Grace and Peace! Hello all. Things have just been hopping around here. From birthdays to building projects and everything in between, I have let too much time slip away with out posting some news for you all. Hmmm, where should I start?

Just in case you have not seen the website, we have officially begun Phase I of our construction project. (Yahoo!!) Phase I includes the site prep, foundation and construction of the chapel of Our Lady of Solitude as well as building two houses on site. One of the houses will be our temp living quarters until the monastery(Phase II) is completed. The other house will serve as offices and priest quarters. Both houses will be used as guest houses for visitors and retreatants once construction is complete. I have to admit I feel a little giddy with excitement at the thought of living on the new property and being present as we watch the chapel and monastery built. As most of you know the cost for the construction of the chapel has been donated, but the cost for the chapel appointments(stained glass windows, pews…) and for the houses has not. Please join us in praying for these funds and if you are able to help in any way…which brings me to my next tidbit of news…
In light of the beginning of Phase I, we have launched a ‘Living Stones in the Pathways to Prayer’ program. Please check out this link for further imformation of how you can enlist your families in a perpetual memorial of prayer at Our Lady of Solitude.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week we met with three possible construction companies. Besides being fantastically capable and talented men, all three were enthusiastic about our project and had great presentations. We will be choosing one of the three in the next week or so keep posted for more building updates soon!!

As I mentioned we have been celebrating birthdays this past month with Sr Marie St Paul’s Franciscan party on the 19th and Sr Augustine’s ‘Everything Oriental’ party on the 25th. You can see photos above of Sr Fidelis’ genius in the mini Our Lady of Angels chapel she constructed (yes it was 100% edible) and the Japanese Garden cake she made. Maybe we should hire her for the building project???

Turkey anyone???? I certainly had my fill (and then some). We had a wonderful Thanksgiving this year as Sr Fidelis’ family visit overlapped with the holiday. We were joined by her mom and dad, Peg and Charles and our good friends Maria and Fr Bob Reddy (who’s no stranger to this blog). See pics above.

Today is the First Sunday of Advent, the blessed season of anticipation and preparation for the coming of the Christ Child. I will sign off with some words of inspiration about Advent from Pope John Paul II, of happy memory. A blessed week to you and your’s- Sr Mary Blogger
“Advent keeps alive our expectation of Christ Who will come to visit us with His salvation, fully establishing His Kingdom of justice and peace. The annual evocation of the Messiah’s Birth in Bethlehem renews in believers’ hearts the CERTAINTY that God keeps His promises. Advent is therefore, a powerful proclamation of hope, which deeply touches our lives.
Obstacles, disputes and difficulties of various kinds burden our life and sometimes overwelm it….It is especially at these moments that hope comes to our rescue. The Mystery of Christmas assures us that God is EMMANUEL-God with us. That is why we must never feel alone. He is close to us. He shared our pilgrimage on earth, guaranteeing us the attainment of that joy and peace to which aspire from the depths of our being.” God bless you and Mary keep you close.