O Antiphons

I’m sorry for the somewhat choppy video, but I wanted to showcase Sr. Elaine Marie’s beautiful work which is now in our chapel here at St. Francis Convent.

Since 1980, the Sisters at St. Anne’s in Grand Forks have been enhancing their commemoration of the final days of Advent by displaying “The O Antiphons,” beautifully calligraphed by her.

At that time, before the advent of modern copy machines, a friend and supporter of St. Anne’s had them professionally re-produced/printed.

In case you are not familiar with the “O Antiphons,” they are verses which we recite or sing for the gospel canticle during evening prayer as well as with the alleluia at Mass from December 17th through the 23rd.  On each of these days, we plead for Christ’s coming, invoking Him with a different title.  These are so beautiful and include: Wisdom, Leader of the House of Israel, Root of Jesse’s stem, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, King of all nations and keystone of the Church, and Emmanuel.

This tradition of using these antiphons on these final days before Christmas is very old.  We aren’t certain as to their exact origin, but references date back about 1,500 years!

The traditional hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” actually is based upon these beautiful, rich, and ancient texts.

Thank you, Sr. Elaine, for giving us such a beautiful visual presentation of them!


Last week, a couple of us worked on processing squash!

Mr. Jim Wilm planted 2 hills of squash with three seeds in each on, yielding three wheel-barrels full of squash!

Today, he brought the last of it in, so we will have more to process in the days to come.

So far, we have about 20 gallons bagged up in the freezer.

Can’t be Beet!

This morning, a couple staff here at St. Francis Convent and Retreat Center were busy getting the last beets from our garden bagged up and in the freezer.

Other beets have been pickled or served fresh.

Throughout the year, thanks to hard work by various people here, pickled beets are available for sale in our gift shop.

Although some people don’t care too much for this nutrient-rich vegetable, others know that they “can’t be beet!”

Upcoming Spiritual Opportunities with Sr. Mary Ruth

Although most of these are featured on our Upcoming Events page, they are worth mentioning here in a post of their own!

To register for any of these events, please contact Sr. Mary Ruth at 7041-242-7195 or srmaryruth@sfcretreats.org.

* * *

  • Young people are invited to jo in Sr. Mary Ruth for Teen/Youth Night at the Convent
    (This is a monthly event….see events page for future dates.)
    7:00 Gathering & getting caught up
    7:15 Teaching (20 minute presentation)
    7:45 Praying (30 minutes in chapel)
    8:15 Playing (Games & popcorn)
    8:45 Concluding (Night Prayer)]

  • Monday Morning Prayer Group 
    6:30 a.m. (finish before 8 a.m.) – This is an opportunity open to all which will be adapted to fit the needs and desires of those who participate.  It might involve walking & praying the rosary, praying in chapel, singing, discussing the faith, a book study, seasonal devotions, or some other form of prayer.

  • This spring and summer, Sr. Mary Ruth will have the following Weeklong Silent Retreats with Direction:
    * May 31-June 7
    * June 21-28
    * July 9-16
    (other times as arranged)

Heart of a Mother: A Retreat for Women

How is God inviting you to expand your heart to love others?

Are you being called to join us for a three-day retreat for Catholic women?

The Women’s Eccesia Domestica will be held February 3-5, 2023 at St. Francis Retreat Center in Hankinson, ND.

Ecclesia Domestica is a Latin phrase which signifies “the Domestic Church” or “the church in the home.”

The Christian family is the first cell of the life of the Universal Church!

Their mission is to facilitate retreats where you can celebrate the Sacraments, such as the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. Join with other men or women in prayer such as the Most Holy Rosary, Angelus, Liturgy of the Hours, Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Grow in faith through large group and some small group sessions, and have ample time for individual prayer and reflection.

Additionally, each retreatant is offered one hour of spiritual direction with a priest or deacon each day.

These features all come together to form a wonderful opportunity to grow in your Catholic faith!

Cost:  $275. (early bird) After January 1st. $300. 

To Register: call (763) 807-1721 – Kevin Olson
EcclesiaDomestica@hotmail.com / www.ecclesiadomestica.net

Click here for a downloadable brochure.

Quilt & Sew Retreat

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak (Eccles: 3:7)

A number of quilters gathered at St. Francis Convent and Retreat Center March 31-April 3, 2022. A great time of enjoyment together as well as making beautiful quilts.

Gwen Hoffman, Nancy Carda and Cheryl Wyckoff from Quilt and Sew, Oakes, ND



Basketcase Quilting March 23-27,2022; Providence Auditorium, Hankinson, ND

41 participants who had great fun. Creative juices were flowing through out and there were some amazing quilts made and shared.

Charleen Boardman Basketcase Quilting Vendor
Dee Dee’s quilting gnome