Open House: Come and go with me to my Father's House

“Come and go with me to my Fathers house… It's a big big house with lots and lots a room/A big big table with lots and lots of food/ A big big yard where we can play football/ A big big house/ Its my Fathers house.” ~ Big House by Audio Adrenaline
If we had a theme song for our open house I think this would be it. We have a big house with lots of room. We had big tables with lots of food. And we have a BIG yard. Most importantly, in inviting people to our house, we are really inviting them into the Father’s house.

This year our open house fell on the Feast of St. Margaret of Cortona, who is very dear to our community. She was a Third Order Franciscan who had a major conversion from a sinful life. When she had her moment of conversion and had nowhere to go she said to herself, “I will go to my Father’s house.” She was talking about her biological father but we should all say the same of our heavenly Father’s house when we sin. In his homily on Saturday morning Father Boniface pointed out that when St. Margaret was kicked out of her father’s house she decided to seek out the Franciscans because they were known to be “friends of sinners.” He hopes that we will continue to be known by this name.

We welcomed all saints and sinners to our house, hoping they would experience the Father’s love and mercy. It is so apt that our chapel is named Father of Mercy. In welcoming people to our house we are really welcoming them into the Father’s house, to run into His arms of mercy, waiting to welcome each of us home. Our monastery, as religious life is meant to be, is a glimpse of heaven, a glimpse into the Father’s house.

Through our open houses we invite our friends (new & old), benefactors and our local community to come get to know us better and just have a day of enjoying one another. And enjoy we did! For the kids there were inflatables, a petting zoo, crafts, storytelling, coloring, and outdoor games. We reached out to any young women discerning a vocation with a vocations testimony and Q&A. We had a time of praise and worship and ended it all with the thing that makes us all one family: the Mass.

It is an interesting and beautiful experience being a new member of a community which is so well loved. Although I don’t personally know most of the people that came to the open house they know “the community.” Since I am a part of this community there is a connection there that makes us all friends and family. It is almost as if we were not meeting for the first time. And that truly was a glimpse of the glory of heaven, where we will all be perfectly united as one family in the Father’s house.


-Sr. Magdala Marie Clarizio, novice



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