On August 11, in addition to our annual outdoor celebration of the Feast of St. Clare, this year we also had the final profession of vows by Sr. Monique. We were delighted to be able to welcome her Mother, from Halifax Nova Scotia, and one of her brothers, Kevin from Barrie Ontario. Her Father in Costa Rica was unable to attend, as were her other three brothers, but she was in contact with all of them, and we knew they were here in spirit. We had approximately 300 people join us for this celebration, our largest gathering ever here at the monastery. The Knights of Columbus brought almost 200 chairs, the monastery was emptied of everything that could be used for seating, and even the friars across the street brought all the furniture they had available.
Fr. Dennis Vavrek OFM, Provincial of the Friars of Western Canada was our presider at the midmorning celebration. The day dawned sunny and hot, without the feared rain showers.
The special group of women from Victoria, the Swing Sisters, who annually come to provide music for our celebration, were here in full force. We had also arranged for a professional to come and provide the sound equipment so everyone would be able to hear and participate fully. And when the heat was at its height, suddenly a gentle cooling breeze appeared, and we knew it was our deceased Sr. Barbara’s contribution to the celebrations, and greatly appreciated by all of us. Her presence, and those of the other sisters who have been a part of this community was palpable, and was mentioned by many of those who came to celebrate with us.
It was a joy filled ceremony, as you can tell from the photos as well as from the video link of our photos at the top of this page.
While this celebration has certainly been the highlight of the summer for us, we are now preparing for two more significant events in the next two weeks. On August 28th our new Bishop Gary Gordon will be installed at the Cathedral. Bishop Gary comes to us from the north, the Diocese of Whitehorse, and is being awaited with great enthusiasm. He called us and said he would like to bring the Papal Nuncio to Canada, who is coming from Ottawa for the Installation Ceremony, to visit us that very morning. Several of the sisters will be going to the Liturgy on Thursday evening, and those not attending in person will be able to see it being broadcast live on Salt and Light Television, the first time this has occurred in our Diocese.
On Sept 8 we will hold our community elections. We have been working for the past several months with Sr. Judi Morin, SSA, a long-time friend of the community and specialist in non-violent communications in some pre-election work. We ask you to join with us as we pray for the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit at this time.