Union: US – A Haven within a Haven

Some nine months ago, it was determined that the sisters living at Sacred Heart Convent in Fargo would relocate. One obvious choice was to return to our former convent which is now a beautiful retirement facility named Riverview Place. Sixteen of us are sprinkled throughout the four wings of the building. In the day when 60-70 sisters lived here, the building didn’t seem so large. But now it takes a conscious effort to rub shoulders and keep in touch with each other.

While we have settled into our living spaces and meet twice daily for public prayer and Mass in the chapel, we longed for and needed a gathering space for ourselves as a community.

A lovely apartment has been secured. On the ground floor it not only allows us to step out onto a patio and experience a lovely garden, but provides us with a meeting space and a kitchen and dining area to facilitate hospitality. It also provides us an area to display community resources and other items of general interest. The couch will even provide a bed for welcomed overnight guests.

By majority vote, it is called “Nano’s Haven.”  Haven is defined by Webster as a place of safety and refuge. We add, it is a welcoming place to gather for meetings, and where we can spontaneously share conversation, goodies and relaxation. To whom better to dedicate it than to Nano!

Our first experience there was to partake in a High Tea hosted by Sister Marilyn Omiecznski (pictured above) who personally baked scones, dipped strawberries in chocolate, and provided lemon bars and snacks. Appropriate beverages were served.

It no longer looks like the lovely convent we left, but it is now even more tastefully designed and graced with wonderful, cheerful, friendly and “so delighted to have you sisters living here” neighbors.

In the spirt of Nano we gather, in the spirit of our Risen Lord, we will continue to grace the space and each other with kindness, peace, support and creativity.

-Sister Jan Ihli