Easter Vigil 11:00 p.m.
April 8, Easter Sunday
Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection 9:15 a.m.
Visit our Public Chapel: 6:30 AM --6:30 PM
Daily Mass: usually at 8 AM (call ahead to be sure)
Benediction Holy Hour: every Sunday at 3:40 PM