Praise GOD! And may God reward you all for helping us to reach this goal!
After some 29 months, the convent is finally complete! There are still the last protocols of building codes and inspections to be met, and seemingly countless odds and ends, that will demand attention for some while. Bishop Jeffrey Monforton of Steubenville, dedicated the convent on Sunday the 24th of March, the traditional feast of St. Gabriel and, of course, the Vigil of the Feast of the Annunciation – now we know, why it took so long: it called for the perfect date! The Sisters have entered and begun living in the new convent, solemnized as it were on the Feast of St. Gabriel. As for the present moment, they are ¬living in the midst of boxes and packing in every free moment, while still running to the office so that apostolate can go on.
A convent is not just a useful artifact, but a sacred place imbued with the spirit of our charism, the Blessed Virgin, the Angel and Christ in the fullness of His mysteries, which in union with Mary embrace all men and Angels. It is a setting where we can receive vocations and pass on the spiritual mission of the Sisters for generations to come. The convent is centered first of all on Eucharistic Adoration; it is a place of quiet solitude and the contemplation of divine things, to the glory of GOD. Strengthened by Him, the daily Bread of Life, they offer themselves, all their thoughts and works, joys and sufferings, first for the sanctification of the priesthood, the Holy Father and the needs of the Church, and for the salvation of all souls.
St. John Paul II recalls the tradition that ¬religious life is an eschatological sign for all the faithful in the world, that is, it is a sign and anticipation of heaven by a life according to the evangelical counsels – poverty, chastity and obedience. When lived faithfully with joy, all men are reminded that these virtues are proper to each Christian according to his state in life, and are the font of peace and joy! While the Sisters of the Holy Cross do not run hospitals or schools, the religious life, known also in tradition as the vita angelica (the angelic life), is itself the 'hospital' wherein the wounds of Adam's sin and vice are healed; it is the 'school' of the Gospel in which we learn and share the science of Christ, selfless love of God and neighbor, even down to the littlest things. The Blessed Virgin's humility and 'Ecce' – 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord' – is our model, the Angel is our tutor. This is what St. Gabriel Monastery is about; this is what Opus ¬Angelorum (with all its members) is about; this is what the Order and the Sisters of the Holy Cross is about.
We want to thank you for helping us to achieve this second phase of the St. Gabriel Building project! (The next phase, the monastery of the priests, will begin GOD-willing this Spring.) We thank all our donors, large and small, for all have played an ¬important role in bringing this phase to completion! It has been truly a team effort, with the Angel of each inspiring them to give ¬according to their means. Team work is a characteristic of God's planning and action. We thank also the architect, Mark Viola, and our project manager, Dan Ellis (and his sons!), who has been tirelessly bearing the largest burden of this project himself. We thank also all the workers, who have done such a wonderful job. While contributing our time and treasure and labor to the building of the Monastery, God is building each one of us ever more in virtue, into a temple of God, drawing us together into one spiritual family, leading us together to the full stature of Christ (cf. Eph 4:15). God be praised!
May God reward you all! The Sisters, Priests and Brothers keep you in their daily prayers and ask GOD to bless you as only He knows how. The weekly Holy Mass in honor of St. Joseph, our good provider and 'Housefather', is offered for your intentions.
Check our Facebook page for more pictures: "St. Gabriel Building Project".