Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Nun Things" and Apparitions

Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Knock, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Guadalupe, throughout the history of time the Blessed Mother has appeared to her people. She has taken different forms, has appeared in different places, and has come for different reasons. A few years ago we all heard the news story of the Blessed Mother appearing on the toasted bread of a grilled cheese sandwich. Seriously, stay with me a moment, I'm not making the sacrilegious turn you are fearing . . .

I'm sure This "toasted" vision was the inspiration of the Holy Toast Blessed Mother Stamper, a gift I received from a good friend at work yesterday. As I'm sure the "seasoned" sisters in community would agree making the decision to become a sister suddenly opens up an entire gift market never before experienced--"nun things." I have so far collected the "nun chuck" and "nun bowling" along with this most recent gift.

Tuesday nights I am responsible for putting dinner on the table. I cannot quite tell yet if they were actually joking or not when after the first meal I made two weeks ago they asked what we were having for dessert. I disappointed them that night, but I believe I was able to make it up with last nights treat!

After receiving the Holy Toast Stamper I spent the afternoon trying to figure out a way to incorporate toast into my meal . . . to say the least it wasn't going to work. BUT I had a revelation . . . I could stamp it into sugar cookies!!! So, last night Kathy assisted me in my silly adventure by making Apparition cookies. We kept it a surprise, and so after we were all finished eating I went to retrieve dessert. Upon walking into the kitchen I exclaimed rather shockingly, "OH MY! THE BLESSED MOTHER HAS APPEARED TO US!!!"

We all had a real laugh over the Holy cookies. I know, you're still thinking sacrilegious, but I promise you the reflection is coming! In all seriousness, the blessed mother has always been near and dear to my heart. When I was a young girl I prayed persistently to be like Bernadette, I wanted nothing more in life than for the Blessed Mother to appear to me. (I guess I should have realized then there was something different about me! That's not at the top of most seven year old's lists!)

I attended the University of Dayton for my masters work. Dayton is a Marianist school and so my love of Mary was even further fostered in the environment of the Marianists. Community is one of the most important aspects of the Marianist family, so much so we almost got sick of hearing about it. It wasn't until I left Dayton that I realized how truly powerful and awesome (in the truest sense of the word) the community I had there was.

I woke up this past Monday morning to the realization that I am the happiest I have been since leaving Dayton. I attribute this to community. That is what I most cherished from my time in the mid-west and what I most lacked in the past few years of my life. So as I sit here tonight reflecting upon my Holy cookies and community I realize that yes, it is absolutely appropriate that the Blessed Mother was in our cookies! Okay, maybe I technically stamped her in them, but I believe her presence was with us last night around our table.

I am so blessed, I'm not sure I could have been placed in a more perfect community for this time in my life than with my girls at Corpus Christi. I am growing to love them dearly. I just hope my hoarding drinking glasses and leaving shoes under the table doesn't drive them too crazy :)

Every morning we pray the Angelus together as a community, a prayer of the incarnation of Christ, Christ brought into the world by Mary's yes. May my yes too bring Christ into our world.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Humperdinck Sundays

Engelbert Humperdinck, singer of the 60's, international recording icon, and (although I'm not quite positive, but pretty positive) a man known to make women swoon! It is this man's legacy that has brought a new tradition to Corpus Christi Convent: Humperdinck Sundays.

This tradition was born my first Sunday in community. Jokingly the sisters told me that they thought I should cook them breakfast. I actually thoroughly enjoy cooking and so I agreed to make pancakes . . . from scratch (it's the only real way!)

Fun fact about me . . . I wish life was a musical, if I could have a personal soundtrack constantly running in the background I would be thrilled. For real! Just imagine the fight scene in West Side Story, if we had to dance and sing every time we had disagreements with friends, co-workers, family, we would be a much happier people!

So, as I was preparing pancakes I had music playing . . . so that I could use the spatula as a microphone of course! Yup, I really do that too! Joan was curious if I had music more to her liking. I had a couple songs, but then she asked if I had any Engelbert. "Engel-who?" I replied. I do in fact actually know his music, but I had never heard his name. It was at this point that I introduced them to This online music station allows you to type in an artist or song and then it automatically generates a station filled with similar music.

As I'm sure you can guess by now, our station is called, "Humperdinck." And so, Sunday mornings now consist of pancakes, Humperdinck et al, dancing, singing, and an all around good vibe! We remember "The Way it use to Be" in "Another Time, Another Place" and we say to Engelbert Humperdinck, you're NOT that easy to forget!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Elders Have Spoken

Tonight I recall the names of four elders of the community who have each played a role in bringing me to this place I find myself. Sr. Mary Pat, Sr. Frances, Sr. Rosemary, and Sr. Theodore. Each of these women have in some way inspired me from my earliest interactions with the sisters to my recent years of ministry. Each said yes to a life I am discerning. Each, I believe, has loved the life she chose with no regrets.

February 2004, twenty of us were on our Spring Retreat at the Spiritual Center and Sr. Mary Pat was hosting us. Standing in a circle, in the Canticle room on the fifth floor, holding hands we were being urged by Sr. Mary Pat to dance to the Circle of Life. None of us could say no to her, even the anti-dancers in the group found themselves moving right along to the chanting beat. She had become an extension of our Newman Center community after giving a presentation for the opening prayer of our 30 day retreat with St. Francis of Assisi. Her exuberance for the simple things and energy for life brought happiness to each of our lives. That Spring Retreat she had us each gaze into a mirror to discover the face of Christ. To me she will always be an image of our Lord.

September 2007, after viewing the "new" vocational DVD and having spent the past few months on the phone getting to know Sr. Diane (whose words I fell in love with on the video) I was finally going to meet her. During my weekend stay with her in Rhode Island I was invited to tag along for the farewell celebration of Sr. Frances, and Sr. Rosemary. They were leaving their long-time ministry in Walpole, Massachusetts for Assisi House. Their dedication to their ministry and to each other was beautiful to me. I remember sitting around a sitting room with many of the sisters from New England as they shared stories and laughs with each other. Sr. Frances and Sr. Rosemary have a genuineness about them that is often hard to find in people. They are who they are and they live it well! Every time I visit with them I feel valued, I feel as though I matter, and that even when the whole world seems against me I have their support. A few weeks ago the three of us sat in Rosemary's room, I indian style on the bed, Rosemary and Frances in their chairs. They shared with me their joy over my taking the next step on this wild and crazy adventure, and I knew once again I was loved.

January 2009, Sr. Theodore emerged from the sacristy as I began to put things in place for my first OLA Liturgy at Neumann. The first thing she asked me was if I knew what her name meant. After sharing that it was "gift of God" I quickly shared with her that Sara means "PRINCESS!" From that moment on she was my gift of God and I her Princess. That first Sunday she "taught me" what a chalice and paten were, what you do with a corporal, where you place the sacramentary. I didn't bother to tell her I was pretty well versed in how to set up for Mass, she seemed too excited to "teach me," and so I let her. Some time later she read an article about me in the school paper that listed my masters degree in Pastoral Ministry and my background in campus ministry. The next time I saw Sr. Theodore she giggled, put her head in her hands and mumbled, "I'm so embarrassed." Confused I asked why, she responded, "Here I was teaching you all these things and you have a MASTERS DEGREE!!!" We had a good laugh about this later. . . Sr. Theodore brings a smile to my face just by walking in the room.

Monday night, 2010, I was invited to give a presentation at Assisi House on my summer travels to India and Nepal. I was delighted to spend the time with the sisters as well as for the opportunity to share my stories. Sr. Mary Pat, Sr. Frances, Sr. Rosemary, and Sr. Theodore were all present, along with about 30 other sisters. As I stood there sharing my journeys I couldn't help but feel joy in my heart looking out at these women who had so deeply touched my life. As nearly every encounter with the sisters at Assisi House ends they sang the blessing with hands extended over me. Afterwards they all expressed their overwhelming joy over my decision to enter into this time of candidacy.

On my drive home that night I was reflecting upon their joy. They are all taken care of for the rest of their lives. They will never want for anything. Why would they be so concerned over the future of their congregation? The only thing I can figure is that they TRULY and FULLY believe in the life they have lived--so much so that they would encourage someone like myself to follow the call, even when there is no self interest on their part. I found myself saying, "that's real!" The joy, the peace, the love, the commitment, it's all real! It's all good! It has all been worth while for this room full of beautiful women who earlier that night had extended their hands over me to sing, and in some cases barely squeek out the blessing, and who had told me I could be assured of their continued prayers.

The elders have spoken and I have grown in the understanding of my own vocation and call in life because they courageously said yes, and continue to say yes! Sisters at Assisi House, with a grateful heart I thank you!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Tracks and The Bridge

Last April, while on retreat at Daylesford Abbey for the Triduum, I found myself walking the beautiful grounds with my camera in hand. Everything that early spring spoke of resurrection, the buds pushing through the ground, the geese returning from the winter, the moist ground watered by the spring rains. I have always believed that I can more deeply meditate upon and appreciate God's creation through the lens of my camera. There are things that go unnoticed by the human eye that with the aid of the lens become visible.

As I was crouching down in the grass attempting to get a shot of the daffodils growing at the base of a tree running along a crick I heard a voice say, "I'm a contemplative photographer." As I turned to see who was talking I saw an elderly man standing there with a camera hanging around his neck. I introduced myself and shared that I too considered myself a contemplative photographer. He was astounded that there was someone else out there who used photography as prayer. We began to discuss how God speaks to us through our lens.

We walked together in silence snapping our shutters for hours. I think of my dear contemplative friend whenever I take my camera to prayer. There is something very profound about being together and being in silence.

This weekend I sought out contemplative time in a local park, and while I walked alone I knew that the spirit of past and present contemplatives walked with me. This reflection comes out of two photographs I took while praying in Canby park. The Tracks and The Bridge.

The Tracks. As I disappeared into the woods, hoping I wouldn't get lost on what appeared to be a beaten path, I came upon these railroad tracks. I hear a train whistle at night, I wonder if these are the tracks on which that train travels. I saw a neat photo opportunity and so I began clicking away. I have two thoughts that have come to me since taking this photograph. The first is not in the tracks themselves but in the way that I discovered them. The path I took to arrive here was somewhat overgrown. While there was a clear path it was not easy to manage. I had to wind my way around fallen trees, rocks, hills, and spider webs. Occasionally I was distracted by things like butterflies and squirrels that lured me off the path.

The tracks were a sharp contrast to my journey thus far. The tracks were definitive, clear, coming from one direction and going in another. As I reflected upon these two paths I realized that both speak volumes to our own spiritual journeys. Sometimes the road seems clear, other times the road seems to swallow you up and you get side tracked, and even lost. But what I believe was most interesting about both paths is that no matter how clear or unclear they appeared to be I could only see so far before the path would turn a corner to something I could only experience by continuing to walk.

The Bridge. What strikes me about this bridge is that the space over which the bridge passes is fairly dry. I walked back and forth taking shots without having to manage my way over any flowing water. Why would there be a bridge over nothing? The answer is, there wouldn't be. There must be a reason why this bridge exists in this low level grass. I am sure that the dip in the field is there for some sort of water overflow, perhaps when the rains come it fills and the bridge is there so that people can still get from one side to the other.

This bridge reflection reminds me again of community. We too have people in our lives that are there for the "just in case" moments. The bridge is still beautiful even without troubling waters beneath it, just as community is still worth while and good in non-troubling times. BUT, when there is a need to fall back on someone, they are there. Just as the bridge supplies a way for walkers after the rains, community provides an environment of support whether it's immediately needed or not.

I hope that I too can offer this support and love in my own local community and the larger community of sisters.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From Their's to Our's

The literary eloquence of Maya Angelou has a way of bringing to life emotions that rest deep in the human heart. In one of my numerous moves in the past four years I received a card from a dear friend with a quote of Angelou's that profoundly states the sentiments of my heart.

"I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."

I remember the first time my mother excepted that "home" had become somewhere different for me than the childhood home in which I grew up. I had just left work and was headed back to my apartment for the evening. My mother called me on my drive. She simply said, "call me back when you get home." She then quickly asked me if I caught what she had said. I have to admit I had not picked up on what she was questioning. She said, "I called your apartment your home." I realized this was a BIG DEAL for my mother. Her acceptance of my "home" finally solidified my moving forward in life.

We have many homes, I still occasionally refer to my parent's house, my childhood home, as "home." But I have found that there is a great importance in calling "wherever I find myself" home.

After dinner this evening, an amazing roasted chicken with stuffing and cranberry sauce prepared by Joan, my new favorite cook, the four of us found ourselves sharing the kitchen to clean up. The job of putting the dried dishes away fell upon me. Joan took notice as I correctly placed the knives and spatulas in their proper drawers and with a smile was impressed. As I went from cabinet to cabinet and drawer to drawer Kathy stated that when you know your way around the kitchen you know it's become your home. (I may be paraphrasing there! But it was something of that liking.)

This has been the easiest move I've made in a few years, and Corpus Christi has been the easiest place to transition into calling home. I have noticed that I have gone from asking questions about where "they" keep things to where "we" keep things. The Their's have become Our's and Corpus Christi has become home.

Monday, September 13, 2010

God is Like the Pockets on my Rocker

"A privilege of which we are unworthy." These words echoed in my ears as we continued with the celebration of the Mass. They were spoken in the homily in reference to the Gospel reading of the Centurion who came to Jesus asking him to heal his servant. As Jesus turned to go to the servant the Centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed." It is these very words that bring us the pre-communion acclamation, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed."

Jesus is so powerful and the faith of the Centurion so strong that he truly understood that Jesus' word alone was more powerful than our comprehension. How different would our world be, how different would our lives be, if we had this faith?

It may sound old school Catholic to beat my chest and say I am unworthy . . . but there is a truth in the reality of our unworthiness. I am a sinner, and to claim different would make me a hypocrite. There is, however, a beauty in this truth. Imagine a being, so loving that even though I fail I am still loved. This is God.

Many people believe in the misconception of the holiness that accompanies religious life. Yes, I am choosing this path because I desire to lead a holy life, but that does not mean that I am any good at it! I have had countless people ask for my prayers because, and I quote, I am "closer to God." This is Bologna! Sorry to burst your bubble, but becoming a sister doesn't make me any closer to God. I truly believe we are all traveling through our lives at the exact same distance from God as every other person with whom we share this planet. The difference in my life is simply that I've recognized the presence of God.

As I was contemplating what I was going to share this evening I noticed for the first time that the padded rocker in my room has pockets on it, just because I didn't see them before doesn't mean they weren't there . . . I was just unaware of them! Now that I realize they exist I am going to use them, put stuff in them, hid things, put them to good use!

God is like the pockets on my rocker! Always there but sometimes ignored. I can only make good use of them when I recognize 1) that they are there and 2) what they are good for!

I have to remind myself daily that God is there for me! Sometimes I fail, sometimes I forget prayer, disengage from my spiritual self, and sometimes I even disappoint myself. But all I have to do is realize my unworthiness and understand the full power of God's love . . . to be honest . . . while we may fail, God doesn't care, God only loves.

And so, I may be on the path to enter into religious life, but that does not make me any holier than the next! But my yes to the particular path that God is at present calling me to simply makes me more aware.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Waterproof Mascara Sort of Day

There are some days when a woman wakes up and just knows it's a day to choose the waterproof mascara from the make-up bag. For me, Today was one of those days. Today was a day that I suspected would be emotional. I knew that my every day mascara would not hold up against the tears I was sure to shed. I was not anticipating a bad day, quite the opposite. I awoke to the first "official" day of my new journey. I was attending my first area chapter, Sr. Kathy was returning, and I was celebrating my entrance into community through a prayer ritual put together by the formation team.

I am about as emotional as they come; I would be lying if I said I never cried at a Hallmark commercial. I assumed the experience of the ritual into entrance would bring on the waterworks, so I was taken off guard when I felt the tears welling up earlier in the day. The topic of conversation for my first area chapter was the sisters' retirement plan. Poor planning to have that be the first meeting a 27 year old candidate would attend. The statistics were scary to hear, and the topic in general was not one that I feel any urgency to discuss. As I sat there the reality of the age of the community I was hours away from officially entering into was hitting me. What was I doing?!

A few months ago, over dinner, Sr. Marijane shared a deep wisdom with me. Knowing these moments would arise within me she told me to always "remember the call." Through the scary moments, through the frustrations, through the trials, "remember the call." And so as I felt the welling of tears and the panic take over I took a deep breath, remembered Marijane's words and wrote this:

She sat listening,
A cry welled up inside.
"What the hell am I doing?"
And then God settled her heart,
and she heard the Wisdom come.
Remember the call.

Yes, remember the call. God would not have brought me to this place to leave me in the desert to die. This I know to be true because of my faith. Maybe I won't be able to predict exactly what my life will look like as the years unfold, but I do trust that if I say yes to God I will not be left out in the cold.

With this peace settling into my heart I was able to fully and faithfully move into the ritual prayer. I shared my desire to continue my discernment with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia, and had an opportunity to share my reasons for choosing the scripture passage, Acts 2:42-47 to be read. If only the whole world would take to heart and truly understand what Luke writes about in this passage then the only reality possible would be one of peace. To me this reading exemplifies all the reasons I stand today to say yes. Community and Eucharist. This is what I most deeply desire.

I thank my local community, my area chapter, the formation team, and those very special sisters who have walked more intimately with me on this journey. I hope that each of you continues to guide and support me as I continue on this wild adventure of following God's call!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Gymnastics and Geriatrics

The true beginning is upon me. My first week of community living has been a gradual adjustment--mostly because Sr. Kathy has been on vacation and so we have not fully entered into our "normal" routine, which is yet to be determined. There are cooking and cleaning schedules to be arranged, and community time to be planned. I am excited for the return of Kathy, as her coming home marks the wholeness of our new community. Community, I believe, at its best is a group of (in our case) women who create an environment of mutual growth and transformation through openness to one another.

This evening, while cleaning up from dinner, I discovered that the distance between the two counter tops in our kitchen is the perfect distance to hold yourself up and swing as if you were a gymnast on the parallel bars. At 27 osteoporosis and arthritis have not yet found there way into my life and so this maneuver is easy for me. Much to my surprise Joan and Maureen both attempted my crazy shenanigans. Don't let their age fool you!!! They swung themselves through our kitchen like Tarzan through the jungle! Okay, maybe not quite . . . but we didn't end up in the emergency room and that has to count for something!

Mid swing Joan proclaimed that we would be sharing and learning a lot from each other this year. As silly as this moment that we shared was I believe it defines the life of community. I am not here to be formed alone, I too bring something to this community and through our mutual sharing we will grow and become more fully the women that God created us to be.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Love One Another as I Have Loved You---Even in Pajamas

Religion has always fascinated me. Billions of people walk around this planet believing, or in some cases not believing, in some greater being beyond our capacity of understanding. Where do these beliefs come from and how have they sustained the test of time? And how, despite the history of religious belief, do some people deny that there is something beyond this life and some being to which to attribute it?

Does God exist? This is the question that forms the basis of an inter-religious faith sharing group among the college students with whom I work. This evening, as we discussed the group's opinions of spirituality versus religion, a self proclaimed atheist shared that she felt most willing to accept a set of beliefs when she heard the Wiccan Rede that teaches that one may do whatever one wants to as long as it does no harm to self or others.

Many gathered were quick to share their agreement with this "belief." To me, however, there was something that did not quite sit right, something was missing. This statement more or less proclaims what not to do in life: don't harm yourself, and don't harm others. This sounds very Old Testament to me, don't take the Lord's name in vain, don't kill, don't commit adultery, don't, don't, don't. The question that arose in me as everyone so quickly agreed with the value of this belief was where is the "do"?

To me the value of religious belief is not found in the things we are not suppose to do, but in the things that we are suppose to do. All that said, this new journey I find myself on is more about doing than not. Being a religious is not a selfish choice, it is a choice for others. It is a choice to live my life as an instrument of God's peace.

Entering into a religious community in the 21st Century Church is much different than it was in the 50's. With the growth of lay ecclesial ministers engaged in active ministry in the Church I have found that religious life needs to offer me something beyond ministry. I can minister as a lay woman, there is no need for me to enter community to do so. Community living has to offer me more.

I have discovered what this community offers me, and am continuing to grow in my understanding of why it is so important. So, what is it? Community offers me accountability to and for something beyond myself. As a single, lay woman I called all the shots in my life. Now that I have entered into community living there is more to live for than myself. I have found that despite the early hour of morning prayer, there is a deep desire to be present. Even though being present mostly occurs in pajamas, with sleepy eyes, and yawns amidst psalms, I find there is something profound that happens in those moments of communal praise of God and offered prayer petitions.

There is no harm to anyone if I stay cozy in my bed for a half hour later, no harm to others and no harm to myself. But something would be missing from my life if I did not join my community in prayer. No, it's not about doing whatever you want, it's about doing what we are bound to do by our human nature and it's about doing what Jesus asks us to do, "Love one another as I have loved you."

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Return on My Investment

There is a question on my heart. Is the Spirit speaking to me through everything that surrounds me in the world, or am I more attentive to a God who is always communicating with me? In this morning's gospel we heard the parable of the talents. It always surprises me when I hear a scripture passage for the bazillionth time and yet I hear something completely new. Today, listening to the responses of those who "invested wisely," I heard the voice of Mother Mary Francis Bachmann speaking those same words that she shared with her sisters so long before me, "no risk, no gain." So true!

What talents do I bury, and where, and why? There are things I must learn to cultivate in my own life so that when I reach the pearly gates God does not say to me, "you wicked, lazy servant!"

The beauty of Mother Bachmann's words, and the truth of the parable of the talents rests in the reality of the return on one's investment. It is not the master alone who benefits from the servant's work. When I risk the yes, I too benefit from the gain. That is the beauty of the world God has created for us. It may not always be an obvious return, but if we spend the time to allow our experiences to transform us, the Spirit will show us the way.

I know this to be true because I have begun to experience the small returns on my own investment. There is an immense hope that has begun to build within me as I experience these small gifts. There is a hope that builds within me as I realize that something much greater is to come. Like the Hover dam holding back the mighty waters of the Colorado River, I wonder what is on the other side!

As I wrap up my thoughts for the night I sit here at the community computer distracted by the television in the other room. Train's new song, Soul Sister was playing as the background to a commercial. Just as I was about to open my mouth to sing along I heard Sr. Joan burst into her own yeah yeah yeah yeah, hey soul sister . . . how perfect is this fit that a few weeks ago I was so incredibly hesitant to embrace! When I risk, I will gain!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Corpus Christi: A Playful Place to Pray

The air was crisp this morning as if nature was beckoning the autumn winds to arrive early. The streets were abandoned as I walked my way to Mass. Ordinarily "crisp air" and "abandoned streets" would not be fitting adjectives to describe the streets of Media on a Sunday morning in early September, but today was different. Today I was moving into community with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia and having spent Saturday night with a friend, and having had plans in place to meet my father at 8:30 am to begin my move, I had forgotten about Mass and so had no choice but to attend the Mass I did not even know existed until this morning, the 7 am Mass!

The Spirit never ceases to astound me. As I sat in the pew at Nativity BVM I found new strength in the paintings of the Blessed Mother that graced the front wall of the church. On the right stood a three year old Mary with her parents, on the left stood a teenage Mary with angels. It suddenly struck me that from the moment of her conception she was being prepared by God to say yes. How loving is our God that so much time would be spent preparing us for the moment when we are given the chance to say yes! The most beautiful part to me is that despite the immense amount of love that God places in preparing us, we are still given free choice. We are still capable of saying no.

As for me, I have discovered the yes that rests somewhere deep in my heart. And today I start that journey.

It is not the typical journey one might imagine when a woman shares that she is "entering the convent." There is no habit, there is no grandiose farewell to my parents, there is no leaving my job behind. I moved with the help of my father and sister into a convent in Wilmington, Delaware where I will be living with three wonderful women. Did I mention they are about 3 or 4 decades older than I am? I suppose this is the reality of religious life in the 21st Century, but somewhere deep in me, beside that yes I believe is the faith that my yes will free others to follow. Maybe that makes me self righteous, but I have faith that my yes means something beyond myself, and maybe I cannot explain it or even understand it, but I believe it!

Side-note, I just discovered that because the Internet is supported by the school here I cannot access prohibited sites such as facebook. The 21st century girl inside just had a panic attack . . . I am told we can remedy that dilemma. God does provide!

A few notes on my new home and community. I am living with Sisters Joan, Kathy, Maureen and occasionally Dolores. The home is lovely! As I was unpacking my life I received a phone call from both Joan and Kathy who are away at the moment. I have felt most welcomed, who wouldn't with flowers, and notes, and even a small (and might I add useful) gift from Sr. Elise.

What I believe I will most enjoy about this community is the playfulness that accompanies the spirituality of these prayerful women. Jesus was a funny dude, I think in our culture and society combined with the distance in time we are from the years he walked this earth we miss the playfulness of Jesus. Not this community, they get it and for this I am thrilled to be beginning this adventure with them by my side.