Not sure what to say about what's been happening to me except that God has been so good and so amazingly generous in His graces! Dominican formation has been -- and continues to be -- a beautiful experience, a very practical and balanced approach to the Christian life. :like: I can't help but say "I wish I knew about this earlier!" or "Why didn't God lead me here earlier?" However, I know all things are in God's timing and for this I am grateful and deeply humbled.
My future, in practical terms, consists of continued formation in our Dominican life -- an ongoing formation really, of prayer, study, community life, and mission/preaching. My 1st Profession is a temporary profession of vows for three years, and then God willing, final Profession after that. (Keep on praying for me! :saint: ) Several Sisters in our community are also studying with the Maryvale Institute -- a Pontifical Institute of Religious Sciences -- of which I am one of them. (By the way, I would highly recommend Maryvale, especially if "thinking with the Church" and distance-learning are up your alley. :whistle: )
So... hmmm... :think: I suppose that's all I really know about my future. It's in God's hands. All I can do is try my best to respond to His graces each day.
Ah, and we're also having a "Come and See" weekend next month (Nov. 15-17)... just in case anyone is in the UK area and interested. ;)
P.S. -- Thank you all SO much for your continued prayers and support! It means a lot, and I have no doubt that God is blessing me through your intercession. :amen:
Eeeeeeee!! :woot: JTeeeeee!!!! (aka Sr. M. Luciiiiia!!!!) How exciting to see you!!!
I made my 1st Profession on October 5th -- praise God! :cloud9: I think I'm still "floating" on the graces! Congratulations on your 1st Profession as well -- and alrichey (aka Sr. Mary Grace)!! I've thought of you all often as we're kinda in formation together. :cheers2: Kinda like "Sisters from another [Saintly Father]". :hehe:
I'm on my first post-1st-Profession home visit and wanted to drop in and say HELLOOOOO! :yahoo: Also wanted to give a huge THANK YOU for all your prayers for me and for my community -- so very much appreciated! You all have continued to remain in my prayers.
Former PMer "Something Fishy" also sends her greetings and is doing well in her postulancy. :like3: Can we get a "Praise the Lord, Alleluia!" in the house?? :smile3: To say the least, life is good and I can only say "Deo gratias!"
My apologies for not being around as much as I had hoped -- I had a bad stomach virus from Wednesday - Saturday. To say the least, it was [b]not[/b] pretty!
I was hoping to answer all the questions asked in the other thread, but alas, time is running fast! If I'm lucky, I'll try to stop in briefly tomorrow to answer anything quick ones from that thread -- I leave the house at 11am for the airport.
Anyhoo -- just wanted to pass on some exciting details before I go....
Drum roll pa-leeeeease......
So..... On Thursday (September 29th -- the Feast of the Archangels) I'll be clothed in the holy habit of St. Dominic and will be named....
Sr. Mary Catherine!
Vee, did you have a coronary??? All I can say is, "She [Catherine of Siena] got me, man. [i]She[/i] totally got me."
God has a good sense of humor. Aaaand yes, I am happy and at peace about it.
I will have a two year novitiate (first year is canonical) and then (God willing, that is -- please keep me in your prayers! ) will profess First Vows. One Professed then I'll have yearly home visits -- hopefully I'll be able to stop in more often!
I would have to say for me, it's charism and the community itself.
As for charism I know I have a deep passion for understanding Truth and for passing this Truth on to others. The more I learn about our Catholic faith, and Christ (Truth Incarnate or as St. Catherine says, "Gentle First Truth"), the more in love I become... so much so that at times I almost feel as though I'd burst with the desire to share this love and knowledge with others. So... I yes.... the Dominican charism seems to hit the nail on the head for me.
The community life itself, for me, is pretty much the very real and (very human) practical side of my discernment. It's [i]how [/i]the charism is lived out in every day life. "Grace builds upon nature" of course, but I've had to ask myself "How does my nature correspond and adapt to this way of life? Do I have the capacity for it? Can I realistically live with these women (Sisters) for the rest of my life? Am I being open and receptive to the grace God wishes to give me?" Grace builds upon nature and cooperates with our nature if we let it -- this is the key for me, letting the grace work without getting in the way. I'm definitely [i]not[/i] an expert on that. Haha!
Also, even though Dominicans share the same general charism ("To contemplate [the Truth] and to pass on the fruits of contemplation") the main differences seem to arise from [i]how [/i]they lives this charism in their apostolate and community life. As for me, I know I could never really see myself as a Nashville, Ann Arbor, or Hawthorne Dominican no matter how amesome (<-- NICE ONE, The Archon!! ) they are... I suppose one could say similar things about major "families" of Orders (like Franciscans, Benedictines, Carmelites, etc.), right?
As for affiliation... Hmmm ... I think I do prefer when there is some sort of affiliation, especially in regards to traditions and customs of the community. It seems to lend a deeper foundation in a sense to what has gone before and what is to come, although I don't think there's anything "wrong" or "missing" for newly founded communities that are just building their foundations by any means! -- that too is a very exciting time in their own histories as the Holy Spirit guides their founders to bring about His work.
[quote name='Lisa' timestamp='1316612158' post='2308061']
I'm a relative PM newbie- I think I joined a couple of months after you left, so your posts would pop up here and there. So, thanks for all your inspiration from afar, even when you didn't know you were giving it.
What didn't you expect? What's been amesome? What's been challenging?
Is singing the Salve every night as fantastic as it sounds?
Awww, thank you, Lisa! Nice to meet you!
- [b]What didn't you expect?[/b] -- Ooo.., good question! Hmmm... I guess I didn't really [i]want [/i]to have too many expectations since I had previously been in a religious community. I had already been formed into the previous community's charism and spirituality, so I wanted to be as open as possible in letting things just... be... if that makes sense. Granted, that's not to say that I couldn't help but make comparisons since the former community was "all I had ever known", you know? The Sisters are remarkably understanding to this fact and are just... amazing, really amazing and understanding.
- [b]What's been amesome?[/b] -- Everything! I know that sounds so cliche, but wow... I'm still in awe about just how compassionate and [i]normal[/i] these Sisters are! It's truly a breath of fresh air -- and a huge sigh of relief! They [i]really do[/i] love each other unconditionally and want the very best for each other -- a beautiful and honest Christian charity. And yet, they're not walking around being overly-pious or with sparking white habits either but living as real human beings striving for holiness in a very human way. The Dominican understanding of anthropology permeates their very way of life and interactions with one another... that is amesome.
- [b]What's been challenging?[/b] -- I think the most challenging thing for me has been... well, it might sound a bit odd, but it's been challenging for me to be [i]completely accepting[/i] of their unconditional love for me as a member of the community. Often I can't help but think, "Wow... they'd do that[i] for me[/i]?" or "They care that much [i]for me[/i]??" I still struggle with the fear of history repeating itself and being suddenly kicked out (like with my former community) without knowing exactly why and so, I am slowly learning to let go of this fear. It's basically the whole "This is too good to be true... how can I deserve something [i]this [/i]good? Surely, it's not going to last!" I think this issue is making these Sisters saints already... Hehehe.
- [b]Is singing the Salve every night as fantastic as it sounds?[/b] -- I gotta admit, it's my [i]favorite [/i]thing to sing during the entire day. However, that's not to say that we sing it perfectly by any means! Yet I know without a doubt that our Blessed Mother is honored by it and that's all that matters. And well, who doesn't adore the Salve Procession?? And the "[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDxnZBrItuI"]O Lumen[/url]"?
Are you tired of milk in glass bottles yet? Tired of cloud gazing and/or picture taking? Not that a postulant has time for either activity but I thought maybe they let you look up from scrubbing the floor once in a while. How are the oodles and oodles of bookseseses? What was your first beer back in the US? Sorry all I sent you was one letter in the past year. Maybe this year I'll send two!!
I'm totally [i]not[/i] tired milk in glass bottles yet! Haaahahahaha! Every time we get them donated (which is usually once a month or something) I still get all "Ooooooo! These are sooooo kewl!!!" No joke. HAHAHA!!!
Whilst walking out the chapel for various times of prayer during the day I still love to cloud gaze. Haha! Aaaand well, I'm still taking pictures... this is why there's an almost embarrassingly obscene number of photos uploaded to our website this past year.
The booksesesessss are most preciousssssss. Love. They seem to be multiplying on my desk, especially as of this past week... I'm starting a [url="http://www.maryvale.ac.uk/index.php?id=151"]Bachelor of Divinity[/url] (Applied Theology) this year from the [url="http://www.maryvale.ac.uk/index.php"]Maryvale Institute[/url]. Pray for me!!!
My first beer... well, be shocked for this one: I had vodka instead! My mom had the cutest little bottle of Belvedere vodka hanging out in her china cabinet... I've never had it before. It was naaaahce.
Oh! And no worries about the lack of writing -- I was SO thrilled when I got your letter (especially with all those emotes!!!! Two words: epic win.) but I know things get busy and well, who are we kidding? It's the 21st century, letter writing is somewhat tough times, yo. Haha! But I still keep you in my prayers!!
[quote name='FutureSister2009' timestamp='1316622866' post='2308112']
Welcome back! Did you go to London? I'm going up to London in June. Very excited
I've gone to London a few times. I'm a phan all the way! Woohoo!
The questions have already starting rolling in! Here will be my little attempt to pop in from time to time today to answer in quick spurts of "free" time.
So, here we go!
HopefulBride's questions since she posted first:
[b]1) How long are you here for?[/b] -- Only for about a week. I return to England on the 26th (and arrive on the 27th). My visit is basically split between two geographic locations since I have two groups of people I need to see (group 1: family; group 2: friends). Alas, if only I could bi-locate... or teleport. That'd be amesome. Werd.
[b]2) I saw pics of you and a couple of other sisters at WYD. Sooooooooooo Jealous... How was it??? [/b] -- amesome ESTA ES LA JUVENTUD DEL PAPA!!! I could probably write incredibly too much about WYD, but as time is limited there were some brief "pilgrim interviews" that were recorded during WYD by Sr. Hyacinthe (my postulant mistress) for the website [url="http://www.totus2us.com/"]Totus2Us[/url] -- here's the [url="http://www.totus2us.com/podcasts/world-youth-days/"]page on WYD experiences[/url].
[b]3) Have you sewn your habit yet or do you guys have a sister seamstress that has already taken care of it?[/b] -- We have a Sister seamstress that sews our habits for us, although we order our postulant habits from an outside source (J&M Sewing Service, Ltd. -- "by Appointment of HRM the Queen" OooOOoo.... ) Actually, my habit is being sewn [i]this week[/i]!! If you don't mind, send a little heavenly shout out for Sr. Julie -- God bless her!
[b]4) Have you had a chance to work in community's apostolates as a postulant?[/b] -- Yes!! It's been fantastic!!! Often I would accompany Sisters when they would travel to give talks or run the (fabulous) [url="http://www.anchoryourfaith.com/"]Anchor[/url] program(me) or anything else of the like. I've also been able to assist when our [url="http://www.ftfcm.com"]Fanning the Flame mission[/url] during our summer camps and after-school groups. It's fantabulous!
[b]5) When does sister Benedicta say first vows? being a longtime stalker of your community I remember when they posted the news about her entrance to novitiate and that was about two years ago[/b].. -- Sr. Mary Benedicta, (O.P.!!) has [i]just [/i]Professed her First Vows this past Saturday!!! It was a glorious Mass! Just beautiful and profoundly powerful... ah, I love that Sister! She's a saint. No doubt.
I love all the pictures -- especially Thomas' drawing and my beloved SALTY!!!
This thread makes me a tad fahklempt -- I must give you a topic:
The chickpea is neither a chick nor a pea. Discuss.
Thank you all so much for your PRAYERS! I feel unbelievably blessed to have been able to have gotten to know so many of you here -- we are truly a phamily! Please be assured of my continued prayers for you all, too!
When I come home in a year before I begin my novitiate (God willing!) I will be certain to drop in! (And chat, too! )
For now, I must finish my packing -- almost finished! (PRAISE GOD.) Packing is definitely [i]not[/i] my forte.
It looks like I just might have to take [i]two[/i] checked bags. Good thing the second one is free! Hahaha!
I bring you all some cake and ice cream to celebrate:
[url="http://www.southernplate.com/2008/09/apple-week-begins-todays-recipe-apple.html"]Apple Dapple Cake[/url] -- one of my favorites EVAR:
Aaaand some tasty ice cream:
- [b]What have I been feeling?[/b]
Well, it's been something of a mini-roller coaster ride. There are moments where I can't help but think to myself, "WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING???" but for the most part, I feel like I'm just cruisin' along. I have yet to experience that giddy delirium of squeals and uncontrolled excitement... instead, there's just that deep sense of peace.
However, the last time I entered, I was pretty much 24/7 since the moment I found out I was accepted.
- [b]What have I been doing before I enter?[/b]
So far I'm still getting together the last few things from my Postulant List O'Supplies when I have the time to get out of the house. Mostly, I've been babysitting my lovely and oh-so-adorable niece and nephew. My goal is to finish packing BEFORE the night before.
Tomorrow night I'll be traveling out of town for the weekend to visit with my dear friends from the diocese I entered the Church in. They're pretty much my "Catholic family", so we're having a little get-together/Farewell party. I think saying goodbye this weekend will help things to really sink in. It will be difficult, but good and beautiful nonetheless.
Hmmm... what else?
Well, I've been reading a lot of books that I don't think I'll be reading for a long time -- like [i]The Lord of the Rings[/i] and the [i]HP7[/i]. I've watched some favorite [i]Star Trek: The Next Generation[/i] episodes and movies. And as silly as this might sound, I've been trying different beers -- like a most delectable Vanilla Porter from Breckinridge Brewing Company. Haha! (Though I promise, I have not gotten drunk. Honest.)
Oh, and I've been drinking a lot of Cafe Bustelo -- my favorite coffee. The Sisters only have instant coffee... So.. soon I shall bid a fond farewell to my beloved Cafe Bustelo.
I also need to write some letters to various Sister/nun friends!!! *makes mental note to self* Seriously, I need to get on the ball about that one.
[quote name='CherieMadame' timestamp='1285849594' post='2176912']
Another Sister encountered a Southern African American man and his young son at the grocery store. The son pointed to the Sister and asked his father in a very loud voice, "Dad, what's that?" When his father ignored him, he asked again loudly, "Dad, what's that?!" After being ignored again, the son cried out in desperation, "DADDY, WHAT'S THAT?!" The father turned to his son and said in a very thick Alabama accent, "I don't know, son, but I know it's good!"
[b]Oh goodness, there are so many more stories! lol I could create a thread just for them!
So want to welcome you to England! We hold you in prayer as you leave the US, land in our country and begin your postulancy. If you and your Sisters are ever in Sussex do visit us. Every blessing, dear Sister, as God's love continues to envelope you.