Every fall, the friars at Brookland’s Franciscan Monastery conduct a Blessing of the Animals event in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals. The free annual event is very popular; in previous years, we estimated that there were over 60 animals in attendance. The friars give a brief ecumenical service, do a general blessing of all pets in the crowd and then do individual blessings afterward. It is worth checking out, even if your pet isn’t very religious. The Blessing will take place Saturday, September 30th, starting at 10:30 am. For more info, check out the event page on the Monastery website:
Pope Francis writes that to St. Francis of Assisi, “each and every creature was a sister united to him by bonds of affection. That is why he felt called to care for all that exists.” Around the world at the time of our founder’s feast, Franciscans bless animals to celebrate the great insight of the saint—that we can come to know God’s love for us, by praising God through his creatures. The friars of the Monastery welcome you to bring your pets for a blessing on Saturday, September 30, at 10:30 a.m., in our gardens (weather permitting).
The monastery is located at 1400 Quincy Street, NE.
The Third Annual Brookland Community Picnic will take place at The Franciscan Monastery this Saturday June 17th from 12:00 – 4:00 pm. There will be a dunk tank, face painting, lawn games, magic shows, food, music and of course, a moon bounce. Checkout the flyer below. Rumor has it that a certain Brookland blogger will take her turn in the dunk tank! Thanks to local real estate team Abbott Klar for hosting. The rain date is Sunday June 18th. The Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy Street NE.
Now that spring is under way, one of our activities is back – guided toursof the Franciscan Monastery gardens and grounds. If you haven’t been to this neighborhood treasure, it is definitely worth a visit. The Franciscan Monastery has existed for over 100 years and the beautiful gardens and grottos have been in place for over 80 years.
While walk-ins are welcome at the Monastery gardens daily from 9:00 am – 4:45 pm, the guided tour provides a wealth of information. For example, the Garden Guild docents explain the history and significance of the statues and shrines, the architecture of Monastery buildings, and of course, all the amazing plants, trees and flowers in the gardens. Guided tours are Saturdays at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm. Check out the Monastery’s Garden Guild event page for more information, or you can schedule a tour by calling 202-526-6800.
The Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE and tours are given from April through September. Here is a video describing the tour, it’s a few years old, so not all the information is up to date, but its a very good overview:
Our neighbors at the The Franciscan Monastery will be having an open house event Saturday May 13th from 10:00 am -12:00 noon. The open house is hosted by the Monastery’s Garden Guild, whose mission it is to preserve and promote the gardens at the Franciscan Monastery. From the event page:
This is your chance to see behind the scenes at the Franciscan Monastery. Visit our greenhouse, vegetable garden and honeybee apiaries. Learn how you can volunteer and get gardening questions answered. Meet at the greenhouse behind the gift shop.
The Monastery is located at 1400 Quincy Street NE. For more information check out the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild website, Facebook page or give them a call at (703) 967-0958.
The Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild Annual Herb & Plant Sale has evolved into a very popular neighborhood event. This year the sale will take place on Saturday, April 29, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and Sunday, April 30, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. The sale is located at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land, at 1400 Quincy St., N.E. For more information, check out the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild’s website here. From an email:
Buy local, monastery-grown herbs and vegetables, take a tour of the historic Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land gardens and enjoy food and craft vendors at the annual Franciscan Monastery Plant and Herb Sale…Sponsored by the all-volunteer Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild and held in the monastery’s century-old gardens, the sale features herbs, flowers, roses, plants and shrubs, many of them grown in the monastery’s greenhouse. The monastery-grown plants include lavender, basil, rosemary, kale, carrots, lettuce and lots more.
The sale benefits the preservation and care of the gardens, which were designed by Franciscan friars over 100 years ago, as well as newer initiatives of the Garden Guild, including its vegetable donation program.
Since 2014, the Garden Guild, in partnership with parishes, universities and other non-profits, has harvested and donated over 13,000 pounds of food grown at the Franciscan Monastery for area residents in need of healthy food.
We’re excited to bring on Brookland-based freelance writer Zak M. Salih for an occasional series of longer-form posts. Zak’s written for blogs and publications including UrbanTurf, Washington City Paper, The Millions, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. You can learn more about him at zmscopy.com — or just look for him sipping Manhattans at Steel Plate. Welcome aboard, Zak!
Peace. Quiet. Solitude.
For some people, that sounds like a horrible idea. For others, it sounds like just the respite needed from a frazzled, hyperactive life.
One solution to that, it turns out, isn’t hours away in the mountains. It’s right in our own backyard.
The hermitages at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America (1400 Quincy Street NE) offer anyone – not just the deeply religious – an opportunity to retreat from the world. To sit and contemplate things bigger than themselves.
Inside each hermitage (there are currently two) is 350 square feet of handicapped-accessible living space, including a bed, a desk, a kitchenette, a washer/dryer, and a small deck. The most important asset, however: the profound sense of removal from the world. (There’s a reason the hermitages are built to fit only one person.)
It’s a retreat in every sense of the word: physical, mental, and — if you’re so inclined (though it’s not a prerequisite) — spiritual.
As Father Jeremy Harrington, former Guardian of the Franciscan Monastery, said during the opening dedication ceremony of the first hermitage in September 2012:
Saint Francis regularly went to remote places, caves, and mountaintops to pray. So this is the hermitage for people to come and have the opportunity right in the middle of Washington for prayer, for solitude, for communion with God.
Designed in collaboration with architecture students from The Catholic University of America, the hermitages are a far cry from the dank caves and grottoes Saint Francis preferred. They’re more like 21st-century cabins dropped onto the Monastery’s 42 acres.
And they’re getting more popular. A second hermitage opened last year on December 1 to accommodate increased interest in stays (the first hermitage hosted 76 visitors in 2016).
According to Susan Gibbs, a spokesperson for the Franciscan Monastery:
The original vision is to have a maximum of four hermitages, depending on space, finances, and demand. The second hermitage is located near the first, but the layout is different, so each experience will be unique.
If you’re interested in booking, it’s best to send an email to email@example.com. You can also call 202-526-6800 with general inquiries.
The cost is $80 per night and includes everything except food, for which the hermits themselves are responsible. As far as length of stay, people usually stay between one and seven nights, though longer retreats can be arranged.
This writer (and closet hermit) certainly plans on making a reservation in the coming months, once spring arrives for good.
Our neighbors at the The Franciscan Monastery are hosting their annual Easter Lily and Palm Cross sale on Palm Sunday weekend. The high quality of the lilies at this annual event have become well-known, so if interested, you should consider pre-ordering now. From the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild website:
Enjoy beautiful Easter lilies and palm crosses this Easter while supporting the Franciscan Monastery Garden Guild. Click here or stop by the Franciscan Monastery visitor center or gift shop to pre-order your lilies and crosses.
Enjoy a $1 pre-order discount if ordered and paid for by April 4 (just $8 for pick-up April 8 or 9, or $7 if donated to the monastery). This is a beautiful way to share the Easter season with loved ones or to remember them in your prayers. Questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-967-0958.
We thought readers would be interested in this longstanding Brookland annual tradition, that kicked off on Christmas Eve. The friars at the Monastery lit over 1,000 candles dedicated to individuals for whom prayers are offered, and the candles will stay lit through through New Year’s Eve. All are welcome – even if you are not religious, strolling the monastery grounds and reflecting on the candle lights during the 7 nights provides a peaceful respite from the holiday hustle-bustle. Below are some pictures we took of the luminarias Saturday night – each luminaria bears the name of a loved one for whom it is dedicated. The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE 20017. (You need flash to see the photos, if you cannot see them, click here.)
We thought readers would like a heads up that one of our favorite Brookland traditions, the 7 nights of lights at the Monastery is coming up. Every year the friars at the Monastery light 1,000 candles dedicated to individuals for whom prayers are offered, and the candles stay lit through the 7 nights from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve. Order your luminarias here by this Wednesday, and your luminaria will be labeled with the the name of your loved one. All are welcome to visit the Monastery grounds, which is a great way to mark the holiday season. Even if you are not religious, strolling the monastery grounds and reflecting on the candle lights during the 7 nights provides a peaceful respite. For more information check out this flier and the event page. The seven nights begins on Christmas Eve (Dec 24th). The Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land is located at 1400 Quincy St. NE 20017.
We thought readers would like to know about these fun workshops this Saturday from our good neighbors at the Monastery. From the event page:
Join us for two new workshops planned for Nov. 19, 2016:
Beeswax candle making, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Advent centerpiece making, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Each workshop is $25, which includes everything you need – and you get to take your creation home! Reserve your space by emailing email@example.com. The workshops will be held in the Greenhouse meeting room behind the Franciscan Monastery, 1400 Quincy St. NE, Washington, DC 20017.
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