Preparing for Heaven
From Sister Maria Philomena
The month of November is dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. This year we had some unusual meditations on preparing for Heaven.
On November 3, just after the high school had made its preparation for death (meditation) and was getting ready to go to Confession, I was notified that Sister Mary Bernadette (our ninety-one year old Sister) needed to go the Emergency Room. She had been fighting pneumonia, but her oxygen level was very low and now she needed more help. Since I hold Sister's Durable Power of Attorney, I spent the next thirteen days and nights with Sister Mary Bernadette at the hospital. (The high school students had an unusual schedule of classes those two weeks!) We came home on the sixteenth, and Sister is getting her usual considerate care from Sister Maria Rosaria -- with help from Hospice -- at our convent (St. Philomena's, down the road).
Our dear Sister Mary Bernadette (one of the original Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) loves Our Lord and Our Lady very deeply. This comes out -- sometimes in surprising ways -- even through her dementia. Early in her hospital stay, as the other Sisters were leaving after a visit, Sister said, "This is such a wonderful world we live in, because, the Son of God became Man in this world, and left us the means so that we can go to Heaven and be happy with Him forever." Our Brothers had a delightful visit with her and told her to "be good" just before they left. Sister responded, "That's difficult!"
In the pictures here, Sister Mary Bernadette (now almost completely bedridden) is watching Sister Mary Joseph and Miss Baker as they practice the Sisters' Thanksgiving skit.
So now you know why the November issue of the e-newsletter was delayed until December!
Our Thanksgiving Program (mostly skits, open to the St. Benedict Center community) was very funny. Both the Brothers' and the Sisters' communities gave performances -- as did a number of our school families. The program was recorded and is available on DVD from the Center Bookstore ($5 plus shipping and handling); call 603-239-6485 to order your copy of fun, homemade entertainment.
Remembering Brother Francis
December 3 was the Feast Day of Brother Francis' patron saint, and November 30 (Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle) was the anniversary of Brother Francis' reception into the Church. In his memory (he went to his eternal reward two years ago), I thought you might enjoy a quote or two from him as we begin a new Liturgical year this Advent.
“The end for a man who obeys and cooperates with grace is the attainment of the highest perfection of life, the attainment of life eternal. Life is God’s gift, and it must seek truth, beauty and goodness.” – Brother Francis
“Edification. Catholics who truly believe in heaven and hell -- and therefore in after-life -- will do every thing that edifies their fellowmen. They will perform works of mercy, they will fight for justice, they will lead in patriotic efforts, they will be for law-and-order and against subversion. They will use their talent for the advancement of science and art, but are in the service of faith and piety. And, if their faith becomes strong enough and heroic, they would be apostles and martyrs in order to bring the benefits of the Gospel to all men.” – Brother Francis
May Our Lady of the Expectation help us all to prepare for the coming of Her Son!
December 8 - NO SCHOOL (Immaculate Conception)
December 13 - Fundraising Meeting (7:30pm, high school classroom)
December 16 - Mothers' Tea
December 18 - Christmas Program (after brunch in St. Joseph's Hall - about 11:30am)
December 24-January 1 - NO SCHOOL (Christmas Vacation)
January 10 - Fundraising Meeting (7:30pm, high school classroom)
January 15 - Anniversary Program (after brunch in St. Joseph's Hall - about 11:30am)
January 19 - Mothers' Tea
How You Can Help
We have many needs, but we would especially appreciate your prayers.
You also might consider helping with donations of money (especially for scholarships) or goods.
The School & Sisters' Wish List
Author for November
Sister Maria Philomena, M.I.C.M.