Prepare for Celebrating St Francis de Sales on January 24

The Founder of the Visitation Order, St. Francis de Sales will be celebrated with a 9AM Mass at Visitation Monastery’s Sacred Heart Chapel.

We offer a nine day preparation for this glorious day!

Our Holy Founder of the Visitation Order, St Francis de Sales, will be celebrated on January 24. This year we share excerpts of his teachings and life as a spiritual preparation, from the book  The Beauties of St. Francis de Sales, excerpted from Bishop Camus’ writings.


Day one- January 15th

HUMILITY

St. Francis always discouraged professions of humility, if they were not very true and very sincere. “Such professions,” he said, “are the very cream, the very essence of pride: the really humble man wishes to be, and not to appear so. Humility is timorous, and starts at her shadow; and so delicate, that if she hears her name pronounced, it endangers her existence. He who blames himself, takes a by-road to praise; and like the rower, turns his back to the place whither he desires to go. He would be irritated if what he said against himself was believed; but from a principle of pride, he desires to appear humble.”

Day Two- January 16

MEEKNESS.

I once observed to a celebrated churchman, that I admired the wonderful meekness of the Bishop of Geneva, (St Francis de Sales) with which he governed all things in peace; he does what he pleases, said I, and in so mild a manner, yet so firm, that no one can resist him:—a thousand fall at his left hand, and ten thousand at his right. Everything, with him, tends to persuasion:—he attains his end with sweetness and energy;—before you think he has set out, he has reached the goal. He replied with great judgment, “It is that mildness, which renders him so powerful; know you not that steel is stronger than iron, but of a temper more flexible? ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. All they wish is in their power;—they reign over all hearts, and all are attracted by their sweetness.” It was a frequent Aphorism of St. Francis, “Blessed are the hearts which bend, they never break. “No, certainly they never are broken themselves, but frequently they break others to their opinions.”

    

Day Three January 17

ST. FRANCIS NEVER ASKED AND NEVER DENIED.

According to his maxim of asking nothing and refusing nothing, he was in the habit of accepting the little presents offered him by the Peasants. It was pleasing to see in what manner and with what feelings he received their handfuls of filberts, chestnuts, apples, or the small cheeses and eggs, brought by the poor; some would present him with half-pence, pence, or farthings, all which he received with humility, and expressions of gratitude. He would even receive the pence sent by the villagers to say Masses for them, and would perform them with deep attention. He used on leaving church, to distribute the money to the poor he chanced to meet with, but the eatables he would carry home and give to his steward, with orders that they should be sent up to table.

Day Four-January 18

The RECONCILED ENEMY.

St. Francis did not approve of the saying—“Never rely on a reconciled enemy.” He rather preferred a contrary maxim; and said, that a quarrel between friends, when made up, added a new tie to friendship: as experience shows, that the callosity formed round a broken bone, makes it stronger than before. Those who are reconciled, often renew their friendship with increased warmth; the offender is on his guard against a relapse, and anxious to atone for past unkindness; and the offended glory in forgiving and forgetting the wrongs that have been done to them. Princes are doubly careful of reconquered towns, and preserve them with more care than those the enemy never gained.

Day Five- January 19

IMPATIENCE.

1fdccf80bcc119a120798e4e1fac0a85_why-do-you-get-pins-free-clipart-on-pins-and-needles_1130-892ST. Francis was a declared enemy to eagerness, which he called the delirium of devotion; for the spirit of true devotion is mild and equal, but impatience is turbulent and uneasy; and while it thinks itself building, it is in fact destroying.The worst kind of imitation is that which tries to do several things at once. He said it was like wanting to thread several needles at the same time:-he who undertakes too many things, will succeed in none. In whatsoever St. Francis did, he applied his whole mind to the business immediately before him, as if it were his only care in this world.

 Day Six-January 20 EQUANIMITY.

I know nothing more sedulously inculcated by St. Francis, than the absolute necessity of equanimity of mind: as this life is a voyage to the harbor of salvation, we must be careful pilots, and hold strait the helm amidst the inequality of the waves.

We must imitate the mariners, who guide themselves by continually observing the pole. Our guide is the Will of God, on which our eyes should continually be fixed. Inequality of mind proceeds from attention to secondary causes, and thus our humor changes with every changing Occurrence. But when, through all the strange variety, we can still perceive the unalterable Will of God, who distributes as he sees best, sickness and health, wealth and poverty, life and death; and when we reflect, that from every circumstance we may extract causes and means to glorify God, we enter into the Christian contest, which produces perfect equanimity of temper.

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Cloister Creche in Preparation for Christmas

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Christmas Schedule 2016

christmasYou are welcome to join us for our Christmas Liturgies:

Christmas Eve- 730PM Mass in our Sacred Heart Chapel

Christmas Day- 9:00AM Mass in our Sacred Heart Chapel

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Brooklyn Tablet article on our Nativity Lighting

WeddingOn Sunday December 4, 2016 our Monastery Sisters and Academy family gathered to bless our creche, dedicate a memorial to Mr. Larry Morrish, and celebrate the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Second Week of Advent, with our children’s choir beautifully harmonizing carols.

The Brooklyn Tablet covered the event. You can read it here:

http://thetablet.org/bay-ridge-creche-lights-honor-festival-founder/

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Pray at Our Fatima Shrine and Gain an Indulgence

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Three Ways to Obtain an Indulgence During 100th Anniversary of Fatima

 

Pope Francis has granted the opportunity throughout the entire jubilee year.

For the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal, Pope Francis has decided to grant a plenary indulgence opportunity throughout the entire anniversary year, which began Nov. 27, 2016, and will end Nov. 26, 2017.

The rector of the Fatima Shrine in Portugal, André Pereira, explained to CNA that the plenary indulgence can be obtained during the entire jubilee year. There are three ways of obtaining the indulgence, detailed in a statement on the shrine’s website.

To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must also fulfill the ordinary conditions: Go to confession and Communion, be interiorly detached from sin, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

  1. Pilgrimage to the shrine

The first way is for “the faithful to make a pilgrimage to the Fatima Shrine in Portugal and participate in a celebration or prayer dedicated to the Virgin.”

In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke the Mother of God.

  1. Prayer before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima

The second way applies to “the pious faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October (2017), and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary.”

Regarding this second way, the rector of the Fatima Shrine told CNA that the visit to the statue of the Virgin “does not necessarily have to be only at Fatima or exclusively in Portugal,” but can be done anywhere in the world.

Those seeking an indulgence must also pray an Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

  1. Application for the elderly and infirm

The third way to obtain a plenary indulgence applies to people who, because of age, illness or other serious cause, are unable to get around well.

These individuals can pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October 2017.

They also must “offer to merciful God with confidence, through Mary, their prayers and sufferings or the sacrifices they make in their own lives.”

 

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Rest in Peace

srantoniaOur dear Sister Mary Antonia VHM went home to God Monday November 28, 2016.

Viewing was Friday Dec 2 in the afternoon and evening. Sister’s Funeral Liturgy was held Saturday December 3 at 945AM.

Thank you for your prayers.

Sr. Antonia was the 6th of 10 children born to Julia Marra and John Delucie. She was baptized Maria Donata Delucie but everyone called her Diana. She attended Girls Commercial High School in Brooklyn and studied costume design, winning many awards. Diana first worked as a seamstress and milliner in Manhattan where she became a specialist in creating contemporary fashion hats. She developed a keen eye for style and landed a prized position as a copyist working first for Sally Victor and later for Lilly Dache, both celebrated Madison Avenue designers.

Diana entered the Visitation Monastery July 9, 1955, was professed on March 24, 1957 and was given the name Sr. Mary Antonia. She was educated within the Cloister and taught primary grades in the Visitation Academy 1957-1972. During this time she also functioned as the Procuratrix and Bursar ( 1964-67). The Rule of the Cloister became more flexible after Vatican II which ultimately allowed the interested sisters to study outside the walls of the Cloister. Sr Antonia studied Theology in Manhattan College in the late 1960’s to early1970’s. She attended St Joseph’s College in Brooklyn graduating with a degree in Education (1974). She obtained an MA in Education from St Joseph’s College in Philadelphia (1980).

Sr. Antonia was the assistant principal and then principal of the Visitation Academy for over 16 years. She was the Superior of the Visitation Monastery for 6 years from 1987-1993. After this she returned to the Visitation school as principal ( 1993-1996). In these years she also became the lnfirmarian. As such, Sr. Antonia was responsible for all the health needs of the sisters and cared for the sick and dying. She was in charge of the infirmary for well over 20 years, relinquishing her duties to the infirmary as recently as 2013.

In addition to all other responsibilities, she delighted in teaching religion to Kindergarten and First Grade children (1996-2016). Teaching motivated her recovery from a heart valve replacement in the spring of 2015. She returned to teaching religion to the new Kindergarten class in September 2015 and taught her last religion class on October 27, 2016.

Sr Mary Antonia  went home to God gently with grace and in peace on November 28, 2016.

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Nativity Mass and Tree Lighting Dec 4

The annual Nativity Mass and Tree Lighting will take place at Visitation Monastery on Sunday December 4th starting at 630PM. You are all welcome to attend.

Here is a video clip from last year’s event:

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Stupendous and Spiritual- Wow to Divine Mercy Event!

330_okazimirowski1On Sunday, November 20, 2016, Mr. Daniel DiSilva came to Visitation Monastery, Brooklyn, to present the story and the documentary on the discovery, history and travels of the Original painting of the Divine Mercy picture.

No fictional detective story can match the journey of this holy and anointed painting,executed by artist Eugene Kazimirowski under the direction of St. Faustina herself.

The DVD is now being released for purchase. You will benefit incredibly by viewing it!

The Visitation Sisters are profoundly grateful to Mr. DiSilva for his visit, presentation and stay with us. May we remain united in the Divine Mercy!

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An Interview with Mother Susan on The Image of the Divine Mercy and the Sisters of the Visitation

Mother Susan explains to us the connection between the Sisters of the Visitation and the film The Image of the Divine Mercy.  Thank you, Mother Susan, for speaking with us and helping us to see the hand of God in our rich Visitation history and in our present.

On behalf of Mother Susan and the Sisters of the Visitation, we cordially invite you to join us on November 20 to watch the film, meet the director, and ask him more questions about history, tradition and inspiration.

What prompted you to research the history of the original painting and its connection to the Sisters of the Visitation?

A young Lithuanian woman named Juste discovered our American Visitation and came to stay for 3 months with our Minneapolis community. While there Juste asked if we had a community in Lithuania. In researching this I discovered we had one in Vilnius, Lithuania until World War II. It was on this Visitation Monastery’s premises that the original picture of the Divine Mercy was painted.

What did you discover that furthers the connection between St. Faustina’s experiences and the global history of the Order of the Visitation?

St. Faustina used to come to the Visitation Monastery cottage where the artist was painting the Divine Mercy picture. After it was completed her spiritual director Fr. Sopocko showed it to the Visitation Sisters. I believe it was the delicacy of our Lord Himself who connected His revelations of the Sacred Heart to Visitation Sister St Margaret Mary to His contemporary revelation of the Heart of His Mercy to St Faustina.

Is there a connection between the way in which the Lord is depicted in the painting and the Sacred Heart, which is so important to the Visitation?

There is a similarity but the intent seems to be slightly different; He asked for reparation to the Sacred Heart from the Visitation Nuns but emphasizes Mercy to St Faustina. The two revelations can be seen as two sides to the same coin, so to speak.

As the head of the Visitation Sisters in Brooklyn, what is the main reason you want friends and neighbors to attend the film screening on November 20?

The Providence of God has led us to this screening and understanding of the history of this painting. This is the Year of Mercy and we wish to share that Mercy with our friends and neighbors as the Year draws to a close.

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Who is Sr. Faustina?

Born in Poland in 1905, Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska belonged to the Order of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.

Sr. Faustina received the Message of Divine Mercy from the Lord on multiple occasions during the period of 1931 – 1938.  It was as a result of these encounters, at the urging of our Lord, that Sr. Faustina painted an image of the Lord and His divine mercy.

Image via http://mercyhour.org/st-faustina-kowalska/

Image via http://mercyhour.org/st-faustina-kowalska/

The documentary film, The Real Image of Divine Mercy explores these events, the significance of the painting, and the ways in which divine mercy influences our individual prayer lives and our world.

We are honored to be hosting a screening of the documentary film that examines the impact of Sister Faustina – now Saint Faustina’s – faith on the global history of the Church and on our call to mercy as we wrap up the Year of Divine Mercy on November 20, 2016.

 

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