This page includes my latest postings on news that tickles me, work that I am called to reflect on and write about, and invitations to join me!


On being angry in the middle of the night

ON Anger. A courageous look at this potent emotion that is at the heart of so much violence in our world, Cody examines an evening experiencing consuming rage, and what ensues when he seeks to transform the moment, albeit, through prayer. What an inspiration! What a gift such activity is to the world!

Brother Columba Maynus

Whenever somebody visits my apartment in North Minneapolis, I always make it a point to mention that my end of the neighborhood is relatively quiet and calm. I hear emergency sirens irregularly and then only faintly. The occasional loud car passes by–muffler spouting or stereo pumping. My neighbor’s dog will bark from time to time (which is almost always followed up by a louder shout for the dog to be quiet.) For the inner-city–and this close to downtown Minneapolis, at that–it’s relatively calm and quiet.

Well, I was woefully proven wrong last night. A very loud thud startled me awake at 4:38 in the morning. My mind instantly jumped to the worst possible scenarios: what fell and broke? Is Heidi okay? Who or what broke into the house? My panic is replaced with frustration as I listen a little closer and hear not footsteps or shattered glass, but R&B music. I’m…

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On needing an hour or two

Delightful! The musings of a new to north Minneapolis Visitation Intern, Cody Maynus. He writes beautifully of things that have been on my own heart…

Brother Columba Maynus

Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.” –Saint Francis de Sales, the Gentleman Saint (also known as the Doctor of Charity and the patron of writers.)

After reading a friend’s reflections on her year of service in Minneapolis, I realize that I haven’t taken the time to honestly sit down and put into words my own reflections on living, working, praying, and studying in North Minneapolis. “It’s fine,” I told myself. “Don’t worry–you’ve been too busy actually doing the work!”

Just as soon as I thought that,  I came across the above quote from Francis de Sales. Needless to say, I felt pretty darn convicted and decided to take my evening to scratch out a few notes.

The story goes that Saint Jane de Chantal, the co-foundress of the Visitation, wrote in big, bold print on the wall of…

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WIT: On Racial Injustice, Education, and Thomas Aquinas

WIT. (Women in Theology). A blog that came across my desk through friend Bridget O’Brien at Notre Dame.

Excerpt: ‎”We have made an idol out of private property, forgetting that the earth belongs not to those who claim it as theirs and build walls and fences to keep others out but to God. Certainly, if we follow Aquinas’ reasoning, we will see that, because Ms. Williams-Bolar’s children have been unjustly denied the means of their own flourishing, she was more than justified in “breaking the rules” in this case.”

Hit hard by foreclosures, Hawthorne neighborhood rebuilds | Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ

Hit hard by foreclosures, Hawthorne neighborhood rebuilds | Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ.

This is an inspiring piece from MPR about the North Minnepaolis community I have worked and served in for the past twelve years.

Discernment Series: Planning Agenda

The following is a proposed agenda for the Visitation Sisters “Following the Spirit” Discernment Series planning meeting.  It’s an example of how I use Artful planning in creating an agenda to facilitate a meeting. This was emailed to my collaborators in advance for feedback and preparation.

Success for this meeting:
-Having a clear vision and goals for the Fall Discernment Workshop Series
-Each of us knowing what we will contribute, and how we will interact for the greatest possible turnout, and engagement and learning of session participants.
Proposed Agenda:
I. Open: Prayer (5 mins)
2. Grounding Exercise (5 mins) Possible ones: “Discernment is….(fill in the blank)” or: “A recent question or discernment I’ve been holding is: How is God calling me to…?”
3. REFLECT on the last Series. (35 mins)
-What worked well? (What do you see that makes you say this? What did you notice from reports/ experience?)
-Where were there gaps?
4. PLAN. Articulate goals and essential questions of this Workshop Series. (25 mins)
(Brainstorming Goals/Outcomes here:)
All participants will:
-have an understanding of the discernment process.
-be introduced to Francis and Jane and Salesian Spirituality. (defined.)
-have an opportunity to go through a discernment experience/ process and reflect on that.
-have an opportunity to discuss and apply the resource material to their own lives and articulate/ make this visible in some way.
-wrestle with their faith, understanding of the Divine at work in their lives and speak about this.
-build trust and rapport with other members, feel safe, and able to participate openly, according to their desire/ inclination.
-have an opportunity to return and be involved with the Nuns.

5. Brainstorm flow of each evening/resources. (35 mins)
From SK2: I could see something like this, for our respective responsibilities:
-Melissa starting us off, each time warming up the group (setting the stage for participation).
-Beth and I planning and giving content,
-Melissa planning and carrying out  the ritual at the end. And we need MABK(?) to  make sure the follow-up is set-up.
-(We meet after each session (that night? another time?))

6. Follow up/ Next steps. (7 mins)
Who will do what?

7. Evaluation: How did this meeting go? (7 mins)

Melissa Borgmann Kiemde
Visitation Vocations

We are looking for seven (more) women to be a prayerful presence in North Minneapolis.
Come Join the Sisters of the Visitation in North Minneapolis

Waiting For “Superman” | Trailer & Official Movie Site | Pledge Now

Waiting For “Superman” | Trailer & Official Movie Site | Pledge Now.

Join François Kiemde and I on Friday, October 1, 2010 at the Uptown Movie Theater. Following  the documentary, we will gather at Bar Abilene to respond critically to the film’s content and the questions it raises in us.  We are both excited to see this, hopeful it sheds some light on solutions, what’s promising in education, and how we can make change.