A Haven Within A Haven
Some nine months ago, it was determined that the Sisters living at Sacred Heart Convent in Fargo, North Dakota, would relocate. One obvious choice was to return to our former convent which is now a beautiful retirement facility named Riverview Place. Sixteen of us are sprinkled throughout the four wings of the building. In the day when 60-70 Sisters lived here, the building didn’t seem so large. But now it takes a conscious effort to rub shoulders and keep in touch with one another.
While we have settled into our living spaces and meet twice daily for public prayer and Mass in the chapel, we longed for and needed a gathering space for ourselves as a Community. A lovely apartment has been secured. On the ground floor it not only allows us to step out onto a patio and experience a lovely garden, but provides us with a meeting space and a kitchen and dining area to facilitate hospitality. It also provides us an area to display community resources and other items of general interest. The couch will even provide a bed for welcomed overnight guests.
By majority vote, it is called ‘Nano’s Haven’. Haven is defined by Webster as a place of safety and refuge. We add, it is a welcoming place to gather for meetings, and where we can spontaneously share conversation, goodies and relaxation. Whom better to dedicate it to than Nano!
Our first experience there was to partake in a High Tea hosted by Sr Marilyn Omiecznski who personally baked scones, strawberries dipped in chocolate and provided lemon bars and snacks. Appropriate beverages were served!
It no longer looks like the lovely Convent we left, but it is now even more tastefully designed and graced with wonderful, cheerful, friendly and “so delighted to have you here” neighbours.
In the spirit of Nano we gather, in the spirit of our Risen Lord we will continue to grace the space and each other with kindness, peace, support and creativity.
Submitted by: Sr Jan Ihli, pbvm
Celebrations Mark the Newly Organised Guadalupe Community
The eighteen Sisters living in six houses in Southern California and the five Sisters residing at Regina Residence, the retirement home of the Sisters of St Joseph of Orange, recently organised themselves to become one local Community. ‘Guadalupe’ was the chosen name of this new local Community. Sr Jane Bonar was appointed Local Leader of the Guadalupe Community and took office as of May 1, 2021.
Every Community member, having been fully vaccinated, gathered for a picnic on April 25th in Watts, Los Angeles. It was the first gathering of the Sisters after over a year of lockdown. Everything was blooming in the garden, a sure sign of Spring and new life, and reflective of the ‘new’ Community. It was so exciting to come together and catch up on the happenings in our Province, Congregation and around the world. We enjoyed a delicious boxed lunch with sandwiches, chips and cookies. Lunch was followed by an Easter-egg hunt in the garden, games and chit-chat. It was so refreshing and good to be together. Even Kitty, the cat, came to check us out and enjoy a little attention.
Then on May 1st, Sr Fidelma Lyne, one of the Sisters living at Regina Residence, celebrated her 90th birthday. Fidelma was hoping the day would slip by quietly, but she found her bedroom door beautifully decorated. That was the beginning of a wonderful 90th birthday celebration. The two Sisters in Upland, California, where Fidelma used to live, arrived at 1pm and surprised her with a special birthday cake, gifts, flowers, balloons, a crown and a ‘Birthday Queen’ sash. Little did Fidelma know that all the Sisters of the Guadalupe Community were busy decorating their cars in the parking lot to surprise her with a drive-by. She received more balloons, flowers, cards and birthday wishes. To add to her joy, each of our Sisters at the facility was brought out to participate in the event. It was a joyful celebration for our Sisters at Regina residence and for each of us in the Guadalupe Community.
It was a fitting beginning to this newly formed Guadalupe Community. We look forward to many more gatherings and celebrations.
Submitted by: Sisters Mary Kelly and Jocelyn Quijano, pbvm