Monday, October 8, 2007

Assisi Heights' New Meditation Space

It is a space for quiet retreat, a symbol for world peace and a thank-you note. Dedicated on Friday, the Clare Reflection Space at Assisi Heights in Rochester is also emblematic of what two venerable Rochester institutions -- Mayo Clinic and the sisters of the Franciscan order -- can do when they join forces.

"It is an uncommon partnership," said the Rev. Edward Foley, who made the dedicating address. "It makes me feel that if I lived here or worked here or even one day was a patient here, it would be an opportunity to be a better Franciscan."

The reflection space is a converted chapel once used by Franciscan novices. The pews and altar were removed, and so were Christian-specific symbols, such as crosses and a series of illustrations depicting the Stations of the Cross.

Read the rest of the story here

Deep curtsy to a reader of The Recovering Dissident Catholic who sent this on via email.


Anonymous said...

"With so much of the world at war with itself, it just seemed like one small piece we could do to promote ... a way of transcending and being respectful of various religious traditions," Sister Jean Keniry said.

     Am I the only one reeling to hear that tiresome bromide of pop-Buddhism and politically-correct cultural-relativism from a Catholic nun? Or am I really just that naive?
     So now the Sisters at Assisi Heights have "transcended" religious traditions; and this presumably includes Christianity itself, since they removed all Christian-specific symbols from the space formerly known as the Chapel of St. Francis.
     If this is the quality of Catholicism on offer at Assisi Heights, no wonder they had to lease their facility as a corporate conference center just to pay the bills.
     Allow me to suggest that sincere Catholics can conceive of no greater service to humanity than sharing the truth and gospel of Jesus Christ and his Church. What can it mean to "transcend" this truth? And they justify the sacrilege as a way of promoting peace. I see. Don't they believe Jesus Christ brings peace to his people on earth? If not, I suggest an examination of conscience to determine whether or not they have lost their vocations as Catholic nuns.
     Can't the Bishop or the Pope stop them before they take this any further?

-convert peter

Unknown said...

Hey, Convert Peter, thanks for the comment. I was preparing to comment along the same lines.

Unknown said...

A typical 21st century practical, ecumenical move. Catholics get to contribute the convenient expensive location and remove all Catholic identity to avoid offending others; others contribute plants and comfy chairs and pillows.

A terminally ill order of nuns get to dispose of their property while they still exist. Too bad they can't get a tax exemption for it as they are already tax exempt.

The renovation project was Assisi Heights' way of thanking Mayo for its work to update parts of Assisi Heights in recent years, said Sr. Jean Keniry, who led the project's planning.

A task force whose members included representatives of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Christianity, as well as an agnostic, planned the reflection space.

Cathy Ashton, who is Buddhist, was one task force member. She works for the Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra, which has its offices at Assisi Heights, and she looks forward to having the reflective space nearby.

"There's times when things just get crazy," Ashton said. It will be nice "having a place where I can come and sit in meditation" in a nonreligious setting, she said.

The way the reflective space was planned is the way the world ought to be run, [Sister Jean] Keniry said.

"With so much of the world at war with itself, it just seemed like one small piece we could do to promote ... a way of transcending and being respectful of various religious traditions," she said.

Do you suppose that Sister Jean would like to see the world run in a "non-religious setting?" Why does she remain a nun then?

Anonymous said...

I lived in Rochester a number of years and actually owned a home that abutted the property of Assisi Heights. That was pretty nice for a couple of reasons:

- I would often see deer wandering the their property.

- I never had to worry about the Soviets dropping a bomb on me, because Assisi Heights was a nuclear free zone (at least that's what the signs on their property indicated).

Unknown said...