December 2019 Minutes

Meeting Notes from December 14th, 2020

Consecrate us in the Truth of the Word

Our community meeting began with morning prayer. The membership celebrated the feast of St John of the Cross, offering the Eucharist up in the memory of Caroline Lessica, our most recent deceased member. Father Rohan invited us to enter into the Spirit of St John. He said it is important to remember that our dignity as humans consists in our adoption through Christ by the Father. That we may be one with the Father, as he is one with him. This is the beauty and consolation of our Christian life. It eases the harshness of our journey on earth. Our human weakness and ignorance are what causes us to love our willful ways. Accepting our nothingness, our total dependence on God’s providence, is the only way we can come to glory. We must be consecrated in the truth of God’s Word, Jesus Christ (and the Scriptures). The spiritual life is the last defense of the Truth. In the Collected Works of St John of the Cross, there are some letters written in 1589, which talk about feelings versus love. Fr Rohan thought it might be wise to rediscover these letters and ponder their meaning. He recommended reading the writings of the saints. A We were encouraged to increase our faith in God and preserve our hearts in peace for all things come to an end. What a beautiful and instructive homily!

Fr Rohan’s instruction after mass, delved into the practice of Reconciliation and its importance during the season of Advent. He opened with a joke about confession and continued with St John the Baptist, making the way straight for the ministry of Jesus by his message of repentance. People still attend reconciliation and he went so far as to say that there was little need for psychotherapy, if reconciliation is meaningfully experienced as a sacrament. He did admit that few priests make reconciliation a high priority and often neglect to instruct the congregation on the proper way to confess as adults. People fail usually, in three ways. The first is to confess in veiled terms their actual offence. The second is naming the commandments and the number of times they have committed offenses against these without any specifics of circumstances. The third is to confess without a sincere expectation of changing our behavior or any sincere sense of repentance. The sacrament is a human sign that I can understand, during which I can experience Christ’s true compassion for us. Also, since our sin affects those around us, reconciliation requires a social aspect. The priest, representing Christ, provides that element for us. Christ is in all others around us. A lively discussion followed including various opinions on the screened versus face to face reconciliation styles.

Ida presented Fr Rohan with the community Christmas gift and reminded us of Father’s annual visit home. Several visitors introduced themselves and Nell is hoping to transfer to our community. Char Feldkamp lead Lectio on the Letter of St James, the Sunday reading, urging us to be patient until the coming of the Lord. The community was asked to pray for vocations to the priesthood and for all our priests.  The community is in need of an accomplished instrumentalist to help with the music ministry and some new choir members. Please help if you can.

Thanks to all who brought food for the brunch and all those who organized it. It was yummy and a welcome break after all the learning and prayer.

Karen had a book sale to reduce the book inventory.  Everyone reported to their new formation groups. Hopefully, all of us had lively discussions and meaningful faith sharing. Joyce had the guides for Liturgy of the Hours and Christian Prayer books. Meeting closed in the usual way after the completion of our formation group time.

January 2020 Minutes

Meeting Notes from January 14th, 2020

“He must increase, I must decrease.”

Our meeting began in the usual manner with morning prayer being presided over by Joyce Brooks. After morning prayer, the Rite of Reception into Formation took place. Gerry and Hermine Toomer were received into formation by Fr Ivan Monteiro, OCD. Gerry and Hermine were delayed by the birth of their daughter, a beautiful distraction and a joyous occasion itself. The holy mass was presided over by Fr Ivan, who is graciously guiding us in Fr Rohan’s absence. The community is grateful for his help and direction. The homily was based on the baptism of Jesus and how John’s role decreased as Jesus’s ministry grew. John, humbly, directed his followers to Jesus, as the one who was to follow John. God sent the Spirit out to Jesus, during John’s baptism of him. God speaking and the spirit descending illuminated who Jesus’s was and what his mission would be. Fr Ivan stated that this should be our primary goal in life. To allow Jesus to increase in us, while we die to ourselves. St Paul in his letter to the Galatians 2:20 discusses this decrease in self and increase in Christ. Selfishness needs to be abandoned and we must humbly allow Christ to shine in us. Trusting humbly in God with a proper sense of self, Jesus will lead us to do God’s will. If we allow Jesus to lead us our life will become a prayer and God’s will will be accomplished in us. The Lord’s increase in us is cause for rejoicing.

The holy mass was followed by spiritual instruction by Fr Ivan. The topic was our call to holiness issued in Scripture and reinforced by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical, Christifideles Laici. The meaning of being holy is to be set apart, sacred, belonging to God. Holiness is our daily endeavor and we must strive to be holy in all our actions. Jesus stands in the gap. He is our bridge. He has opened the gates of heaven to us in assuming our humanity. Today, we live in a society which tells us that a holy person gives up all the fun in life. In a way that is true because we give up selfish pleasure. In doing so we gain joy and as John of the Cross tells we gain all. Holiness is a matter of our stone hearts being transformed into tender, loving hearts. Bringing our will into union with God’s will makes holiness a reality. We accept God fully within us gladly. Sinner’s become holy sharing in Jesus’s divinity. God’s grace changes our hearts as we imitate Jesus. Each of us must step aside and allow God to act in all that we do. Do not be afraid of holiness. God does not call us to do something without providing for all our needs. Pope Francis in his encyclical, Gaudete et exsultate, instructs us in the ways of holiness. Avery worthwhile read for all of us.

The instruction was followed by an interesting discussion. Generally, the consensus was the more we allowed Jesus to dwell within us and fill us with love, the closer we came to holiness.  The guests were greeted and introduced themselves. Betty Sousa was generous enough to lead us in Lectio Divina on the Sunday gospel, Acts 10:34-38. This reading is about the Holy Spirit coming to the Gentiles. Since God has not shown any partiality in bestowing the Holy Spirit upon the Gentiles, he, in all good conscience, cannot deny them the blessing of baptism. Mary Ho lead the prayer for vocations and grace before brunch.

Kathy Miller lead the Opening Prayer for the new year at the beginning of the business meeting. The people who attended the past two retreats lead by Fr Thomas Koller voted to ask someone new for our annual retreat held Sept 11,12,13 this year. Please mark your calendars. Attendance is encouraged and scholarships are available upon application. Char Feldkamp talked about prayer partnerships for Lent through the Lanteri Center. Please contact Char Feldkamp in our directory for more information. This is an opportunity to grow in scriptural prayer with a partner and spiritual guide.

Annual dues to the Central Office are due. Please bring a check for $35.00 payable to OCDS, with Central Office Annual Dues on the memo line. If you have done so already, please ignore this reminder. Thanks to Michelle Kennedy and her committee for the directories now available. If you have not picked up your directory, please do so at our next meeting. Please remember to pray and then pick your three candidates for president and your three candidates for councilor. These need to be in order of preference. If you do not know who is eligible, get with a friend who attended the meeting. Angela Stornetta is our Acting Treasurer with Mary Fran Kappel as Acting Community Secretary. Karin Layman will discontinue the monthly book ministry as soon as her inventory is sold. She will continue to order formation texts and will accept special orders from our members.

Please remember to pray for our dear Michael Young during his serious illness. He is holding his own currently.

Sean and Elijah Lynch obtain Christmas trees for our sisters and deliverer them to the monastery. This has been going on for four years. My question is where were we and why did we not know?  Thanks for taking care of our sisters at the monastery and providing them with trees. There is something special about a lit Christmas tree in the silent dark night.

The Angelus is the first prayer of all formation groups.

February Food Group Leader is Jeanette Mars.

We ended meeting at 1:00pm with the Salve Regina and then were dismissed

Please pray for the elections of the OCDS, sisters and friars. May the holy Spirit guide us and inspire us as we renew the leadership of our communities.

Written by

Acting Community Secretary

Mary Fran Kappel

February 2020 Minutes

Meeting Notes from February 8, 2020

The meeting started with Morning Prayer lead by Joyce Brooks. Mass followed with a loving homily by Fr Ivan Monterio, OCD. The homily spoke of Jesus’s deep longing to shepherd the crowd when they followed him while he was seeking a quiet place and moment. Jesus takes pity upon the crowd and teaches them even in his exhaustion. Jesus did this because the crowd had such a deep longing to be with him and he had such a great love for them. He shows mercy and compassion to the crowd, even though he was seeking a moment of peace and union with his father. We must have the longing of the crowd to be with Jesus and, as his disciples, we need to show his love, mercy and compassion to those who seek to know Jesus through each one of us. As the psalms teach us, if we have left sin behind, then we yearn for the love of the Lord. That love must be deep, abiding and the prime motivation of all our acts as believers. It must move us forward in our ascent of Mt Carmel.

Following mass, we were instructed in the virtue of humility. Humility is called the mother of all virtue. Self-knowledge and recognition of our relationship with God are sign posts on the road to true, authentic humility. Centering our life on God, valiant recognition of our faults and abilities, facing our sinful areas honestly and seek into remove them from our lives are signs of an authentic, interior, mature spirituality. The truly humble are free in spirit, laughing at themselves and their foolishness, but also rejoicing in the good that comes to others and in the abilities of others Other people are comfortable with the humble. There is no need to hide their faults, they are human and compassionate. Humility, a gift from the Spirit, is a state of being. The truly humble have no need to compete because they accept themselves as they are and believe with God’s grace, they can change.

On the contrary, the proud are easily wounded and discouraged.

This was our last meeting with Fr Ivan because Fr Rohan has returned to Denver. I am sure that we welcome Fr Rohan’s return.  The community is grateful to Fr Ivan for his care and instruction. We hope to see him again.  

The question and answer period, after Fr Ivan’s instruction, continued for a longer than normal time. So, we had 10 minutes of sacred silence instead of the usual Lectio Divina. Ida Rubin welcomed the guests. We had the prayer for vocations and Adrienne lead the grace before brunch.

After brunch, the business meeting began with Shirley McDermott shared her spiritual testimony concerning Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes.  This was moving and humbling. Shirley read us the Thanksgiving Prayer of St. Bernadette. It reminded me of how truly ungrateful I am for all the Lord has given me. The prayer also highlighted all the things Bernadette suffered because she gave testimony to what she had experienced. Quite a heart moving moment, I thought.

Mary Ho is leading a workshop on the Liturgy of the Hours that will cover the basics February 29,2020 1pm -3pm in the Peregrine I room by the bookstore and coffee shop at St Thomas More Parish. She is hoping to gather a group to lead the Liturgy of the Hours during meeting, after first training the group, in the way Fr Rohan has indicated. There will be another meeting in March, but she doesn’t know where yet. Please email Mary Ho if you intend coming on Feb. 29,2020.

David is still selling DVD’s and thumbnails of our Ceremonies, in November,2019 and the retreat in October,2019 by Fr Thomas. The money is going to the restoration of the altar at the monastery.

Char Feldkamp is our webmaster for the community’s website. The newsletter has been discontinued.

Please write or print your prayer intentions for the basket legibly. They want to accurately post your intentions, so the whole community might pray for them.

February 8,2020 was the last day to pay your annual dues to the community.

Those not eligible to vote, were led to a different room for formation. Those eligible voted in the straw vote and then proceeded to formation. All was performed as stipulated by the statutes of the Province.

The Salve Regina was sung and we were dismissed.

The Council did not meet. The meeting was postponed.

Written by the Acting Community Secretary

Mary Frances Kappel, OCDS    

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