St. Gabriel Update and News from the Monastery
The St. Gabriel building project is progressing slowly, but steadily. The foam insulated concrete walls are complete for the entire monastery, except for the nave of the Chapel, which will be higher than the rest of the building. The concrete floor for the choir loft has been poured and the base of the bell tower is also standing. All the electrical and water works were put in place before the floor was poured. Below you see the priests and brothers standing in the future sanctuary of the main chapel.
We are grateful for all your support in the project, but would also like to mention that we are in real need of your continued support. We are looking especially for larger donations, but every donation is important and necessary for this project. Just as with the Sister's convent, the combined effort of all brought it to completion, so we say once again, may God reward you, and ask if you might please consider a generous Easter donation.
First Saturdays in the Sisters' chapel, though larger than the guest house chapel where we began the First Saturday devotions, is already becoming a tight squeeze as we wait for the larger Monastery chapel to be complete. But we are delighted with the families and others who are frequenting our First Saturday devotions. We hope the monastery may become a spiritual center for the diocese, so that through the Angels, graces may flow throughout the Church.
During the year, different young men and women have come for a weekend or week-long come and see experience. At least one will be entering in the summer, and we hope others will join her. Please keep all these young souls in your prayers, that they may discern with the help of their Angels and follow God's will for them. We pray for all young people, that they may have the readiness to give themselves to God in the service of the Church, if that is where God is calling them.
Outside the monastery, the apostolate is growing. We began last year with a retreat in Florida, and this year have switched to a larger retreat center to accommodate more people. We also have booked a retreat center in Houston, Texas for the end of May, and within three weeks of announcing it by email, it is already almost full. Both our retreats in Michigan have waiting lists every year, and in California we have 4 retreats annually. God is good! More and more people are ¬discovering the efficacious help of the Angels for the great needs of the Church and the world.
The Sisters said goodbye this year to Sr. Maria Benigna, who was superior during the "big move" into the convent. We are grateful for her leadership in this very challenging but joyful time. She has been appointed Superior at the Motherhouse in Austria. We keep her in our hearts and prayers as she takes on this new responsibility. We welcome Sr. Maria Marga with joy and gratitude for a few months as "interim" superior, as we pray for the visa approval of the new Superior.
We said goodbye in February also to Sr. Maria Basilea. She has been given the mission to begin with three other Sisters the more contemplative branch of the Sisters in Fatima. This mission is for at least one year, and can be renewed on a year by year basis. The contemplative branch has always been in the vision of the Sisters' community, and now after over 50 years, we have the possibility to begin. We ask for your prayers, as Sr. Maria Basilea is sure to be praying for all the members and needs of the Work in the United States.