Prayer is the cornerstone of the life of the nuns. They come together to pray in community five times a day and the schedule also allows the sisters time to pray alone. The day begins with private prayer between 6 and 7 a.m., followed by a communal recitation of the Divine Office. The community then gathers for breakfast in silence before returning to prayer before Mass at 9 a.m.
The sisters work after Mass until lunch at noon. Lunch is their main meal, with breakfast and supper being lighter meals. Those in formation go to class, which is taught by Mother Jane Frances, while others do various chores around the monastery. After their meal, they gather for recreation and obedience, sharing announcements and prayer requests from the outside community. They return to the chapel for daytime prayer, which is followed by 30 minutes of rest, a part of the community’s rule. The sisters pray the rosary at 4:30 p.m. and a litany to Our Lady.
Spiritual reading, work and individual prayer take up most of the afternoon before the sisters gather again for the Divine Office. Their community supper is at 6 p.m. followed by another time for recreation. They come together for night prayer at 8:30 p.m. and then its lights out at 10 p.m.
Many lay people arrive for daily Mass at 9am.
To many outsiders, the practices of this life may seem repetitive, but for these nuns it is the way to achieve a life of holiness and model themselves after two of the church’s most cherished saints. St. Francis de Sales chose the Rule of Augustine for members of the order and wrote the Constitutions for the order himself.
Inside the monastery has a room with boxes packed full of thousands of unconsecrated hosts that will be unpacked, repacked and sent off to parishes to be used at Masses. The sisters receive the hosts from a company in Poland, ordering new batches monthly. They supply hosts to about 100 parishes in the Atlanta Archdiocese, along with churches in Florida, Illinois and Maryland, which helps to sustain the monastery.
The nuns make their own habits and all the liturgical cloths needed to decorate the altar and required for the celebration of Mass and other liturgical events. They do their own cooking and cleaning throughout the monastery.
They no longer bake communion wafers to support themselves. Instead, they supply “several hundred thousand” hosts imported monthly from Poland.