More Photos of Solemn Profession of Sr. Ana Maria

Most Reverend James Massa presided at the Solemn Profession Liturgy at Brooklyn Visitation Monastery with concelebrating priests and Deacon John.

IMG_3436Pictured from left to right are: Msgr Joe Nugent, Rev. Richard Bretone, Sr. Ana Maria, Bishop James Massa, Mother Susan Marie, Rev Gerald Knapp,CssR and Deacon John.

Sister is welcomed by the Visitation community after pronouncing her Vows in this short video.


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Sr Ana Maria Professes Solemn Vows

The heat of this August day was no match for the burning flames of the Sacred Heart of Jesus’ Love for Sister as she made her lifelong commitment to Him. Sat. Aug 13, 2016 will be marked forever in our Monastery as one of great joy ! IMG_3409Sr Ana Maria signs her name to her handwritten vows after pronouncing them in the Chapel Sanctuary. More to come…

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Strolling through the Fields

Waling thru the French field with Visitandines


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French Trip Video

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A Special Retreat

IMG_20160717_082150294Two years ago the Superior of Brooklyn Visitation Monastery was given a gift to make her annual retreat at our Founding Monastery of the Visitation in Annecy, France. She finally “opened” the gift this past July 9-18, 2016 and what a blessing it was!

Set atop a very high hill next to the Basilica of the Visitation, the Monastery overlooks a large portion of the city of Annecy and the blue depths of the Lake of Annecy, dotted with sailboats, paddleboats and swimmers, encircled by the majestic foothills of the Alps.IMG_20160717_082142236


The presence of God both within the monastic walls and outdoors among His unmatched Creation, is so palpable.

To realize that our revered Founders, St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal, Holy Father and Holy Mother, looked upon the same scenes and were inspired by them, only added to the beauty and poignancy of this retreat.


During the days there Mother was privileged to live among our Visitation Sisters, and the spirit of the community was like a gently lapping wave spreading a peaceful joy amidst the retreat.

The Sisters live an authentic monastic life and their days are full! On some evenings when Mother shared recreation with them, the laughter was contagious, even though she did not always understand  the humor because of their charming French and her weakness in the language.

Mother was also blessed to visit the tombs of our Holy Founders within the Basilica and walk though the Holy Doors of Mercy positioned there for this special year.


The morning begins with the melodious sound of wake-up chimes at 5 minutes to 6 Am and ring again at 6A and 620A as the Sisters begin their morning meditation.

IMG_20160711_113314035Mass in the little chapel follows and laity are ushered in to the Sisters’ Chapel for Mass and Morning prayer, and then ushered out.

Petite-dejeuner or breakfast follows, silently, in the refectory, and then work begins, until the other hours of prayer, meals and recreation.

Please pray for this gentle community as they continue to live out the Salesian charism of our Order.

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St Francis de Sales on prayer: New Video

3 Motivations for Prayer- a new Video!


img_03905As we prepare for the next several years of celebrating St. Francis de Sales’ life: 2017 -his 450th anniversary of birth; 2022 his 400th anniversary of death, we’d like to reflect on our Founders insights into prayer.

This newly produced video may help you grow in your own prayer life with the wisdom garnered from this Doctor of the Church!




You aim at a devout life, dear child, because as a Christian you know that such devotion is most acceptable to God’s Divine Majesty. We will consider three motivations.

1. The Example of the Saints

CONSIDER the example of the Saints, and what they have done in order to love God and lead a devout life. Call to mind the martyrs in their invincible firmness, and the tortures they endured to maintain their resolutions.

Remember what St. Augustine said of his mother Monica, of her determination to serve God in her married life and in her widowhood … and of St. Jerome and his beloved daughter St. Paula. What may we not achieve with such examples before our eyes?

2. The Love of Jesus Christ for Us

CONSIDER the Love with which our Dear Lord Jesus Christ bore so much in this world, especially in the Garden of Olives and on Mount Calvary … it was that Love which bore you in mind, and through all those pains and toils He obtained your good resolutions for you, as also all that is needful to maintain, foster, strengthen and carry through those resolutions.

Surely we ought to remember this, and ask fervently: Is it possible that I was loved, and loved so tenderly by my Saviour, that He should have thought of me individually, and in all these details by which He has drawn me to Himself?

3. The Eternal Love of God for Us

CONSIDER the Eternal Love God has borne you, in that, even before our Lord Jesus Christ became Man and suffered on the Cross for you, His Divine Majesty designed your existence and loved you. He always loved you from eternity, and therefore He made ready all the graces and gifts with which He has endowed you.

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Solemn Profession

Mid-August our dear Sister Ana Maria will make her Solemn Profession. Please pray for her!



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Patriotic Rosary

BrooklynVisitationSisters2015AGoetzeIMG_7570IMG_20160704_134047843How do the Sisters celebrate the 4th of July?

With Mass, prayer, decorations, hot dogs and hamburgers, games and in the evening, the Patriotic Rosary.

If you want to join us in spirit, here is the link to the Rosary:



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Inside the Monastery


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Sunday Chat on Prayer

Prayer is as a Healing Water


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On Sunday we will chat about the importance of how we choose the devout life.
We continue our series with Part II, Chapter 1: “The Necessity of Prayer” from An Introduction to the Devout Life. Here Saint Francis helps us see that God’s transformative mercy is greater than any sin we can commit.

1. Prayer opens the understanding to the brightness of Divine Light, and the will to the warmth of Heavenly Love–nothing can so effectually purify the mind from its many ignorances, or the will from its perverse affections. It is as a healing water which causes the roots of our good desires to send forth fresh shoots, which washes away the soul’s imperfections, and allays the thirst of passion.

2. But especially I commend earnest mental prayer to you, more particularly such as bears upon the Life and Passion of our Lord. If you contemplate Him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with Him, you will grow in His Likeness, and your actions will be moulded on His. He is the Light of the world; therefore in Him, by Him, and for Him we shall be enlightened and illuminated; He is the Tree of Life, beneath the shadow of which we must find rest;–He is the Living Fountain of Jacob’s well, wherein we may wash away every stain. Children learn to speak by hearing their mother talk, and stammering forth their childish sounds in imitation; and so if we cleave to the Savior in meditation, listening to His words, watching His actions and intentions, we shall learn in time, through His Grace, to speak, act and will like Himself. Believe me, my child, there is no way to God save through this door. Just as the glass of a mirror would give no reflection save for the metal behind it, so neither could we here below contemplate the Godhead, were it not united to the Sacred Humanity of our Saviour, Whose Life and Death are the best, sweetest and most profitable subjects that we can possibly select for meditation. It is not without meaning that the Saviour calls Himself the Bread come down from Heaven;–just as we eat bread with all manner of other food, so we need to meditate and feed upon our Dear Lord in every prayer and action. His Life has been meditated and written about by various authors. I should specially commend to you the writings of Saint Bonaventura, Bellintani, Bruno, Capilla, Grenada and Da Ponte.

3. Give an hour every day to meditation before dinner;–if you can, let it be early in the morning, when your mind will be less cumbered, and fresh after the night’s rest. Do not spend more than an hour thus, unless specially advised to do so by your spiritual father.

4. If you can make your meditation quietly in church, it will be well, and no one, father or mother, husband or wife, can object to an hour spent there, and very probably you could not secure a time so free from interruption at home.

5. Begin all prayer, whether mental or vocal, by an act of the Presence of God. If you observe this rule strictly, you will soon see how useful it is.

6. It may help you to say the Creed, Lord’s Prayer, etc., in Latin, but you should also study them diligently in your own language, so as thoroughly to gather up the meaning of these holy words, which must be used fixing your thoughts steadily on their purport, not striving to say many words so much as seeking to say a few with your whole heart. One Our Father said devoutly is worth more than many prayers hurried over.

7. The Rosary is a useful devotion when rightly used, and there are various little books to teach this. It is well, too, to say pious Litanies, and the other vocal prayers appointed for the Hours and found in Manuals of devotion,–but if you have a gift for mental prayer, let that always take the chief place, so that if, having made that, you are hindered by business or any other cause from saying your wonted vocal prayers, do not be disturbed, but rest satisfied with saying the Lord’s Prayer, the Angelic Salutation, and the Creed after your meditation.

8. If, while saying vocal prayers, your heart feels drawn to mental prayer, do not resist it, but calmly let your mind fall into that channel, without troubling because you have not finished your appointed vocal prayers. The mental prayer you have substituted for them is more acceptable to God, and more profitable to your soul. I should make an exception of the Church’s Offices, if you are bound to say those by your vocation–in such a case these are your duty.

9. If it should happen that your morning goes by without the usual meditation, either owing to a pressure of business, or from any other cause, (which interruptions you should try to prevent as far as possible), try to repair the loss in the afternoon, but not immediately after a meal, or you will perhaps be drowsy, which is bad both for your meditation and your health. But if you are unable all day to make up for the omission, you must remedy it as far as may be by ejaculatory prayer, and by reading some spiritual book, together with an act of penitence for the neglect, together with a stedfast resolution to do better the next day.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. How does Jesus’s humanity draw us deeper into prayer with God?
  2. In what way is mental prayer “more profitable to your soul” than vocal prayer?
  3. How can we better make time for meditation/prayer in our daily lives? What hinders this from happening?
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