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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Brand New Website AND BLOG

Yes - we've moved!  The website address is the same: www.desertnuns.com
BUT OUR BLOG HAS MOVED: http://desertnuns.com/blog/nun-news-blog

Be sure to check it out and to subscribe via our WordPress blog!

many thanks,
the nuns

Monday, August 20, 2012

August Graces


Sr. Marie St. Paul receiving Holy Communion on the Solemnity of Our Holy Mother Clare



Pilgrims who came for the St. Clare Mass and Indulgence
Reception after Mass by Ladies of Solitude (THANK YOU!)

Friends and Family of our candidate Tara came out to celebrate St. Clare with us.
Sr. Marie Andre spending some time with one of our oldest AZ friends - Rob!
August rushes by with incredible speed - and yet not without abundant opportunities for graces!  August is replete with wonderful feast days.  Among these feasts stands the Solemnity of Our Holy Mother Clare which was celebrated with much joy and many guests.  We hope you enjoy the photos from this beautiful day!

Sr. John-Mark enjoying some quiet time with the Lord in our new Choir Stalls
In the recent publication from the Institute on Religious Life, there was an article from Cardinal George on St. Clare.  The Sisters and I have been ruminating on it during our lesson time...and receiving so much grace.  The Cardinal makes several striking points, but there is one that we are currently discussing with such delight!  It is the idea that the contemplative enclosed life is to be a permanent sabbath.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word Sabbath?  For me, it is rest.  And yet, Cardinal George asserts that above all the Sabbath is not just about rest but about listening to God.  Doesn't this put a twist on things?  I love it!  To spend our Sunday - our Sabbath - listening, resting, delighting in God.  Listening necessitates a degree of silence.  Yet not the type of silence that a 6 year old demonstrates when she doesn't get her own way.  Rather, it's the type of silence that is full of expectation and activity.  It's not a gloomy state, really! Silence allows us to hear not only with our ears but with the deepest level of our hearts.


According to Cardinal George, the enclosed contemplative life is a permanent Sabbath.  Therefore contemplatives begin now to live what all the blessed souls in Heaven live for all eternity.  Granted, we don't live that perfectly.  Rather in our earthly bodies - with all of our faults and foibles - we STRIVE to live that blessed eternal Sabbath, that endless day of adoration.  Our life becomes, in the words of the great Carmelite Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, a Praise of Glory.

Now, although, the majority of mankind is not called to the contemplative life nor to this permanent Sabbath on earth, each of us - regardless of our state in life - is called to celebrate the Sabbath each Sunday.  For just one day a week, to really enjoy the Lord, delight in Him, listen to Him, rejoice in Him, spend time with Him and be renewed by Him.  The witness of the contemplative is to stir in the hearts of all the faithful a desire to 'taste and see the goodness of the Lord', to stir in them a desire to live the Sabbath.

On a side note: We are living in a day when we find our religious freedom at risk by a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to truth and beauty and good...and God.  Here's an interesting move in the the right direction:  Pope Benedict XVI recently was quoted saying that 'by defending Sunday we defend man's freedom.'

We are all grasping to find ways to preserve our RIGHT to religious freedom - AS WE SHOULD.  Well here's an idea, let's start defending Sunday (living the Sabbath) as a means of maintaining our freedom, our freedom as children of God.  From this will flow the strength and courage to defend the right of religious freedom in all facets of life.  Being renewed each Sunday both from within (in our relationship with God) and from without (in our relationship with family and loved ones), our week will unfold then in the light of God, imbued with the hope of hearing Him say "I love you" in a million different ways.
The choir stalls in the Mass Choir were recently installed.  Awesome!!
And the choir stalls for the Cloistered Adoration Choir were installed as well.  Doubly Awesome!
We have had our fair share of Monsoon rains this year!  Here you see the retention basins doing their duty!  Kudos to Sr. John-Mark, our creative photographer, who caught the reflection of the chapel in the water :)




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July in the Desert

4th of July Picnic with Brittany and Tara
It's been way too long since I sat down to write a blog.  Each day has been very full, very full indeed!  But, at long last, I am able to steal a few moments to fill you all in on the goings on here at Our Lady of Solitude.

There is SO much going on!  On July 1st we had two young ladies begin a time of discernment with our community (called candidacy).  Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to discern God's Will for their life.  
Last week the seating for the Nuns' Mass Choir and the Nuns' Adoration Choir was being installed.  It looks so beautiful and complete (photos to follow soon).

It is monsoon season in the desert of Arizona.  And every year I am amazed by this season.  I remember when we first moved here, the locals would say how they loved monsoon season.  I thought it was strange as, in addition to high heat, there is the added 'bonus' of humidity.  Coming from Alabama, I really do appreciate the dry heat.  But I must say, despite the humidity, monsoon season continues to wiggle its way into my affection!  There is something very beautiful and mysterious about a desert storm - the yellow skies, the violent winds, the smell of a desert rain, and the arid ground rejoicing in the needed moisture.  

We have had our fair share of monsoon storms here in Tonopah so far this summer - and thankfully we've gotten some rain along with the blowing dust and thunder!  We've even had a rainbow or two!

Last week we had a particularly treacherous looking dust storm blow through.  They always come from the East it seems, blowing in from the Valley of the Sun.  And these storms arrive with little warning.  The sky turns a mysterious yellowish brown color in the distance...within minutes the thick cloud is bearing down upon us.  The clear blue desert sky is replaced by a thick brown cloud that is hard to describe. Below are some photos for our blog followers who have not experienced a dust storm in the desert.  There's a certain helplessness that comes upon us as we watch these storms roll in.  All we can do is brace ourselves and whisper a little prayer (that the power won't go out...because that's no fun when it is 110 degrees)...and let it blow over.  And remember that there are blue skies above the dust.  

It's much like life, I guess.  Especially in moments of helplessness in the midst of the storm.  It gives me great comfort to remember the book of Job - and how the Lord spoke to Job from the MIDST OF THE STORM: "Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm....Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? "  (Job 38)  


There are times in life when we get a little glimpse of reality and know how little and vulnerable and helpless we are.  But such moments, if we are attentive, are always accompanied by a clearer glimpse of the greater reality of the power and strength and protecting love of Our Father.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Witnesses of Faith

Last night I was reading through my Zenit email and came across this story about a woman named Chiara. Upon reading it I was deeply moved by her faith and trust in God's Providence.  Chiara Petrillo - 28 years old.  As I read the brief account of her life, I couldn't help but think of Our Lady.  Mary, who accepted the Plan of God, bore the Son of God, and allowed the sword of sorrow to pierce her heart.  Mary who stood at the Foot of the Cross.  Mary, Jesus' Mother and our Mother.  Mary, Cause of Our Joy.

Chiara, like Mary, accepted the Plan of God and allowed the sword of sorrow to pierce her own heart.  She was a mother three times over.  Each time, though, the sword of sorrow pierced her heart.  Her first 2 children died shortly after they were born.  And her last child, Francesco, is - PRAISE GOD - now a healthy one year old, but in the course of this pregnancy, she found out she had cancer.  

Yet, as I read the article, there was a marked sense of joy in her words and in the words of the Franciscan who spoke of her faith.  There was joy even in the deep grief.  Reading the article, I witnessed the power of hope.  Charles Peguy once described hope as a little girl.  A little girl who pulls forward her two older sisters (faith and love), who skips and dares to laugh.  

It appears from reading this article that Chiara had hope...and a lot of it!  She fought the 'dragon' with hope.  And though it first seems that she lost the battle, her own words betray this notion:  “Perhaps deep down I don’t want healing; a happy husband and a peaceful child without his mother are a greater witness than a woman who has overcome an illness. A testimony that could save so many persons …"

WOW.  What a statement!  We can read all the spiritual books about how to surrender and abandon ourselves to God's Will (and that is good and helpful) - but in that statement, we see someone actually doing it in a very simple and direct way.  I am struck, as well, by her desire to be a witness.  I am reminded of what the word martyr literally means: WITNESS.  

Her surrender was filled with hope.  She could go to meet the Bridegroom, adorned in her wedding garment, in peace.  The same God Who was calling her home would care for the child and husband she was leaving behind.  This is the faith.  This is motherhood.  

A Franciscan brother who was very close to the family said the following: “I don’t know what God prepared for us through this woman, but it is certainly something we cannot lose; hence we gather this legacy that reminds us to give the just value to every small and large daily gesture."

St. Gianna, Pray For Us
I was happy to see that our own beloved St. Francis and St. Clare had a part to play in this, as described by Br. Vito: "Chiara came to this faith little by little, following the rule learned at Assisi from the Franciscans she so loved: small, possible steps.” Brother goes on to say that this was "a way to face the fear of the past and of the future in face of great events, and which teaches to begin from small things. We cannot transform water into wine, but we can begin to refill the jars. Chiara believed this and this helped her to live a good life and, hence, a good death, step after step.” 

In my own desire to truly live my call to spiritual motherhood, I am encouraged and strengthened by Chiara's witness.  I feel certain that her witness inspires natural mothers as well - to truly live this noble vocation which often calls for extraordinary holiness and virtue...and trust.  I feel certain that her witness in an inspiration for all people, whatever our state in life or our situation.

As we look toward October 2012 and the beginning of the Year of Faith, as proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, we give thanks for the many witnesses of faith - those that have gone before us and those that are in our midst!





Monday, June 11, 2012

Corpus Christi 2012


Yesterday was the glorious Feast of Corpus Christi!  As part of the tradition of our Order, this is one of the Feasts that we celebrate with special solemnity.


This year was our first Procession here at Our Lady of Solitude Chapel. We want to share  a video of our little Procession. It was such a GREAT joy - every last minute of the it! Enjoy the photos and our thanks to Fr. Kline, John, Zach, and all who participated in the Procession!


In Pope Benedict's homily for the Solemnity, he offered the following words:

Communion and contemplation cannot be separated, they go together. To really communicate with another person I must know him, I must be able to be in silence close to him, to hear him and to look at him with love. True love and true friendship always live of the reciprocity of looks, of intense, eloquent silences full of respect and veneration, so that the encounter is lived profoundly, in a personal not a superficial way. And, unfortunately, if this dimension is lacking, even sacramental communion itself can become, on our part, a superficial gesture.

I love this thought of linking communion with contemplation.  There is a common misconception that 'contemplation' is an empty void.  But we know that this is not the case at all!  True contemplation is communion.  Granted, this communion is not noisy or 'crowded'.  But, nor is it emptiness!  True contemplation is union with the God Who loves us first and best.  The Holy Father is inviting us to break through the facades and enter into the true reality of deep communion with Our Lord - and what better way to do so than by Eucharistic Adoration!

"A RECIPROCITY of looks, of intense eloquent silences full of respect and veneration"   
YES, that's it!!  

Godhead here in hiding, Whom I do adore.  Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more.  See Lord at Thy service, low lies here a heart...lost all lost in wonder at the God Thou art. (from the Adoro Te Devote, St. Thomas Aquinas)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Receiving with Thanks

Growing up in the 'country', sharing garden vegetables was as much a part of summer as swimming, picnics, and road trips!  Whatever our garden produced, we shared with neighbors and cousins.  And it was a two way street! Zucchini, tomatoes, peas, green onions, berries - whatever anyone's garden produced, the whole neighborhood enjoyed it.  Such was the way of it, growing up as I did amongst the noble hobbit folk of Western Pennsylvania!

Since moving to Tonopah nearly 2 years ago, the Sisters and I have been delighted and humbled to receive the fruits of the earth from so many kind folk.  We are given many wonderful gifts from the 'locals'... from fresh eggs, to garden fresh vegetables, from pickled eggplant to zucchini blossoms (yum!). 

I was so excited when I looked in the fridge this afternoon to find a super-abundance of goodness from some of our new and old friends.  Zucchini, squash, eggplant, tomatoes, herbs, garlic, onions, cucumbers, peppers, canned pears, homemade jelly, and the list goes on!

I never cease to be amazed by the generosity of so many people.  It calls to mind a beautiful quote from Pope Benedict XVI: 
The gaze of Jesus, what 'his eyes' teach us, leads to human closeness, solidarity, giving time, sharing our gifts and even our material goods.
We are asked quite often: "How can we help you?  Do you have any needs?"  Of course there are the big needs which entail building a monastery and all that goes into that.  But there are certainly more 'rudimentary' needs as well. 

Currently we are working toward beginning a garden - both a vegetable and a flower garden.  We are looking to plant roses and other flowers that are good as cut flowers, so as to use them on the altar.  We also are looking to make the grounds of Our Lady of Solitude more conducive for retreats - by providing picnic tables and places to sit, so that pilgrims and priest retreatants (and the Sisters!) can have places to sit and enjoy the solitude and silence that 'our little piece of the world' can provide. 

Percy and Fergus were VERY interested in all the smells from the fresh veggies!!
So these are a few of the things that we are praying will be accomplished this summer.  Here is a link to a wish list we've begun to compile of some of these items.  

Again, thank you to all of you who care for our needs in truly magnanimous ways!  We are so thankful!



Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gift and Mystery

"I am often asked, especially by young people, why I became a priest.  Maybe some of you would like to ask the same question.  Let me try briefly to reply.  I must begin by saying that it is impossible to explain entirely.  For it remains a mystery, even to myself.  How does one explain the ways of God?  Yet, I know that, at a certain point in my life, I became convinced that Christ was saying to me what he had said to thousands before me: 'Come, follow me!'  There was a clear sense that what I heard in my heart was no human voice, nor was it just an idea of my own.  Christ was calling me to serve him as a priest.

And you can probably tell that I am deeply grateful to God for my vocation to the priesthood.  Nothing means more to me or gives me greater joy that to celebrate Mass each day and to serve God's people in the Church.  That has been true ever since the day of my ordination as a priest.  Nothing has ever changed this, not even becoming Pope."  (Bl. John Paul II, Sept. 14, 1987)
Fr. Don Kline giving a talk to young adults in early 2012

On June 2, 2012, here in Phoenix, Deacon Dan Vanyo will be ordained a Priest.  And in Birmingham AL, two of our MFVA Friars, Deacon Leonard and Deacon Patrick, will be ordained Priests.  Tis the season of ordinations, tis the season of grace!  May the Lord pour out abundant graces on each of them.

Let us remember all those men who will be ordained to the Priesthood over the course of the next month.  Let us remember, with gratitude, all the priests who celebrate anniversaries of ordination during this time.  Perhaps they, like JPII, will look back and say: "This call remains a mystery, even to myself." 

Finally, let us remember all those young men who are discerning their vocation and feel that the Lord may be calling them the priesthood.  Let us ask the Lord to 'convince' them of their vocation, and should that be the priesthood, to give them courage to follow Him with courage and humility of heart.


"The world looks to the priest, because it looks to Jesus!  No one can see Christ; but everyone sees the priest, and through him they wish to catch a glimpse of the Lord!  Immense is the grandeur of the Lord! Immense is the grandeur and dignity of the priest!" (Bl. John Paul II, October 13, 1979)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bring Flowers of the Rarest, Bring Blossoms the Fairest

 “Always stay close to this Heavenly Mother, because she is the sea to be crossed
to reach the shores of Eternal Splendor.”
-St. Pio

After Mass on Sunday, May 13th, we had our first May Crowning in the new Chapel.  It was a simply wonderful event to Honor our Mother Mary.  About 25 children participated in the procession, bringing flowers to Our Lady.  We then prayed the Litany of Loreto and made the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

Fr. Billy Kosco, in his talk after the Crowning, spoke of the children's game "Mother May I?"  The dialogue that goes on between the 'Mother' and the other players: "Mother, may I take a step forward?"  Then the Mother says yes or no.  He compared this to Our Lady, when we approach to ask her if we can take steps toward her. She always says YES.  And she says that we can run to her, as fast as we can.  She never stops us from coming to her.  And she then leads us to her Son!

Let us approach Our Mother with the confidence of a trusting child!  With what remains of this month of May, let us strive to honor Our Lady by bringing her 'flowers' every day.  The rose of our patience.  The baby's breath of our kind words.  The daisy of our simple joy.  The wild flower of our freedom.  The lily of our love.  The carnation of our peaceful surrender.  And the violet of our humility.  She will 'arrange' these flowers and present them to her Son as a fitting bouquet!
 
(A great big thank you to the Ladies of Solitude for all their help with the May Crowning and for providing the reception afterwards!)







Gotta love the impish look on Sr. Marie St. Paul's face ;)


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Our Lady's Psalter



frmarco-2012-05-8-10-56.jpg
(photo taken at our Communal Retreat, given by Fr. Marco, in August 2011)
Our Community has been blessed to count Fr. Marco Testa - a wonderful Canadian priest and scholar, as a dear friend for over 15 years.

He recently published a book in anticipation of the upcoming Year of Faith - which begins in October.

We hope you enjoy this devotional!

Click here for more information or see the ad below.

PastedGraphic-2012-05-8-10-56.png
Click this link for more information: http://www.lulu.com/shop/fr-marco-testa/our-ladys-psalter/paperback/product-20109634.html


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

St. Joseph the Worker

OLSM046-2012-05-1-10-27.jpg

St. Joseph did not hesitate to surrender to God's call, which is always a risk and a leap forward to a promise not fully known, requiring a courage perhaps not easily felt.  In his hidden life in Nazareth, St. Joseph lived the most privileged intimacy with God.    (from Fr. Donald Haggerty)

Seven years ago today, under the protection and patronage of St. Joseph, we departed from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Alabama and headed West to begin this foundation in the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. Great St. Joseph has been with us from the get-go and has not left our side - like a good father, he protects, guides and intercedes for us in our big needs and our little needs. There isn’t a statue of St. Joseph (save for the one in the public Chapel), whose hands are not filled (literally) with all of our petitions.

St. Joseph teaches us how to surrender to God’s call, how to risk, dare, leap, hope, and trust. He teaches us how to live an hidden and humble life, consumed with the manual labor of ordinary daily tasks and deep intimacy with Jesus, accompanied by Our Lady.

I believe that it would please Mary greatly that the first day of May, the month dedicated to her honor, is spent praising her husband, St. Joseph.

Speaking of Mary, on Sunday, May 13th, we will have a May Crowning after Mass (Fr. Billy Kosco will celebrate Mass at 4 p.m.). We invite young girls between the ages of 5-12, to join the May Crowning Procession. Parents, if you have any girls interested in participating, please email us at vocations@desertnuns.com for more details.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ordinary Things

I came across a great quote during my spiritual reading today.  So great, in fact, that I wanted to share it with all of you, our faithful blog readers.  I hope you enjoy these words of wisdom as much as I did!  They were written by a favorite author, Caryll Houselander:

 "Without being under any necessity to do so in His glorified body, Christ did ordinary things.  He walked and talked and ate with men, built a little fire, and cooked for them, comforted them, and renewed their faith, but not by compelling them to be shocked into faith - even by the shock of joy - but by approaching each one individually through the individual's own mentality and temperament.

He used the same means as before - words, kindness, going on a journey, setting His pace to the pace of the others, accepting their invitations, preparing food for them with His own hands, and that most wonderful and simplest way of all, the breaking of bread, the giving of Himself sacramentally.

He was showing men how they were to go on living His Risen Life all through time.  They were to give Him to one another, and as simply as He gave Himself, through words and kindness, through their work and friendship, through learning one another's mind and heart and approaching each one separately, through accepting and leavening the sorrow of the world by the interchange of their Christ-love.  Above all, by sacramental Communion with Him, in which they are made one."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Touched with Glory

"Rejoice with inexpressible joy touched with glory..." (1Peter 1:6-9)

The Triduum and Easter Celebrations at Our Lady of Solitude were simply beautiful.  This was our first Easter in the Chapel.  And the quote above from 1Peter sums up the experience perfectly. 

Holy Week started with Fr. Billy Kosco celebrating the Palm Sunday Mass.  It was a special day for Poor Clares as we celebrate Our Holy Mother Clare's departure from her family, to begin her Religious Life.  Pope Benedict XVI recounted this anniversary with the following words:
How can we not propose Clare, and Francis, to young people today? The time that separates us from the event of these 2 saints has not diminished their power of attraction. On the contrary, we can see their relevance in the face of the illusions and delusions that mark the contemporary condition of young people. Never before has a time inspired so much dreaming among the youth, with the thousand attractions of a life in which everything seems possible and licit. And yet, how much dissatisfaction is present, how often the pursuit of happiness, of realization ends up setting out on roads that lead to false paradises, such as those of drugs and unbridled sexuality! The current situation of difficulty in finding dignified work and of forming a unified and happy family, also adds clouds to the horizon. There is no lack, however, of young people, in our times too, who accept the invitation to give themselves to Christ and to face the journey of life with courage, responsibility and hope, even making the choice to leave everything to follow him in total service to him and to our brothers. The story of Clare, together with that of Francis, is an invitation to reflect on the meaning of existence and to seek in God the secret of true joy. It is a concrete proof that those who do the Lord’s will and confide in him not alone do not lose anything, but find the real treasure that is able to confer meaning on everything.

For the Triduum celebrations, we were blessed to have two wonderful Priests with us - Fr. Greg Menegay and Fr. Robert Bolding.  Below are photos to allow you to share in our 'inexpressible joy touched with glory!' 
Altar of Repose at Our Lady of Solitude
Praying the 7 Sorrows of Mary on Holy Saturday

Beginning of the prayers to Our Lady of Solitude on Holy Saturday
Beginning of the Easter Vigil: CHRIST OUR LIGHT, THANKS BE TO GOD
The procession into the darkened Church with the Paschal Candle

JESUS!
A sneak peak of the light of glory on Easter Morning after Mass
Sr. Mary Fidelis' parents came to AZ to celebrate Easter - and supplied a marvelous Easter dinner!


We praise God for the all the graces, blessings an inexpressible joy that He gives so freely.  The Lord is risen, Alleluia.  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia, Alleluia!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From the Roots

"Saint Joseph was a just man, a tireless worker, the upright guardian of those entrusted to his care. May he always guard, protect and enlighten families."

- Blessed John Paul II

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Joseph - a day of great JOY and celebration here at Our Lady of Solitude.  St. Joseph is dearly loved here, counted on as our spiritual father, and entrusted with all of our needs and intentions.  In the hand of every St. Joseph statue in the Monastery are notes of petition and notes of gratitude. 

just a lil desert storm rollin in!
Because it was a Solemnity, we had a free day!   At breakfast we were all discussing how we were going to spend our day.  I declared that at least a chunk of my day would be spent weeding!  Not exactly the ideal 'free day' - but the ground was wet from a few days of rain, so I wanted to get at those weeds pulled while the getting was good.  Sr. John-Mark volunteered to join me and off we went.

Now Sister grew up in OH and I grew up in PA - so we are familiar with having to weed.  But weeding in the desert is a whole new business.  You see the weeds here - most of them at least - come complete with thistles, thorns, and prickles.  Combine that with the hard dry earth and you will understand why weeding the day after a big rain is so greatly desired!

Thanks to the good people from St. Henry's (who gave us some awesome gardening gloves for Christmas), our hands were protected from these nasty ole desert weeds. 

Just a lil' light weedin'
It occurred to me that Lent is the perfect time to weed.  I mean there we were on our knees on the stones (OK, so we had those cushiony knee pads that we were kneeling on!) pulling out the only thing that seems to grow here with any speed and ease: WEEDS.  They were everywhere and some of them were huge (Proof that we don't weed as often as we should!).  

The Lord uses this time of the year, this season of grace to weed the garden of our souls.  The ground is wet with the rain of His mercy.  The sun is shining. The time is right.  If we let Him do this business of weeding, then we may be surprised how easily these 'weeds' are plucked from the ground of our soul.  Even the ones that have been growing for quite a long time.  If the ground is wet enough, if the grace has rained down enough, even those weeds can be pulled out...and pulled out FROM THE ROOTS.  





I don't know about you, but I don't want the garden of my soul to be overgrown with nasty ole thistley weeds.  I don't want the beauty of the flowers to be lost in the midst of the weeds.  I don't want the weeds claim my garden as their home sweet home.  And we know for a fact that, without effort, the weeds will take over.     

So, dear Lord, Divine Gardener of my soul, come and pull out the weeds of vice, even the weeds that I have neglected for so long.  I beg You to dig them out from the roots.  I only want the flowers of virtue to grow in this little patch of the earth.  I only want what You find beautiful to grow in my garden enclosed!

(On a side note: NCR ran a great article on their blog.  Be sure to check it out...and leave a comment while you are at it!)



Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Day to Remember

Saturday, March 10th - the 3rd Annual Nun Run 2012 - was a day to remember!  From beautiful weather to the 1,135 participants, the day was perfect from START to FINISH.

Jeff Fuentabella - our faithful photographer - uploaded his 1100 photos.
Be sure to check them out:
Nun Run 2012 Photos, Part I
Nun Run 2012 Photos, Part II

Also, check out the revamped Nun Run site - with more photos, race results, and more.  A race day video, as well as a shadow runner (y'all are awesome) video is in the works.  Look for that by early next week.

Below is a sampling of the photos and a glimpse into some of the 'unforgettable' Nun Run moments!
Enjoy!
Doug Barry was a HOOT!  He got up there and led everyone in a pre-race warm up!

Jumping jacks all around!

This little girl loves her country - hand over the heart for the National Anthem :)

Gotta love the hustle!

Our 10K Nun Runner (and Nun Run Organizer - she's amazing) - Sr. John-Mark!

She makes running look fun!

Could this be ASU and NAU smack talking a bit?  All in good fun, I'm sure - because these are two of the friendliest people I know...and Fr. Matt is standing there to referee!

Loving the Nun Run Race Shirts: THEY SHALL RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY

Nothing so sweet as crossing the finish line

Run Brittany, Run!

Some of the kids from "Chances for Children" organization - who brought over 25 kids to this years event.

YAY - Fr. Chad King!  Thank you for coming Father!

Is that John Travolta - No, it's just Fr. Mark Mary stayin' alive!  With our very own Sr. Marie St. Paul!!!
Photo, anyone?  It was suggested that if we charge a buck a photo, we could begin construction on the monastery now :)

Somebody is a 'sore' winner!  Classic Photo...

The winners of the School Challenge for 2012: ASU!!!

Our very close runners up: NAU - who traveled all the way from Flagstaff, AZ to participate!

Happy Nun!

Fr. Matt Lowry (NAU) and Fr. John Muir (ASU) who took part in the Chaplains Challenge.  Fr. Muir finished 10 seconds ahead of Fr. Lowry.  Should be a stiff competition again next year!

Great crowd!

More 'Great Crowd!'

And just one more 'Great Crowd!'