The relic of Our Holy Mother Clare which was venerated at the Transitus Celebration on Aug. 10th.
“Gospel radicalism finds expression in the mission God has chosen to entrust to us: from the contemplative life, which welcomes into its cloisters the Word of God in eloquent silence and adores His beauty in the solitude which he alone fills, to the different paths of the apostolic life, in whose furrows the seed of the Gospel bears fruit in the education of children and young people, the care of the sick and elderly, the pastoral care of families, commitment to respect for life, witness to the truth and the proclamation of peace and charity, mission work and the new evangelization, and so many other sectors of the Church’s apostolate.” – From Pope Benedict’s address to Women Religious, Aug 19, 2011
Sr. John-Mark Maria reading the account of the death of Our Holy Mother Clare
I don’t know about you but the Sisters and I are enjoying TO THE FULL the festivities of World Youth Day – living it in union with Our Holy Father and all the young pilgrims from across the globe.  In a particular way, we are praying for the young people from the Diocese of Phoenix who are there in Madrid…and supporting their journey with our prayers and sacrifices. 
The Holy Father is not mincing any words! He is speaking directly to the heart of the youth…directly to all of our hearts.  From the strength of his words, I’d venture to say that he sees a nobility in the heart of the young pilgrims and is engaging them in the pursuit of holiness.  These are his words from the welcome address:  
“Indeed, there are many who, creating their own gods, believe they need no roots or foundations other than themselves. They take it upon themselves to decide what is true or not, what is good and evil, what is just and unjust; who should live and who can be sacrificed in the interests of other preferences; leaving each step to chance, with no clear path, letting themselves be led by the whim of each moment. These temptations are always lying in wait. It is important not to give in to them because, in reality, they lead to something so evanescent, like an existence with no horizons, a liberty without God. We, on the other hand, know well that we have been created free, in the image of God, precisely so that we might be in the forefront of the search for truth and goodness, responsible for our actions, not mere blind executives, but creative co-workers in the task of cultivating and beautifying the work of creation. God is looking for a responsible interlocutor, someone who can dialogue with him and love him. Through Christ we can truly succeed and, established in him, we give wings to our freedom. Is this not the great reason for our joy? Isn’t this the firm ground upon which to build the civilization of love and life, capable of humanizing all of us?”
Our Holy Mother Clare is often referred to as a Shining Light…her light was shining upon us as we celebrated her Feast Day!

Pope Benedict’s words to the Women Religious carried particular import for us here at Our Lady of Solitude…being the young religious that we are (getting older by the minute…but still young at heart! Smile, Smile).  The one phrase he spoke sums up our life here in Tonopah, Arizona: adores His beauty in the solitude which He alone fills… 

Sr. Esther Marie with our two new friends: Addison and David

To conclude, the Sisters and I thank you for your prayers for our communal retreat earlier this month.  It was a truly blessed 8 days of joy, peace, prayer, and spiritual nourishment.  Our special gratitude to Fr. Marco Testa who came all the way from Toronto Canada to lead the retreat.  Having known Father for many years now, our friendship with him was deepened as we now received anew the benefits of his teaching and wisdom about the spiritual life…all with such joy!  His anecdotes kept us smiling (and sometimes downright laughing)…and his devotion was a great witness to the ‘hundred-fold’ of fidelity and love.

Our farewell to our retreat master, Fr. Marco, as he heads back to Canada…very early in the morning!  Thank you, Father, for a glorious retreat!!

As World Youth Day continues, let us keep our prayers coming for all those in attendance – for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit!  The B-16 Generation is ALIVE and WELL!!!