Join our “Tender Shoot” Replanting!

Georgetown Visitation Replants the “Tender Shoot” That Fell to the Ground

 

Profound humility toward God. Gentleness toward neighbor. This is the charism of the Visitation Order. Wouldn’t you say these qualities are needed today? … Will you join us in the replanting of our “tender shoot”?

A Dream that Took an Unexpected Turn

 

Three years ago a Sister who had just transferred to our Georgetown monastery dreamed of starting a new growth in the community. She was Sr. Marie de Chantal.

 

But the dream took a different turn. Sr. Marie passed away to her heavenly reward last June.

georg

Sr. Anne Francis, Sr. Jacqueline, and Postulant Sylvia reflect on new plans for the “replanting” of the Georgetown Visitation.

As Mother Mary Berchmans, superior of the Georgetown Visitation recalled at the funeral,

“Let us remember that Sister Marie de Chantal joined our community two years ago to offer herself for the beginning of the Gallery Community. She is the tender shoot God tore off from the top of the branches of her community in Brooklyn and planted her here in our community. She gave herself to this project, confident that it would put forth branches and bear fruit in new vocations to the Visitation Order in the United States …. She prayed that women from all over will come to dwell on the branches of this tree and bring new life to our community and the Visitation.

 

“Sister Marie de Chantal is the lowly tree, a gentle, simple religious who sought God’s Will in her life and did not stand on pretenses….

 

“Now from her heavenly perch, we are confident that Sister Marie de Chantal will work wonders for her family, for her two communities and for all the people whose lives she touched.”

 

And yet, as Mother said in so many words, it is a dream that has not ended. We are carrying out – with God’s help – Sister’s vision. Right now our beginnings are small – there is myself (Sr. Anne Francis) and our postulant, Sylvia, who joined us in October. We have received inquiries from elsewhere as well. God sends whom He will.

 

Will you join our humble beginnings?

 

If you have taken part in the Visitation Order’s chat room Sunday night, you know that our Order has a unique charism of gentleness and humility, and is open to older women.

 

We will be holding a Discernment Retreat at our Georgetown Visitation Monastery in Washington, DC April 28 – May 1. If you are between the ages of 25 and 40, please consider coming to it.

 

I hope to hear from you!

 

 

Sr. Anne Francis   Georgetown Visitation

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New Postulant!

Georgetown Visitation Monastery received a new postulant, Sylvie, through the efforts of its St. Jane de Chantal Gallery Ministry coordinated by Sister Anne Francis.

We welcome Silvie  to the Visitation family!

silvi

 

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A Tribute

Mother M BerchmansMons Garcia and MassieIMG_1071Mother  Mary Berchmans said to the community: ” Let us remember that Sister Marie de Chantal joined our community two years ago to offer herself for the beginning of the Gallery Community. She is the tender shoot God tore off from the top of the branches of her community in Brooklyn and planted her here in our community. She gave herself to this project confident that it would put forth branches and bear fruit in new vocations to the Visitation Order in the United States and become a majestic cedar on the mountain heights. She prayed that women from all over will come to dwell on the branches of this tree and bring new life to our community and the Visitation.

Sister Marie de Chantal is the lowly tree, a gentle, simple religious who sought God’s Will in her life and did not stand on pretenses. God’s ways are not our ways, so Sister began to realize that her contribution was to be an offering of her sufferings..

Now from her heavenly perch, we are confident that Sister Marie de Chantal will work wonders for her family, for her two communities and for all the people whose lives she touched.”

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Offer to God a Sacrifice of Praise

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Once again we enter into the Holy Season of Lent. Our hearts are filled with desires and thoughts to unite with Our Lord in His sacrificial offering and redemptive plan of love. We desire to embrace this time of renewal, this time of grace as a time to look more deeply into our hearts and ask ourselves : how can I better gift myself to God and to others ? The letters that spell out the word LENT can be a call to do just that !

L     LOVE …… Lent is a time of conscientious acts of love. Putting fervent love into all our actions and sacrifices is what makes them a “sacrifice of praise”. Praise God in a good thought colored with love, a kind word expressed in love, a generous deed done in love. Saint Francis de Sales tells us that “Lent is the autumn of the spiritual life when we pick the fruit and gather it for a whole year”. May our acts of sacrifice be acts of love and praise to God as we pick their good fruit and store it in our hearts to be shared and gifted to others.

E     ENKINDLE …… Lent is a time to enkindle that spark of fervor and devotion within us. At times the giving of ourselves can lose its zest as the flame starts to dwindle. Lent calls us to ignite the flame once again as we strive to be more earnest and faithful about what we do and who we are for God and for others in our response to the daily challenges of life.

    NEWNESS …… Lent is a time of renewal as we move from “Winter into Spring”. Nature moves us into newness of life as it gives birth in the season of Spring. It gives us many opportunities to bear the fruit we are gathering in our sacrifices and earnest acts of love . These words of counsel from Saint Francis de Sales should echo in our hearts , ” Live joyfully and generously, for that is how God wants you to be”.

T     TOGETHERNESS ……. Lent is a time of togetherness . God is not asking us to walk through the season of Lent alone but, rather, to walk through it with each other. We are invited to pray together, sacrifice together, help each other together in a spirit of encouragement and forgiveness. During this time of inner renewal we come to see more and more the image of God in ourselves and in others whom we should love, reverence and respect in praise of God.

“Hold your hearts full of love, but a gentle, peaceful, calm love. Look at your faults and those of others with compassion and humility.”  St. Francis de Sales

GOD BE PRAISED !

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Every Moment Is Sacred

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As we enter into this New Year, we receive a gift …… a gift to begin anew! Pope Francis invites us to “look on the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion, and to embrace the future with hope. In a similar way, Saint Francis de Sales tells us to “leave the past to God’s mercy, the future to His providence and to give the present to His love”.

A new year calls us to ask ourselves how can we use this gift to begin anew ? What can we do with this gift? Is there something special we are to do with this gift?

When Mary consented to be the Mother of God, she knew in her heart she was to do something special, she was chosen to give birth to Jesus, the savior of the world. She opened her arms graciously and generously to receive her gift with trust and faith. Sacred Moment

A new year has gifted us with a gift of time, to receive each moment as sacred. Saint Augustine counsels us that no matter how much time we have, we are to use it well. God came into our lives to offer us the fullness of life, the fullness of time. He gathers the past, present and future into the heart of His love. Every hour of every day is a gift from Him, every moment is sacred. May we embrace each moment of our day as sacred as we open our hearts to the overflowing of God’s grace in every opportunity to give Christ to others and to receive from others the gift of His love.

A Blessed New Year to each of you, let us remain united in heart and prayer!!!

” Run cheerfully and lovingly in the way of God’s good pleasure”.  St. Jane de Chantal

GOD BE PRAISED !

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Advent – An Invitation of Time

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It is hard to believe that another year in the Church has come to an end and a new year of grace is beginning. As we look back we can only give thanks to God for the many blessings and challenges that have opened our hearts and minds to the gift of grace and a nearness of God’s presence in our lives.

“We do not know the day or the hour“, these words from the Gospel of Mark on this first Sunday of Advent can refer to many things, not only the second coming of our Lord at the end of time or His coming at the end of our lives. “We do not know the day or the hour” that God may ask a particular sacrifice of us, the sacrifice of our health, of a loved one or a treasured experience. However, we do know that within this sacrifice is the presence of God uniting us to himself.

Advent is an invitation of time to deepen our relationship with God in intimacy, love, trust and hope. Jesus is continuously coming into our lives in prayer, in the inner movements of our hearts and in the momentary encounters with each other. Advent is a call to “put on the mind and heart of Jesus” as we put into action the virtues of love, kindness, meekness,

Advent - An Invitation of Time

Advent – An Invitation of Time

forgiveness and compassion. Our daily lives are filled with opportunities in which we can be open to God’s love and witness that love in our caring and gentle relationships with each other.

Let us joyfully enter into these four weeks of Advent with renewed attentiveness to the many grace filled opportunities in our lives that will make us one in love with Jesus who came to earth to be one with us. These four weeks will not only prepare us for the celebration of His birth but will also renew us to “Live Jesus” in our lives throughout this new year of grace.

“Truly it is a blessed thing to love on earth as we hope to love in Heaven.”

St . Francis de Sales

God Be Praised !

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National Vocation Awareness Week

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O Holy Spirit, Spirit of wisdom and divine love, impart your knowledge, understanding, and counsel to young women that they may hear and know the Will of God in their lives. Give them courage and strength to follow their vocation and the whisperings in their

Listening to His Voice

Listening to His Voice

hearts. Guide their uncertain steps, strengthen their resolutions, fashion their minds, conquer their hearts, and lead them to where and how they can best serve God.

May Our Lady make a secret visitation to their hearts and may our founders inspire in them a desire to live the little virtues and to grow in a love of our charism.

May the Saint Jane de Chantal Gallery Community be graced with vocations as they continue to carry out their vocational ministry in hope and fidelity to its vision.

We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Recreation Time !

Recreation Time !

College Students Pictured With Saint Margaret Mary and Her Novices

College Students Pictured With Saint Margaret Mary and Her Novices

 

Come Visit Us !

Come Visit Us !

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Feast of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

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Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in France on July 22, 1647. Little did her parents know that she would be chosen by God to make known to the world His great love for us flowing from the Heart of His Son. At 24 years of age she entered the Visitation Monastery of Paray-le-Monial. She knew deep in her heart that Jesus was intimately inviting her to a union of hearts with His in this Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. Through the revelations made to Saint Margaret Mary, Our Lord has entrusted His Sacred Heart to our Order in a special way. As “Daughters of His Sacred Heart”, our riches are the virtues of His gentleness, humility and simplicity that flow from His Heart into ours.

Jessa and Lori on a Discernment Retreat

Jessa and Lori on a Discernment Retreat

Margaret Mary had a great desire for prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament. She would go before the Lord as a blank canvas,   asking Him to depict whatever He wished to create in her life. She would ask Him to imprint in her heart His virtues, so she could “Live Jesus” in all that she said and did. She took to heart the words of Jesus, “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” and tried to live  these little virtues faithfully with great love.

On December 27, 1673, Margaret Mary received her first apparition. At this time her mission to reveal the love of Jesus to the world was made known to her. Jesus appeared to her and said, “I cannot hide the flames of my burning love for all people and for you, through you I must share my love and make it known.” We know that through great faith and suffering, Margaret Mary fulfilled this mission and today her mission is still being carried out by many who receive an abundance of graces flowing from the Heart of Jesus.

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque was given an extraordinary mission, but, perhaps, we can ask ourselves, how can we in ordinary ways carry out this mission?

A Joyful Discernment Visit !

A Joyful Discernment Visit !

We, too, can go before the Lord in prayer as a canvas asking Him to imprint in our hearts and souls His loving virtues with which we can touch the hearts and lives of others. Prayer is lifting up our minds and hearts to God …… living the fruit of prayer is lifting up our minds and hearts to others.

Let us imitate Saint Margaret Mary in her great love for cherished moments in prayer; let us also strive to make known to those with whom we are in contact the incomparable love of Jesus for each one of us and to imitate that love as we daily strive to LIVE  JESUS!

“This Sacred Heart will shower abundantly the treasures of His sanctifying grace on those who accept Him and place themselves under His protection.” Saint Margaret Mary

                GOD BE PRAISED !

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Change of Seasons

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As we enter into another change of season, perhaps, we can spend some time to reflect on these words of Saint Francis de Sales : “Do not worry about tomorow. The same everlasting Father who loves and cares for you today , will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it.” All of us have had or will have an experience in our lives when these words will take on a very deep meaning for us. I have recently read a reflection written by Father Richard DeLillio OSFS about an actress who was one day praying in a church as she was dreading a medical report from her doctor. On her way out her eyes fell upon these words for the first time that were inscribed over a door. She put her faith in them and was brought to full recovery as she was given “the unfailing strength our everlasting Father has promised us.”
Over the past months, I, also, have had to face a medical concern. ( The reason why I have not been very faithful in posting journals !) These words of Saint Francis de Sales have become very real to me. Through trustful surrender, the prayerful and loving support of each of you, I have been graced to experience the truth of these words in a very meaningful way: that our heavenly Father does give us an “unfailing strength ” to endure what of ourselves we know we could never have endured.
The Glory of God !

The Glory of God !

Another reflection that has crossed my path is on the “power of the faith of our loved ones” ….. it was the faith of the friends of the paralytic man who lowered him from the hole in the roof to the feet of Jesus that obtained his cure. In trusting in God’s providence over us, in trusting in the prayerful support of our family and friends, grace will overflow into our lives and into our hearts when we most need it and together we will give “glory to the power of prayer”, trust and surrender .
“Do what you can, God will do the rest.” Saint Francis de Sales
GOD BE PRAISED !

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Love of God Poured into Our Hearts

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Love of God Poured into Our Hearts

Saint Francis de Sales understands the Heart of Jesus to have a dual role; it is the divine/human womb which gives spiritual birth and nourishment, and it is the human means of access to the Heart of God.

Arts and Crafts with Friends from UMD!

Arts and Crafts with Friends from UMD!

When we allow our human heart to be surrounded by God’s heart, we find joy and hope in the nooks and crannies of each moment of our day. God is present at every wrinkle of our day. This is effected as regards God by union of our wills with his, and with our neighbor by virtue immediately on charity-namely, gentleness.

Jesus, enlarge our hearts through your most loving heart!

Jesus, enlarge our hearts through your most loving heart!

 

His little heart, panting with love for us, ought indeed to inflame ours. Let us allow Him to enlarge our hearts with the beauty of divine love and goodness.

May God Be Praised!

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