Friday, December 30, 2011

Sharing the Joy of Christmas

Dear Friends, Merry Christmas to each and all of you from the SOLI Community! We pray that you and your families all enjoyed a blessed and grace-filled celebration of Our Savior's birth and that this coming New Year draws you all ever closer to the Lord who loves each of you, His children, so deeply.

Christmas is always a beautiful experience here in the house of the King. All the little special events we have, as we move closer to the great day, add to the anticipation in our hearts to greet the Divine Infant at His coming among us.  During the last week leading up to the Solemnity, the sisters prepared the children from our Family Catechism Program, Blessed Sacrament Parish Saturday Morning Catechism program, as well as the seniors in our Retirement Home, to present Christmas Pageants for their families and friends. The faces of the young and not so young were radiant as they took part in sharing the joyous story of Our Divine Savior's birth.

The Sisters were also given a surprise gift from some dear friends who are members of the Kitchener-Waterloo Grand Philharmonic Choir ~ twelve free tickets to attend their performance of Handel's Messiah! Later that week, about twelve of the choir members came to Marian Residence to sing for our dear seniors. The little choir proudly calls itself the "Granny Group" and have been coming to sing here for about ten years. It is always an evening enjoyed by residents and sisters alike. This year we also had a little surprise for them! ~ the sisters joined them in singing Handel's Hallelujah Chorus for the residents! Look out! Nun flash-mob!!
Through the kindness of the Galt Kiltie Band here in Cambridge, the Sisters were able to borrow some wind instruments to form for Christmas the SOLI Sisters Ensemble...tuba, french horn, clarinet, flute, violin and yes, even a saxophone! The sisters shared their gift of music at our volunteer appreciation party as well as the Marian Residence staff dinner, and Christmas dinner for our Seniors.  
With all the waiting now over, the Holy Season began with the celebration of early evening Mass for Christmas in the Marian Residence chapel at seven in the evening with our Seniors.Our dear and faithful friend, Father Tim Higgins came to offer the Mass and the seniors joined the sisters to sing the Missa de Angelis that night. Shelby, our youngest postulant, had the privilege to carry the Infant Jesus statue in the entrance procession and place him in the wooden manger of our nativity scene in the front of the chapel. After Mass, the young sisters all gathered around our Newborn King to welcome him once again and to express their love for Him in the silence of their hearts.

Following Mass a little Christmas party was had with the seniors. More excitement began to build as the sisters prepared to attend Midnight Mass ...Gloria in Excelsis Deo!!! He is born!! The King of Kings and Lord of Lords! At Blessed Sacrament Parish, where some of the sisters went that night, His Excellency Bishop Ustrzycki  celebrated the Holy Mass together with Fathers Lobsinger and Raj. When the sisters returned home the community had their own Christmas celebration together into the wee hours of the night sharing the joy of the Savior's birth together. Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

SOLI Patronal Feast Day Celebration

A blessed Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary to you all! Today we joyously celebrated our Community's Patronal Feast. It is always wonderful to spend this day meditating on the tremendous gifts of grace bestowed upon Our Lady, especially her Immaculate Conception, being preserved from Original Sin from the very moment of her existence in the womb of her mother St. Anne, through the merits of the redemption her Divine Son would gain for us all through His life, death and resurrection.  

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee! 

We began our Feast with the chanting of Lauds in praise of Our Blessed Lady. The Formation Household traveled over to Cambridge from Glen Morris to join the rest of the Community for the celebration of Holy Mass offered by Father Tim Higgins, at the end of which the sisters all renewed their Total Consecration to Our Lady together, according to the method of St. Louis Marie De Montfort. In the evening we enjoyed a meal together and some lovely singing in honor of our Lady with our dear friends Bishop Matthew Ustrzycki and Father Wayne Lobsinger. May Our Blessed Mother bless each of you with her motherly love and obtain for you and your loved ones the choicest of graces from her Son. Ave Maria!