Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Friday, June 12, 2015
|"What are all these|
Monday, June 30, 2014
|My orchid saying, "Happy birthday! Celebrate life!"|
|Happy Novices after |
completing our Canonical Novitiate
|Andrea and myself go back to the 1860's with some of the|
other participants in the Civil War Commemoration Service
|Sisters and future Sisters at the |
Flying Pig Marathon, May 2014
|Bayley House with Novice Director during the last|
night of Canonical Novitiate: Sisters Andrea, Donna, Tracy, Nancy,
Maureen, Terry, and Carol
Friday, March 14, 2014
|"You don't look like a Sister!"|
Disclaimer: Although the expression is
similar, this is NOT the actual doctor's office
|Some of the amazing women I get to share this with:|
Novitiate community mates (at our super-fun
|Happy young Sisters! Andrea and me with Tracey|
and Arrianne of the Sisters of Providence
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
|Bayley House Christmas, clockwise from back left: Carol, |
Maureen, Nancy, Terry, Andrea, and me!
|Not my photo...but just as beautiful as the deer|
in Nerinx. Aren't they always a delightful,
surprising sign of God's presence?!
Saturday, November 30, 2013
(Actually, the game was Fishbowl, which is like Charades, but I just said Charades since not everyone knows Fishbowl...yet. It's truly the most fun party game. Learn about it here). Okay, I digress...
The women that gathered tonight are young Sisters and Sisters-in-training (and young-women-thinking-about-becoming-Sisters-in-training) from all over the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. There were 17 of us. This is the second time the group has met, and some people couldn’t make it due to the holiday weekend. We came from 7 different congregations and ranged in age from early 20’s to 50.
|Our Cincinnati young Sisters group - photo courtesy of|
We couldn't and wouldn't want to do this alone. At the very heart of the call to religious life is a desire to share life with other women whose lives are totally centered in Love and driven by the Gospel. We are women who want to pray together; who want to serve and minister to those most in need in our society together; who want to become the best, truest version of ourselves together; who want to work for justice and peace together. Being a part of the deep-rooted and far-reaching network of Sisters all over the city, country, and world is a life-force. I am energized and strengthened just knowing that there are so many others who have chosen and are choosing this path. Certainly, no nun is an island!
In this season of gratitude, I've been especially thankful for the wider community of religious women. A few weeks ago, I found myself in New Orleans for "Nuns Build," a week for Sisters from many different parts of the U.S. to come to Louisiana and do restoration work on homes destroyed by Katrina. About eighty Sisters came for Nuns Build, some of them taking vacation to be there. Nine of us from the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati participated, including Sister Monica who lives New Orleans and co-chaired the entire Nuns Build program. We stayed with 11 other Sisters of Charity from different congregations at the House of Charity where Monica resides and hosts volunteer groups throughout the year.
|Charity Sisters in front of the House of Charity|
|Some of our SC group with Raymond|
|Gabriela and S. Joyce|
I would not have traded my spot in that group of women for anything.
|S. Donna and S. Carol|
hang dry wall
Now, I would be painting a false picture if I told you that being a Sister makes me feel this sense of contentment and pride I just described each and every moment. Day to day religious life is not glamorous or romantic. It's life - sometimes really good, sometimes so-so, and sometimes really difficult. In fact, the first five months of Novitiate have been especially difficult. I haven't written much about it because it feels too personal and too much in process still to put it into words.
But encounters like Nuns Build and tonight's get-together have given me a much needed shot of energy.
Maybe it's like when a couple finally gets to step out of their routine and go out for a nice dinner after running on auto-pilot for a few weeks. They dress up and check out a new Italian place. Maybe they laugh about stories from when they first met, dream about what the future might hold, and simply enjoy each other's presence in the present with intentionality and few distractions.
I feel that similar candlelit dinner glow in my heart when Sisters gather. It puts me in touch with why I so passionately want to be here and why I could not not say yes to this path.
|The Visitation, artist unknown|
I am grateful for the beautiful web of women religious that reaches into history, spans the globe, and leans into the future with faith and promise. We're in this together, Sistas.
...Except if you're on the other team in Fishbowl.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Total writer's block over here. I've tried to blog for the whole month of October. I keep starting and stopping entries. It seems that I'm still figuring out how to put the experience of Novitiate into words.
|Kaitlin and me before a UD basketball game, 2004|
In the meantime, I interviewed my dear friend and former college roommate, Kaitlin (Moredock) DiNapoli, about what it's been like to have a peer and close friend become a Sister. Kaitlin is a native of Springfield, IL, and a fellow graduate of the University of Dayton. We met the summer before freshman year at an orientation and instantly clicked. We lived on the same dorm floor the first year and then were immediate roommates for sophomore through senior years. After college, she went to Notre Dame where she got her law degree and met a wonderful man named Jason. They married in April in Philadelphia, where they currently reside and practice law. And...they are expecting a little one in the spring!!!! Despite the physical distance between us the last few years, we've remained an integral part of each other's lives. I'm especially grateful for her support and enthusiasm for my chosen life path, and it's been a joy to watch hers unfold.
So...what's it like to be 27 and have a nun-best-friend? :) Kaitlin will tell you. Read on:
|Freshmen at UD|
|Junior year roommates: Christie, me, Kait, Clare|
|Kait, Clare, and me after a |
Christmas party, 2007
|Our house at UD senior year|
|Senior year roommates, clockwise from top L: Julie, me,|
Kait, Christie, Clare
|Kait and me on the El Paso/Juarez trip with Ali and|
children from Anapra, Mexico, 2006
|Kait and me at friends' wedding, after graduation|
and before I left for Ecuador, 2008
|Visiting Kait in Ann Arbor, 2012|
|Kait and me with my parents during her recent visit|
|Jason and Kaitlin in 2011|
|Roommates at Kait's wedding, April 2013|
K: Oh, yes! I’m so glad you brought that up. Yea, you can’t and won’t be able to travel as much. Some of that isn’t specific to your calling to be a Sister. There are lots of other situations that keep people from traveling a ton to be with friends whenever they want, too. But it’s different because as a Sister you’re living in community. You can’t just decide to get in the car and leave and drive and crash at a friend’s house for a night on the fly. You’re committed to that group of people in your home.
|Exploring the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse grounds|