Whoa! Where have I been!? Recovering from a beautiful, holy weekend – that’s where. I hope everyone has been well!
I was blessed, once again, to visit St. Michael’s Abbey for Vespers and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Friday evening before attending the ordination of two new priests and a deacon on Saturday morning. The Mission Basilica in San Juan Capistrano was packed for the newly ordained Fr. Nathaniel, Fr. Alan and Deacon fr. David, and it was a beautiful celebration by Bishop Vann, Abbot Eugene Hayes and a great number of other priests from both inside and outside the Order.
|The first two St. Michael's Abbey ordained priests (Fr. Leo and Fr. Robert) blessing the two last St. Michael's abbey ordained priests (Fr. Nathaniel and Fr. Alan). Photo by Rick Belcher Photography.|
|First blessing from Fr. Alan|
|First blessing from Fr. Nathaniel|
After the mass I went to the reception and received first blessings from both of our new priests! I hadn’t met either of them before – but let them know that I would be entering the Order soon and that I would be praying for them. They were both so kind and I was humbled when they expressed gratitude for the sisters I will be joining. I even got to have a wonderful conversation about St. Faustina and vocations with the mother of another confrere (whose family was visiting all the way from Canada!) while we were in line for our blessings. I am so blessed to be entering this amazing Norbertine family.
The on Sunday I went to the TLM here in Fresno for the first time in a few weeks – where Fr. Beaugrand, FSSP celebrated mass for us. He gave a beautiful homily on the importance of continually growing ever more deeply in love with Our Lord. We can never be satisfied with our faith and good works, my friends! Heaven forbid I ever consider that I am doing enough… not even for one moment. We are called to Christian perfection and we must strive for this unceasingly, lest we grow lukewarm. It is amazing that these priests travel all the way from Sacramento a few times a month to celebrate the traditional rite here in the valley. I am so thankful for them.
|Mother Dolores Hart, OSB - Being interviewed by our|
diocesan news station's Colin Dougherty at
Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fresno!
Sunday night here in Fresno we were also graced with a visit from Mother Dolores Hart, OSB – who is currently out on tour doing book signings. It was beautiful to hear a bit of her story – how she made the transition from Hollywood to a cloistered monastery – and a little about what life has been like for her since her entrance. The life she lives in her convent is quite similar to the life that I will be living in mine, and most of what she said really hit home, but I knew it would. She is a beautiful soul and I hope the Lord will use her book as an instrument to bring about a small amount of awareness about monastic life and the beauty of committing one’s life to the Lord in prayer.
This is the final day of Leg 4 and asking St. Cecilia’s intercession during the 99-Day Novena Relay! She has been working hard for us in heaven and I’m sure she will continue to do so. But oh boy tomorrow we kick off Leg 5 and guess who’re coming to our assistance… Bl. John Paul the Great and Bl. Teresa of Calcutta! Deo Gratias! They really came through for me in the months leading up to my marathon and I know that they are going to intercede for you in amazing ways as well! Umm also, how amazing is this…
Today is Day 1 of the international novena to
BL. PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI (Litany Run’s patron saint)! In 9 days it will be July 4th and his feast day. Wow!
This post from Chris, who runs FrassatiUSA.org, really hit home for me today. Chris talks about the struggles and challenges of persevering in the FrassatiUSA ministry which was founded to provide support to young adults who want to foster faithful community the way Bl. Pier Giorgio did with his friends. These struggles deal mainly with finances – which of course is something that I understand. The tone of this blog post is one of all-too-familiar exhaustion, supported by a strong foundation of hope and trust in the Lord. It seems that while moral and prayerful support for FrassatiUSA is abundant, financial support is less than.
I know that I have written posts that sound similar to it over the past few months. Posts where I may sound like I am admitting defeat or losing hope at times. I pray I have been prudent in how much I share with you all about the spiritual struggles that come with the uncertainty of a financial pursuit such as Litany Run, and such as Chris’s effort to gain support for FrassatiUSA. To be honest, this pursuit is sometimes overwhelming and yes, moments of doubt do creep in. But I pray that the Lord will strengthen me and that, like the end of Chris’s post – I always leave you with the assurance that I trust in God’s plan and timing, and that hope always remains even when situations seem almost impossible. For me I suppose that is maybe a little dramatic. I know my loans will be paid off with time, even if it takes longer than I’d like. But for FrassatiUSA the very real possibility that the ministry may have to significantly cut back on available resources due to lack of funding… well that is something I will definitely be keeping deep in the heart of my prayers.
Because of this wonderful the Lord established a devotion to Bl. Pier Giorgio in the hearts of several of my friends and me, through this novena to him last fall. Since then he has grown to be such a friend to me and has become a very powerful presence on my journey to entering religious life. This patron saint of young people is a shining beacon of light for our generation and we can all learn so much from his short but holy life. He was fervently devoted to Our Lord in the Eucharist and settled for nothing less than living out his faith, proving himself to be a man of the beatitudes through every moment of his life. May we all desire for our love of God to be manifested through our charity toward His children the way Bl. Pier Giorgio’s was. Please join me in this novena to him as we prepare for his feast day on July 4th! I hear there are going to be fireworks and everything.
I’m sorry that I haven’t been as consistent with updating about my entrance/training/financial status. There has been much going on lately! Half marathon training is right on track and I’m halfway into Week 2 of my official training. Haha – my “long” run on Sunday was fun… 4mi and started at 7:30am. It’s a relief not to be training my body for a 5:30am start time anymore. God is good and he is making me stronger every day. Tomorrow is a recovery day and I’m really excited about it. During my last visit to the priory Mother Mary Augustine gave me a list of things I need to prepare to bring when I enter. I’d like to have all of these things prepared for August, even though at this point I still have a mountain of debt to overcome. I’ve set up a WISHLIST page on litanyrun.com where you can email me if you’d like to receive a list of items I need. Maybe instead of donating to my student loans, you’d like to donate an item I will use for the rest of my life in the cloister (or at least for my first few years as a novice…)! In less than a month I will return to the priory for the dedication of the new house and poooossibly be meeting some of my future postulant sisters. As of right now it sounds like I am the only one set to enter in August (God willing) but there may be more joining later in the year. Please keep us all in your prayers! I am waiting for some loan payments to be put through and I will update you on my currently needed amount very soon! I am also trying to keep that number updated as regularly as possible on the homepage of litanyrun.com.
Remember that you can always help me with a small gift like $5, $10 or $15 if the Lord moves your heart to do so at www.gofundme.com/litanyrun!
I am praying for you! God bless you!