"Young Religious ought to enter blogs and correct the opinions of the youth, showing them the true Jesus" - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, Vicar for Rome

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent Anticipation and Aspiring

Grace and Peace! Hello all. Things have just been hopping around here. From birthdays to building projects and everything in between, I have let too much time slip away with out posting some news for you all. Hmmm, where should I start?

Just in case you have not seen the website, we have officially begun Phase I of our construction project. (Yahoo!!) Phase I includes the site prep, foundation and construction of the chapel of Our Lady of Solitude as well as building two houses on site. One of the houses will be our temp living quarters until the monastery(Phase II) is completed. The other house will serve as offices and priest quarters. Both houses will be used as guest houses for visitors and retreatants once construction is complete. I have to admit I feel a little giddy with excitement at the thought of living on the new property and being present as we watch the chapel and monastery built. As most of you know the cost for the construction of the chapel has been donated, but the cost for the chapel appointments(stained glass windows, pews...) and for the houses has not. Please join us in praying for these funds and if you are able to help in any way...which brings me to my next tidbit of news...
In light of the beginning of Phase I, we have launched a 'Living Stones in the Pathways to Prayer' program. Please check out this link for further imformation of how you can enlist your families in a perpetual memorial of prayer at Our Lady of Solitude. http://ols.desertnuns.com/
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week we met with three possible construction companies. Besides being fantastically capable and talented men, all three were enthusiastic about our project and had great presentations. We will be choosing one of the three in the next week or so keep posted for more building updates soon!!

As I mentioned we have been celebrating birthdays this past month with Sr Marie St Paul's Franciscan party on the 19th and Sr Augustine's 'Everything Oriental' party on the 25th. You can see photos above of Sr Fidelis' genius in the mini Our Lady of Angels chapel she constructed (yes it was 100% edible) and the Japanese Garden cake she made. Maybe we should hire her for the building project???

Turkey anyone???? I certainly had my fill (and then some). We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year as Sr Fidelis' family visit overlapped with the holiday. We were joined by her mom and dad, Peg and Charles and our good friends Maria and Fr Bob Reddy (who's no stranger to this blog). See pics above.

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the blessed season of anticipation and preparation for the coming of the Christ Child. I will sign off with some words of inspiration about Advent from Pope John Paul II, of happy memory. A blessed week to you and your's- Sr Mary Blogger
"Advent keeps alive our expectation of Christ Who will come to visit us with His salvation, fully establishing His Kingdom of justice and peace. The annual evocation of the Messiah's Birth in Bethlehem renews in believers' hearts the CERTAINTY that God keeps His promises. Advent is therefore, a powerful proclamation of hope, which deeply touches our lives.
Obstacles, disputes and difficulties of various kinds burden our life and sometimes overwelm it....It is especially at these moments that hope comes to our rescue. The Mystery of Christmas assures us that God is EMMANUEL-God with us. That is why we must never feel alone. He is close to us. He shared our pilgrimage on earth, guaranteeing us the attainment of that joy and peace to which aspire from the depths of our being." God bless you and Mary keep you close.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Rainbow - Sign of God's Faithfulness!

Above is a photo snapped by our neighbor, Jack, on Thanksgiving Day. It seems that our good God is once again reminding us that He is FAITHFUL. Know that you were remembered in our prayers in a special way on Thanksgiving - as we offered our gratitude to God for our families, friends, and benefactors!

Sister Mary Blogger will be putting up a post soon. Hope you ENJOY this photo. As we enter into the awesome season of ADVENT, let us say with one voice: COME LITTLE LORD JESUS, COME!!! May He be born again in our hearts this Christmas!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Photo Blog!

Below are some photos of things that have been happening here at Our Lady of Solitude! Photos include our visit with two of our MFVA Friars (Fr. Joseph and Br. Leo), some updated photos of Percy and Fergus, a visit to the canyon with long-time friend, Fr. John Caulfield, Sr. Esther Marie's 'mystery' birthday party!, and Sr. Mary Fidelis' visit with her niece Gracie, and Sr. Andre with Mother Vicar during a visit to Alabama. Hope you enjoy. Sr. Mary Blogger will be 'blogging again soon'!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

"And We'll Have Fun, Fun, Fun..."

Hail! I hope this finds everyone well, and bearing the heat for the love of God! This is a first! I have actually 'beat' the web mistress in posting pictures before her!!! The above action-shots are from this morning when three of our Phoenix Seminarians; Matt Henry, Rev. Mr. Robert Bolding and John Parks, joined us for Mass. After a hardy breakfast we did what sisters do best...we put them to work! They graciously accepted the challenge of opening (if that is what you could call it) a newly arrived crate from Alexander. (You know Alexander, our wood-carver from Italy). They went about it with all tenacity and intelligence and managed to pull Our Lady and Jesus out unscathed!!! The only thing they broke was a sweat...it's not as easy as it looks. The above statue was commissioned for our new monastery. Her final resting place will be in a Lady Shrine inside our Enclosure Door, where they will reign as the King and Queen of our home. Thanks you guys, YOU'RE THE BEST!

Friends, friends and MORE friends...can we ever have enough? Actually the friends in this picture fall more into the category of FAMILY! From the right it is Rita Lee, Srs. St Paul and Esther M, Rita's sister Marianne, George (Rita's and Marianne's Dad), Brad (Marianne's Hubby) and Conner Lee (one of Rick and Rita Lee's sons...not pictured are Ronnie- George's wife, Rick, Ryan, who is Conner's twin and Ally their daughter.) Marianne and Brad were visiting from Connecticut and everyone was home from college so we seized the morning and spent some time together. From decorating tips to financial advice to opening their home to us when we have to make really late airport runs -the Lee's are always there for us! WE LOVE YOU'S ALL!

The following pictures really speak for themselves, really can any words capture the cuteness bundled up in these two white pups!!!! They are growing like weeds, but are still 100% PUPPY!!! Don't be fooled by these two lounge lizards, they are always ready to play and have an endless supply of energy...even at 4:50 AM!

What could be greater fun than this? A giant cardboard box is like a goldmine to two tiny, teething, wiggly Westies. They 'mined' this box for at least a week until the 'No-Lady'(that's me) got fed up cleaning up the mess and pitched it! They just went to the vets, and Percy (pictured above) is tipping the scale at 11.8 lbs. And Fergus is a whopping 13.8 lbs.!

OK. I think I'll close for now. Our two travelers leave for Australia this Saturday...please accompany them, as well as the Holy Father and all those attending in your prayers. This is a spiritual outpouring for the whole Church and if you can, try to catch some of the coverage on EWTN. (for scheduling check out http://www.ewtn.com/) I know they will carry you in their prayers as well! Make sure you check out the website for Sr Marie St Paul's first entry in St Paul's Corner; in honor of the Year of St Paul. We remain yours in the Heart of the Church-Sr Mary Blogger

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Touring with the Poor Clares

Why are Srs Augustine Marie and Marie St Paul smiling so BIG? They are thinking of their trip 'Down Under'. Yes, these two 'wanna be' Aussies will be accompanying our Friars to World Youth Day in July and spending the week with our beloved Pope Benedict. Their joy and excitement are contagious...so much so that we three staying home feel like we're going too, except we don't have to suffer the 14-hour plane ride. Let us accompany our two sisters and all those attending from all over the world. Australia or BUST!

In early June, Srs. Marie Andre and Esther Marie made a trip back east, D.C. to be exact, for a PCPA Association meeting. The meeting included a couple sisters from each of our houses in the states. Not only was it a tremendous experience to share with our sisters our life of Eucharistic Adoration, as we had two meetings daily, but to pray and enjoy fellowship with them was a blessing beyond measure.

While we were in DC, we took the opportunity to visit some friends and visit some of the historical places dear to our hearts. We of course visited Arlington National Cemetery, and made a stop at the Vietnam Memorial. Above you can see us pointing to the name of Fr Vincent Capodanno, chaplain for the Marines who was gunned down while administering the Last Rites to one of his men. One of heroes in the Faith. In the next photo, you see Sr Marie Andre passing some time with Mother Vicar and Sr Marie St John, two of our sisters from Hanceville. In the next photo, you can meet "The Crocker's". Harry is a good friend and an author extraordinaire. To name a few "Triumph -A History of the Catholic Church" (a MUST read!), "Robert E Lee on Leadership" (a personal FAVE!) and most recently a concise book on American history titled "Don't Tread on Me". Finally, last but not least, is our very good friend, Kelly Wilkinson, who took us on a tour of Monticello, the house of Thomas Jefferson.

Lastly, before I close, if you haven't already make sure you check out the 'revamped' vocation page on our website. It's full of info on our life as Poor Clares and includes each sister's vocation story. It's well worth the visit!

Well, I need to run, I hope not to be so tardy with my blogging in the future...pray for this procrastinator!

All my love and prayers
Sr Mary Blogger

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Familiar Faces and Puppy Poses

Praised be Jesus Christ! I hope this finds you all well. I am sitting here with a steaming cup of hot tea, on an even steamier yet beautiful summer day at Our Lady of Solitude. I pray that your Eastertide has been a joyous one, and as it will be drawing to a close with the celebration of Pentecost May 11th, that it has found us all closer to Christ and the overwelming mystery of His Love. Speaking of Pentecost, just to remind everyone, the novena starts Friday, May 2nd...let us join our voices with the whole Church and take our places with Our Lady and the Apostles praying for the coming of the Holy Spirit. That He may descend on each of our hearts, our families, our countries and the WHOLE WORLD and share with us the Fire of His love, and His fruits...I think most especially of PEACE.

Also, please check out the website for more imformation on a new document that has been released by the Congregation for the Clergy(Rome)...it is something very dear to us as consecrated religious, but applies to every woman no matter her vocation. These documents concern spiritual materninty and the sanctification of the clergy. You can download them from our website. For as St Edith Stein reminds us that 'a woman no matter her state in life, her age, or her 'sphere of influence' is at all times a mother'. Neither age, nor barrenness nor virginity is an obstacle to spiritual maternity. Thank you Jesus for the gift of the priesthood!!!!

Thanks for blogging on, feel free to leave your comments or any questions you might have. Which reminds me...some have asked about the cats and how they're taking to the new pups. Their feline lives have changed very little, and are unaffected by the two new additions, as they have their room in a seperate part of the house, and are outside most of the day. They are well, and loving all the lizards and bugs this warm weather is bringing.

Be assured of our prayers for you and all your's. Until next time...

Your's in the Heart of Jesus, Sr Mary Blogger

Well, here you have it the photo that this blog is named for. It is Fr.Jim and Fr Mike, from the Diocese of Toronto. They are part of our beloved Canadian Connection.

"OK, I might be small, but really I am a lethal weapon!" Fergus, the mighty snake slayer.

Welcome Fr Matthias, a fellow Franciscan and dear friend, and dos-lover to boot. You can come anytime to see your new friends!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Meet our newest additions! Sir Thomas Percy and Bishop Fergus...check out our website for all the details! We are still working on getting the audio/video in sync :) We're not quite there yet. But we hope you enjoy seeing these little furry bundles of joy.

We hope you had a holy and happy Easter. As we continue on through this season of JOY, be assured of our gratitude and prayers! Be on the lookout for another post soon...with more news and pictures!

Puppy Love!

We're still trying to get the audio and video right! Not quite there yet :)

Still, we hope you enjoy our latest webcam video of our little pups - Sir Thomas Percy and Bishop Fergus. Check out the website for more details on our little pals!

We hope all of you had a beautiful and holy Easter. And a wonderful celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. As we continue on through this JOYFUL EASTER SEASON, please be assured of our continued prayers. The Lord has risen, ALLELUIA

Monday, March 10, 2008


Ok. I don't know about y'all; but come the Fifth week of Lent and I usually start reviewing how I have 'owned up' to all the things I promised the Lord I would do at the beginning. In all honesty, I have to admit I have not had the pluck to follow through with much of anything I had decided on...and most of my little penances I took on have fallen somewhere on the path during this Lenten journey. Of course, I could be discouraged, but then I realized the penances are not an end in themselves but the means to the end, namely that I come to experience my weakness and littleness...and the joy that comes from saying from my heart...'God's grace is sufficient for me. In my weakness, HE IS STRONG!'. Not that I am advocating throwing the 'penitential towel' in, or renigging on putting forth the effort or really struggling against our weaknesses. But I know personally, that sometimes I can be trying to impress myself and others or basing my spiritual progress on external things...basically inflating my pride. As we prepare to enter Holy Week, we can ask ourselves what does Our Lord really want from me? I think it would be safe to say what He wants is our love, compassion and COMPANIONSHIP. Let us make sure that we make room for Him, that in faith we remain with Him in the Garden, that we support Him on the Way of the Cross, that we pour out to Him our sorrow, filled with gratitude that He has purchased our lives with so much pain and anguish. That we take our place with Our Lady of Solitude at the tomb and strengthened by her hope, await the glorious Resurrection of her Son, Our Lord Jesus. Every instant of our lives finds its meaning and fulfillment in this approaching week.

We have been busy beavers this last couple months(I pray you all will accept that as my excuse for not blogging in lately!!). We had our annual communal retreat in mid-Feb with Fr. Maruisz Koch and Br Andrew both from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal(franciscanfriars.com). It was a blessed week of insightful spiritual conferences and Franciscan fellowship!!! Just what the Divine Doctor ordered.

Literally the day after our retreat ended we were triply blessed with a visit from three of 'our' Friars; Fr Anthony Mary(the community servant) with two of the novices Brs. Paschal and Luke. And what a week it was. The two Brothers being avid outdoorsman(and gluttons for adventure!) hiked the Grand Canyon and spent the night at the bottom! They are the first of the Friars to do this, so I am sure they did a lot of boasting when they went back to Alabama.

We would like you to formally welcome aboard to the OLS building project our new General Contractor Jeff. Let's all give him a hand with our prayerful support...he's got quite a job ahead of him working with five Poor Clare Nuns who have no problem giving their opinion. Seriously, we are very thrilled to have him working on the project as he is a 'crackerjack' construction ace and a very faithful and zealous Catholic...so he understands the workings of Providence, which very often 'humanly' don't make sense. While we are waiting for the building permits Jeff is working on site-prep which includes digging the well and building the Enclosure Wall that will surround the property. This is a big step for us as we do not have all the funds needed, we ask your prayers and for all those who have financially helped in the past, we humbly ask that you consider donating again. Please know that we are most appreciative of your support, and nothing is too small, the Lord multiplies everything given with love a hundred fold. Check out Dreams to Reality... http://www.desertnuns.com/medieval_fundraising2.htm
Wishing you and all your's a blessed Holy week and JOYOUS Easter. See you at the empty tomb!

In the heart of Jesus and Mary-Sr Mary Blogger

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The EXTRAORDINARYin the Ordinary

Hello Everyone! Praised be Jesus Christ! We hope you all had a blessed Christmas!

Recently, Srs M Fidelis and Esther Marie travelled with Sr Augustine to a couple 'spots' in AZ that she had not seen yet. The first picture is from Tucson where we refreshed ourselves with a picnic (finally!!)after we had visited the 'Dove of the Desert', the San Javier mission and before we had a tour of 'The Colossal Caves'.

The other shot is from Sedona, which is only an hour from our home in Black Canyon City. Even though we are not able to do it often, each time we hit the trails, (literally), I am amazed at the wonderful people we encounter. I always find it an opportune way to share our life as religious and our beautiful Catholic faith.

We are now in what the Church calls Ordinary Time, what I love to call 'Extraordinary time' as it makes up most of the liturgical calender, 34 weeks of the year. This is the time that we 'live out' the abundant graces we receive through the Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord that make up the Proper Seasons of Christmas, Lent and Easter. Also, I have often found that what we consider 'ordinary' Our Lord considers precious...just look at the example of St Therese.

In this picture to the left, we wanted to share with you the GLORIOUSLY beautiful monstrance that arrived on Jan. 22nd. This is one of the many beautiful appointments that have been commissioned for the new monastery, and was lovingly donated by the Lee Family. Being Eucharistic Adorers we cannot think of a more beautiful way to honor Our Lord than this worthy vessel of praise and affirmation to His true Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. For anyone interested in viewing the other appointments for the chapel/monastery, please check out the 'Dreams to Reality' page on the Website. We look forward to the blessed day when Our Lord will be enthroned in His new house; and where as one family all will be welcome to come and adore Our Lord. 'Adoremus in Aeternum, Sanctissimum Sacramentum'

'Let us adore forever this most blessed Sacrament'.

For all those who perhaps do not receive our quarterly newsletter, I encourage you to check out the website for the latest one that Sr Fidelis just posted. It is dedicated to our families, and full of pictures and stories that we are sure you would enjoy reading.

Well, it has been wonderful chatting with you all again. I hate to cut it short, but it is Tuesday night, and I must go 'niggle'. We are still going through Dante's Divine Comedy, and are slowly yet happily making our way through Purgatory. I wish you peace and joy, and until we meet again...May God bless you through Mary's hands- Sr M Blogger