Friday, May 18, 2007
A little pilgrimage
So today staff and faculty members participated in a pilgrimage to the motherhouse of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. The motherhouse is located in Mishawaka Indiana. It is on 500 acres of woodland dotted with orchards and farmland. The complex is anchored by a Studebaker mansion.
The motherhouse tour included viewing Franciscan art, the grotto, gardens, and the cemetery. The motherhouse is the hub of the provincial order. Formation of novitiates takes place here as does care for the retired sisters.
This is also the “prayer powerhouse”. Beside a large and beautiful chapel there is the chapel of perpetual adoration. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year the Eucharist is Adored, prayers for the order, for friends and the larger Franciscan community and for the world are made in this little chapel.
On November 25, 1875 the first Sisters were sent to North America because of the Kulturkampf that limited their ability to serve in Germany. An American branch was established by six pioneer nuns who emigrated to Lafayette, Indiana. The University of Saint Francis, the multiple hospitals, the dedication to healthcare and education all started with those six sisters in Lafayette Indiana in 1875.
And so we journeyed to our motherhouse. We sang and prayed on the bus. We celebrated Mass and we ate. We visited with sisters we all knew and also made new friends.
Three of the members of our group will be leaving next week for our school sponsored pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome. I participated in that last year. This year I will be praying for Father Andre and Sister Anne as they lead the pilgrimage. It is good to be among folks who live their faith and whose faith is demonstrated by love and caring and not by being judgmental.
Peace and all good,