Why Bless a Chiara Convent Cornerstone Containing a Time Capsule

Paul Keggington

May 27, 2009

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On May 26, 2009, Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Mary Ann Nugent, OSF,  proclaimed this message of hope at a special prayer service blessing the Chiara Convent cornerstone containing a time capsule. Chiara Convent is the newest home of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity constructed near Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI.

The construction of Chiara Convent is now in its finishing stages. We gather this afternoon to prepare and bless the cornerstone containing a time capsule. In this time capsule are artifacts which will tell future generations about the people and time of 2009.

Those here today include two groups of Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity: the Administration who decided to go forward with the construction of this convent and thus provided work for many in the local community and the residents of Chiara Convent for whom this space will be a place of encountering God and neighbor, of renewal and growth. 

Also here today are some of the workers who used their God-given skills to create a sacred dwelling for the Sisters, and the site manager who coordinated the many and varied tasks that Chiara Convent needs for its completion.

The times are of economic distress, of seeking what is of true importance in life, of being concerned about global warming, of responding to regional drought and starvation, of rebuilding societies, of following the lead of the first African American US president, and of reaping the benefit of great accomplishments in science, medicine, and technology.

We know not what the future will bring. Whatever challenges and opportunities the future presents, we pray that the Sisters who will be opening this time capsule will be full of faith and love; will be people of commitment and compassion; and will have a deep and strong responsibility to promote the integrity of creation. By preparing this capsule as a gift for future Sisters, we place our hope and trust in them as bearers of the mission of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity…

As St. Francis rebuilt the Church of San Damiano, he predicted that poor ladies would hallow the dwelling. By the fact that we have gathered here today, we, too, predict that “poor ladies” will continue to hallow these walls, living in community and witnessing to the goodness of our God. Let us join our voices with the many Franciscans who have gone before us praising our God through a prayer St. Francis has bequeathed to us…

You are invited to come forward, laying your hand upon the cornerstone, and praying a blessing upon the Sisters who presently dwell here and upon those who will, in the Community’s future, be dwelling in Chiara Convent.

Sister Louise Hembrecht, OSF, FSCC Community Director and newly elected to the International Franciscan Conference of the Sisters and Brothers of the Third Order Regular (IFC-TOR) Council at a recent meeting in Assisi, Italy, brought home a unique gift for the Sisters living at Chiara Convent. The number tiles-2410- made in St. Francis’ Umbrian town will identify the address of this building.

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