Saint Francis and the Perfect Master

Meher Baba had a home in the Ojai Valley where Mary Magdalene’s sister, Eutrophia, and her brother, Conrad Wiekeke, lived. Krishnamurti came here. Baba found the true cave of Saint Francis in Italy.

Jon Presco

On September 18, 1930, the college, named Briar Cliff after the hill on which it is located, was dedicated. Four days later, 25 women started classes in Heelan Hall, the only building on campus at the time. In 1937, the university’s two-yeongregation with Motherhouse at St. Francis’s Convent, Dubuque, Iowa. Founded in 1876 by Mother Xaveria Termehr and Sisters from the House of Bethlehem, Herford, Germany, who, on account of the infamous “May laws”, were compelled to leave Germany. Sisters, 399; novices, 34; postulants, 20; orphan asyluSisters of St. Francis (Dubuque, Iowa)

Congregation with Motherhouse at St. Francis’s Convent, Dubuque, Iowa. Founded in 1876 by Mother Xaveria Termehr and Sisters from the House of Bethlehem, Herford, Germany, who, on account of the infamous “May laws”, were compelled to leave Germany. Sisters, 399; novices, 34; postulants, 20; orphan asyluSisters of St. Francis (Dubuque, Iowa)
mms, 2; industrial school, 1; academy, 1; home for aged, 1; schools, 43; pupils, 6829.

In March 1929, Mother Mary Dominica Wieneke, Major Superior of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Dubuque, along with the Most Rev. Edmond Heelan, Bishop of the Sioux City Diocese, co-founded Briar Cliff College after meeting with members of the Sioux City community, who committed to ar program was extended to four years. Fifty-five men were admitted to Briar Cliff in 1965 and co-education was formalized in 1966 with the admission of 150 full-time male students.

Our congregation originated in Herford, Germany where the plight of many homeless and hungry children touched the heart of the young woman we know as our foundress, Mother Xavier Termehr.  Soon other young women asked to join her in this work of compassion and our congregation was born in November 1864.  From its beginning, the congregation has been committed to serving human needs and are not limited to one apostolate. The sisters cared for the orphans at Haus Bethlehem and also nursed the elderly in their homes.  A destitute elderly couple was cared for in the orphanage until their death.
When the call came for nurses on the battlefields of the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian wars the sisters responded, earning the Iron Cross from Empress Augusta and Emperor Wilhelm in 1872 for their service.  Two sisters died of infection while nursing the soldiers.  

Political changes resulted in the passage of laws in 1875 which called for religious communities to either disband or go into exile unless they were strictly nursing orders. The entire community of 18 professed sisters, seven novices and four postulants chose exile.  But where to go?  A nephew of the elderly couple mentioned above, a pastor in Iowa City, had visited the sisters to express his gratitude for their kindness. On learning of their choice to emigrate he offered them refuge in Iowa City.  On September 8, 1875 they arrived in their new home.

In Iowa City the sisters opened the first Catholic orphanage in the state and nursed the sick, much as they had in Herford.  A new apostolate opened for them as they were requested to take charge of parochial schools.  Within a year of their arrival in Iowa, the congregation began to accept postulants.

Archbishop Hennessy of Dubuque, Iowa requested that the congregation move to Dubuque to open and staff an orphanage in that city.  They arrived in Dubuque in December 1878, lodging at first in an abandoned stone church.  The orphanage opened in fall of the next year. (The sisters staffed it until it closed in 1968.)  As in Iowa City, the sisters were also called upon to staff and often to establish Catholic schools.

New apostolates were added as the years progressed including  the domestic department of the local seminary, a home for the aged, a second  orphanage (in Sioux City, IA), a home for working girls in Dubuque, hospitals, the only Catholic college (now University) in the Sioux City, IA diocese and a mission in China.

Our commitment to community and ministry among those in need is still vibrant.  We have ministered in Chile, Guatemala, and El Salvador, in Tanzania and Zimbabwe and currently in Honduras and the island of St. Lucia.  With fewer sisters in classroom teaching, we also educate though ESL classes and after-school tutoring programs. We are pastoral associates, chaplains, spiritual directors and social workers, workers in health care and alternate health therapies, and volunteers in many organizations. We partner with other religious congregations and civic organizations to respond to those whose needs are greatest in this country and abroad.

Though we speak a different language and dress in different attire from that of Mother Xavier and the founding sisters, we are truly their daughters in faith and in commitment.

Our strength, our hope and our joy flow from our commitment to prayer, to each other, and to the people God calls us to serve in love.  We believe the words of Mother Xavier “God is with us still.”
The first Wieneke reunion was held at the home of Mary M. and Margaret Schmitz, Sunday, June 26, 1927, at Urbana. The former is a daughter of the late Margaret Wieneke Ernst, whose parents came to Iowa as pioneers and settled west of Cedar Rapids on the farm now owned by Henry Stark.
The crowd began to gather at 10:00 o’clock from all directions until there was over 200 present. A big basket dinner was served cafeteria style from a very long table in the yard at noon which was enjoyed by all. The afternoon was spent in a social time and a program consisting of letters read by Rev. John C. Wieneke of Cedar Falls from the following persons: Leon F. Lucas, Ontario, Cal., Mary M. Rosamond, Ventura, Cal., C. F. Wieneke, Ventura, Cal., Mr. and Mrs. Frank Caldwell, Chino, Cal., and Mrs. Herman Wieneke and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wieneke from Adrian, Minn.; F. E. Augustine Jr., and Alfred Augustine, Chicago; Frances Rebasch(?) Vermillion, S. Dak.; Sister M. Perinet-Zwingle(?), Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schallau, Sutherland, Ia.; Mr. and Chas. Schallau, Grinnell. These letters were all very much enjoyed by the crowd and short talks were given by different ones. It was voted on and carried to have a reunion every year. Officers elected were John Stark, Sr., of Fairfax, P! res.; Mrs. Theo. Stark, Sec. And Treasurer. Committee appointed for the place were Henry Stark of Cedar Rapids, Ione(?) Wieneke, Marion, Fred Schrunk(?), Atkins. They met at once and decided ___ place for next year. Reunion to be held at Henry Stark, west of Cedar Rapids, the last Sunday in June. Before they began to leave for their homes ice cream, strawberriesand cake were served.

Name: Mrs. Ann Wieneke
Name: C. F. Wieneke
Occupation: farmer
Address: 4 1/2 mi. W of Ojai on Ojai-Ventura highway
Name: Conrad Wieneke
Age: 10 yrs
Name: Margaret Wieneke
Age: 4 yrs
Name: Marianne Wieneke
Age: 8 yrs

Frank Paul Wieneke, son 1886 – 1962 Bernard Wieneke Anna Wieneke 1851 – 1935 1870 – 1950 Gerhard A Wieneke

Meher Mount is a spiritual center in Ojai, California that is dedicated to Meher Baba.
It consists of 170 acres (69 ha) of dense woodland and open fields on Sulphur Mountain in Ojai, California, about 80 miles (130 km) north of Los Angeles. At 2,600 feet (790 m) above the Pacific Ocean, it enjoys a 360-degree view, including the nearby peak of Topatopa Bluff, the Channel Islands, Los Padres National Forest, and the Ojai Valley.
Meher Mount is a center left in trust to the Meher Mount Corporation by Agnes Baron, who was one of the original people to find the property in 1946 at the request of Meher Baba. He visited Meher Mount on August 2, 1956. Today, it is a universal center open to all for inspiration, education, and work programs in agriculture, ecology, and humanitarian service.[1] There are opportunities for day visits, group events, and individual retreats as well as resident work programs.
[edit] Nature
Meher Mount provides opportunities for viewing birds and wildlife. Deer, bobcat and fox can be seen regularly, roaming freely in their natural habitat. On occasion, coyote, mule deer, mountain lion and bear have also been sighted.[2] When Avatar Meher Baba visited Meher Mount, he remarked, “Go out and see the view and try to love God through nature.”[3]

A third commented on the lovely fragrance.  Filis Frederick [who wrote the account of Meher Baba’s trip in her publication The Awakener] said, “It reminds me of the hills of Assisi [in Italy where St. Francis lived].”  Jeanne Shaw [a follower of Meher Baba] agreed, “It has instant appeal.”  Meher Baba nodded and added, “This land is very old, I have been here before.”
He never explained what He meant by that statement.  Later Meher Baba remarked, “I will come here again.”

Meher Baba first planned to first visit Meher Mount in June 1952 for a 10-day stay.  But during the cross-country drive from Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Meher Mount in Ojai, California, Meher Baba was in an automobile accident near Prague, Oklahoma.  After the accident, he recuperated in Prague and then returned to Myrtle Beach, not visiting Meher Mount until 1956.
In 1956, Avatar Meher Baba visited Southern California for three days from July 31 through August 2.  The first two days were spent in Hollywood, and on the third day Meher Baba went to Meher Mount in Ojai.

The Draconid meteor shower might be fantastic in 2011 on the nights of October 7 and 8. Or the shower might be a washout.
The next two major meteor showers are coming up in October 2011, and there’s possible exciting news this year about the October Draconid meteor shower. That is, earlier in 2011, an astronomer predicted that the Draconids might produce a spurt of 1,000 meteors per hour for a brief time, for some lucky observers on Earth. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the moon is in the way. Still, don’t let the moon stop you. Would you want to be that guy sitting indoors watching TV while everyone is oo-ing and ah-ing over a great meteor shower going on outside – even if it is happening in moonlight? I wouldn’t either. Check the skies frequently on the nights of October 7 and 8. Better yet, go camping on those nights, and sit outside under clear dark country skies.

In 1776, colonists from Spain established a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi on the site

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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