Thursday, February 25, 2021

Lent Service Video

We would like to wish a blessed Season of Lent to all and invite you to join us at this special Lent Prayer Service. Just lick here or go to the "Photo Log" tab on our website home page where all our videos can be found. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Our Mexico Trip

    

Sisters Margarita, Graciela and Aurora


Normally during this time we travel to Mexico to be with our Mexican Benedictine Sisters. This year due to the pandemic, we so miss receiving their warm and loving hospitality, and the challenges that each visit presents to us. We have learned many important lessons from them and from the people they serve.

    This year our presence to each other is just as challenging. Many people are not aware that the sisters have two mission houses in the United States. In one of them, Emporia, Kansas, the sisters oversee a Latin American immigrant community, with many of their parishioners working in the meat processing factories. As we well know, these laborers have been highly exposed to COVID 19, and the community of three sisters were exposed to the virus. The death of Sister Aurora Villamar, who was in her mid-seventies is a witness to how utterly generous the sisters have been in serving our country. 

    The community of Josefina Maria Valencia, which was responsible for the school that many groups visited, just a block away from the Motherhouse, was also exposed to the virus. On one night, two sisters died: Sister Margarita Guzman, and Sister Graciela Cuara. It was a real shock for us when the sisters contacted us of their death, and it must come as a real shock as you read this. 

    Since we have had some time to absorb this pain we can feel what the sisters wrote to us from the first: They were grateful that the sisters did not die alone. With Sister Aurora, the sisters were able to go to the hospital and because of the generosity of a Hispanic nurse were able to be with her in her final hours. Sister Margarita died in her sleep at home, and Sister Graciela also died at home, surrounded by sisters as they waited for an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

    Our presence to each other at this time is precious. Both the living and those who have gone before us in faith are present in our hearts when we listen and are quiet; as we grieve; and as we pick ourselves up and continue serving one another with love. When we proclaim, "Our trust is in God," the words have never before been so laden with meaning. Our faith is our hope.

    In trust and in the light of faith we continue our journeys, but as the pandemic continues the distance we must take from each other is not getting larger. We journey as one family.


Friday, December 18, 2020

Christmas

Dec 17, 2020

"The Word was the real light

that gives light to everyone." (John 1:9)

In this time when our world needs light,

may we be sources of light,

in Jesus' name,

for each other.


  • You are welcome to pray with us at our Advent Prayer service of Vespers. For the video, click this link.
  • If you would like to read the Guadalupe Center Christmas message, please click on this link. It will give you a look at how the sisters in Cuernavaca, Mexico, have experienced this last year.



Friday, November 13, 2020

First Monastic Profession of brother Nhan

 

In a spirit of profound thanksgiving and abundant blessings, we would like to share the announcement of the first monastic profession of our brother Nhan. We are looking forward to beginning this new step in our monastic journey at the First Vespers of Advent, on Saturday, November 28th. We invite you to join us in personal prayer at home during the celebration.
    
   There are three dimensions that are professed at that time. 

The first is stability. In our community discussions, which we are having in this time leading to the profession, we all recognize that stability is essential. It would be a misconception to understand stability as leading to rigidity, but rather to flexibility. Brother Nhan talks of how the anchor of a ship allows it to weather out storms, even as the boat is now able to ride waves that might otherwise overwhelm the boat. His work on the shrimp boats down on the Louisiana coast gave him first hand experience in such matters. Stability of heart allows us to weather out the storms.
    With "Conversatio morum" we learn to continue talking to each other about the essential matters of our life. Brother Nhan shared how this dimension of our life is present to him as a gift. There is so much noise in our world that by sharing a life of silence and prayer we are able to talk to one another not from the busyness all around us, but from our heart. Benedict is very clear that we can get lost in a multitude of words but when we speak about what matters most to us we all grow together.
    This leads us to obedience. The first word of the Rule is "Listen." We listen with the whole of our person to our heart, to each other, our world, and the Gospels. When we authentically listen our response will flow from the Spirit who lives in our hearts and guides us on our way. We live by consensus and know that even when we don't know the future or what it holds, at least, we will continue listening together and respond with one heart.
    Our deepest hope is that this celebration will bring joy into all of our lives. We hope you will feel a part of this monastic commitment in your own way, in your own context, and that this too will give you strength to continue on your journeys. We are growing and changing, and our hearts are filled with gratitude for the abundance of life even as we truly miss being able to gather together in the Chapel for prayer.

            Also to the right of this page you may sign up to receive any news as soon as it is posted. That way, when we take a picture of the celebration you will know as soon as we post it. You might enjoy seeing all of us including brother Nhan wearing our tunic and scapular.

            Please consider visiting our new Gallery Shop tab on the homepage as you do your Christmas shopping. By making a purchase there you are supporting a way of life that is built upon the work of our hands. Being creative in this time is a way of embodying the monastic commitment.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Colors of the Season



The colors of this season have been spectacular this year. Our reds came early and were very strong, and the golds are lasting well into October. There is a beauty that touches our heart very deeply, because with all the uncertainties of our world we can still experience God's good gifts in creation. 

    In that spirit, a new mantra song was born that we would like to share with you.

The weave of seasons reveals the love of God. (refrain)

                 1. Gently we are made aware of the importance of time,                        of change and history.

                  2. Gently we learn to trust this movement of time;                                       the dance of night and day.

                 3. Prayerfully we change in wonder of grace;                                                      alive in the movement of time.

    There are so many different "seasons" to reflect upon. The seasons of our own lives, the seasons contained in a day which may contain storms and sun, and the season of this pandemic. All the seasons have the capacity to reveal the love of God, and it is our prayer for each person that they discover the meaning and challenge that this particular time holds.

    We are all well and hold you in our prayer. It is that connection in faith that continues to keep us alive in this moment of time. 

    Please note that on the right hand side of the page you may sign up by email for any new posts that occur under the "What's New" tab. It is an easy way to stay in touch with us without having to check to see if there have been any changes. Also, if anything immediate does occur you would know as soon as we publish a new posting.