Monday, September 28, 2009

A prayerful wish for my Jewish friends

A blessed Yom Kippur to my dear Jewish friends,
especially Lori Lynn and Dina.

The LORD said to Moses, "The tenth of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement, when you shall hold a sacred assembly and mortify yourselves and offer an oblation to the LORD. On this day you shall not do any work, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD, your God. Anyone who does not mortify himself on this day shall be cut off from his people, and if anyone does any work on this day, I will remove him from the midst of his people. This is a perpetual statute for you and your descendants wherever you dwell: you shall do no work, but shall keep a sabbath of complete rest and mortify yourselves. Beginning on the evening of the ninth of the month, you shall keep this sabbath of yours from evening to evening."

Leviticus 23:26-32

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sacred Sunday

A friar in prayer

"Prayer is an act of love, words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love...For mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything."
St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila)

Location: Carmelite Monastery, San Francisco

Friday, September 25, 2009

Skywatch Friday

From the monastery hilltop looking south.

The Silicon Valley covered in morning fog.
Today's Skywatch Friday post was inspired by San Pedro Daily Photo's recent "FOGGY" post. Click here to see it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Steubenville, Ohio

Tomb of the Unborn Child
Franciscan University

Monday, September 21, 2009

Latrobe, Pennsylvania

I had the blessing of visiting St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It is the first Benedictine monastery in the United States, with beginnings as far back as 1790. Today, it comprises the Basilica Church, the Archabbey/monastery, a seminary, a college and a retreat house.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sacred Sunday

The stained glass window depecting Mary with the Christ child surrounded by a choir of angels at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded, for with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth, our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary, as of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture, in the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven; spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth from the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish as the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wing├Ęd seraph, Cherubim with sleepless eye,
veil their faces to the presence, as with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Lord Most High!

Text of the hymn: Let All Mortal Flesh Take Silence
An ancient chant of Eucharistic devotion based on the verses taken from Habakkuk 2:20

Dont' forget to visit Sacred Sunday at Greensboro Daily Photo
and for further inspiration go to Jerusalem Daily Photo

Friday, September 18, 2009

Skywatch Friday

Franciscan University

I was blessed to participate in a Vocation Fair, today, at the Franciscan University. There were over 100 Religious Orders and Dioceses represented. There were plenty of young men and women who were interested in learning about Religious Life and I was very happy to share ours with them.

For more Skywatch Friday click here

Thursday, September 17, 2009


As part of my work for my religious community I serve as Vocation Director (which in the secular world is basically a "recruiter"). So, on occasion, this puts me on the road. At present, I am in Ohio and had the opportunity of visiting one of my favorite seminary Professors at Lourdes College and Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Francis (her home in Sylvania, Ohio).

Sister gave me the grand tour of their 89 acre property. One of the highlights was the Portiuncula Shrine. This is a replica of the original Portiuncula in Umbria where, in 1208, St. Francis had the mystical vision of Christ who told him, "Francis, Francis, go and repair my house which, as you can see, is falling into ruins". Francis mistakingly understood this to mean the material rebuilding of the little ruined church in which he was praying.

This is the original Portiuncula in which the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli has been built around it. It sits about 4 kilometers from Assisi (in the Umbria region of Italy).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sacred Sunday

"Prayer is the mortar which keeps our monasteries together."
St. Teresa of Avila

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be a house of prayer".
Luke 19:46

Today, Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, our community celebrated the 50th Anniversary of our foundation. The local bishop was here to celebrate with us, as well as Fathers and Brothers from our other communities in Arizona, Southern California, Oregon and Washington, as well as 250 friends and benefactors.

The photo shows the proclamation of the Gospel during the Mass.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Skywatch Friday - Turkey Hawks

There shall the great owl make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate.
Isaiah 34:15

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More monastic neighbors

My blogger friend, texasnascarcowgirl at NASCAR and horses posted a great picture for me today. For a good laugh go to NASCAR and horses.

Here's looking at you texasnascarcowgirl. My post shows some of my favorite neighbors as seen from our deck on the southwest side of the monastery hill.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Mary, Blessed Mother

In the past few months I have shown pictures of three of the four main stained glass windows in the monastic church - this is the fourth. It depicts Mary, (Mother of Jesus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel) watching over her Carmelites from heaven (St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila can be seen at the bottom of the window).

September 8 is the day the Church has set to celebrate the birth of Mary. It is a long tradition of Carmelites to make their Profession of Vows (Poverty, Chastity and Obedience) on this day. We have one Brother making his Profession today and it is the 11th anniversary of my own Profession day.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sacred Sunday

As Carmelites, our liturgies are usually simple. However, on Sundays and other Solemnities we enhance our liturgies with more singing, chanting and other ritual.

Every Sunday evening we chant Vespers, with the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar, and end with Benediction.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Skywatch Friday - Twilight

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace, Your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace, Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray, Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm, Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm, Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray, Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

From the hymn "Lord of all Hopefulness"
sung to the melody of an Irish folksong "Slane"
lyrics by Jan Struthers

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Book stall

Part of our ministry is to promote the spiritual life; in particular, Carmelite spirituality. We have a rich tradition of spiritual writers and we make those books available to those who visit our monastery.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Although I don't get it to do it very often I do enjoy cooking. One night last week I had the opportunity to cook the evening meal. The community asked for Mexican food since we don't get it too often. I prepared my mom's recipe of Chile Verde (a pork stew made with tomatillos and jalapenos). It's pretty spicy! I served it with refried beans, Mexican rice, hot tortillas and homemade salsa.