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[quote name='emmaberry101' timestamp='1350010020' post='2492576']
Yes, the laughter was more of a 'wow you are asking the wrong questions!" than "we don't know how to answer these questions.." :hehe:
[/quote]
I had to laugh at some of those questions too.... :hehe2:

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+ Praised be Jesus Christ! + In about* 3 and a half months I will be entering the Roswell Poor Clares! I beg your prayers in these next months. I will be spending less time on VS for the obvious

[quote name='emmaberry101' timestamp='1351907312' post='2503271'] [color=#222222][size=4][background=rgb(255, 255, 255)]I will not lie, I am aching to be back at the Monastery. Literally aching. I

I entered on this day, 22 years ago! I love the Epiphany! I flew here from MA because my parents didn't want to come (they thought it was a phase, even though I had been a novice for 2 years in an act

Less than 3 months.

For a more immediately gratifying countdown, only 2 weeks until I am back at the Monastery! And I'll be dead to the world for one of those weeks because of surgery to remove some wisdom teeth.. Although mine are less wise and more at a right angle to my other teeth.

I want to thank any of you who have kept me in prayer-I was going through some extreme temptations away from my vocation, but the worst of it has passed, I believe. I am so ambivalent concerning these doubts. On the one hand, it's scary feeling so unsure all of the sudden..then again, I cannot help but feel that God is giving me the chance to enter for the right reason, in that these doubts are to purify my intentions to enter. So before if the life was appealing and I was so excited [i]and[/i] it was God's Will, now all of the external/superficial goods are being taken away, hopefully so I can go in only because God wants it..nothing more. I know that Mother, during her first years, came to the point where she said, "The only reason I am still here is because it's what You want, Lord."


I always thought of the 'dark nights' so beautifully described by St John of the Cross as something to dread or be afraid of. I'm so dumb that I am just now coming to the realization that God gives us these dark times and trials of faith to purify us so that he can give us more grace, blessings, and eventually more glory among His Saints in Heaven. My mind is blown-how great is God? And then we have the nerve to be afraid of the darkness that He gives us out of His love for us! It is crazy. Mother Francis (you knew this was coming! :P) once quoted someone (I forgot who) who said concerning vocations: "All that I gave to thee, I did but give, only to find it again in Thine arms." So many parallels between this sense of vocation -giving up some things to gain everything- and the darkness God sometimes gives us. It's like He's emptying our hands and 'turning off the lights' so that when the light is on again, it is brighter and our vision is clearer and everything we 'gave up' we find again (plus that small matter of the hundredfold He promised!) in His arms.

Sorry. This may be a really basic principle for most Catholics, but as a convert, it requires a great deal of 'rearranging' traditional modes of thought I was taught in my former Church. Most of these teachings took on the basic form of "God doesn't want or ask you to suffer-He created you to be happy, and you get happy by having a lot of stuff." There was no theology of redemptive suffering, so to convert to Catholicism where every smallest suffering has value (insert shout-out to St Therese here) is just mind blowing! And not only does it have value, but in it we find perfect joy, as taught by the Seraphic Saint Francis:


[size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][b]One winter day St. Francis was coming to St. Mary of the Angels from Perugia with Brother Leo, and the bitter cold made them suffer keenly. St. Francis called to Brother Leo, who was walking a bit ahead of him, and he said: "Brother Leo, even if the Friars Minor in every country give a great example of holiness and integrity and good edification, nevertheless write down and note carefully that perfect joy is not in that."[/b][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Times][b]And when he had walked on a bit, St. Francis called him again, saying: "Brother Leo, even if a Friar Minor gives sight to the blind, heals the paralyzed, drives out devils, gives hearing back to the deaf, makes the lame walk, and restores speech to the dumb, and what is still more, brings back to life a man who has been dead four days, write that perfect joy is not in that."[/b][/font][/color][/size]
[indent=1][size=4]5][b]And going on a bit, St. Francis cried out again in a strong voice: "Brother Leo, if a Friar Minor knew all languages and all sciences and Scripture, if he also knew bow to prophesy and to reveal not only the future but also the secrets of the consciences and minds of others, write down and note carefully that perfect joy is not in that."[/b][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]And as they walked on, after a while St. Francis called again forcefully: 'Brother Leo, Little Lamb of God, even if a Friar minor could speak with the voice of an angel, and knew the courses of the stars and the powers of herbs, and knew all about the treasures in the earth, and if be knew the qualities of birds and fishes, animals, humans, roots, trees, rocks, and waters, write down and note carefully that true joy is not in that."[/b][/font][/color][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]And going on a bit farther, St. Francis called again strongly: "Brother Leo, even if a Friar Minor could preach so well that be should convert all infidels to the faith of Christ, write that perfect joy is not there."[/b][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]Now when he had been talking this way for a distance of two miles, Brother Leo in great amazement asked him: "Father, I beg you in God's name to tell me where perfect joy is."[/b][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]And St. Francis replied; "When we come to St. Mary of the Angels, soaked by the rain and frozen by the cold, all soiled with mud and suffering from hunger, and we ring at the gate of the Place and the brother porter comes and says angrily: 'Who are you?' And we say: 'We are two of your brothers.' And he contradicts us, saying: 'You are not telling the truth. Rather you are two rascals who go around deceiving people and stealing what they give to the poor. Go away]' And he does not open for us, but makes us stand outside in the snow and rain, cold and hungry, until night falls-then if we endure all those insults and cruel rebuffs patiently, without being troubled and without complaining, and if we reflect humbly and charitably that that porter really knows us and that God makes him speak against us, oh, Brother Leo, write that perfect joy is there![/b][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]'And if we continue to knock, and the porter comes out in anger, and drives us away with curses and hard blows like bothersome scoundrels, saying; 'Get away from here, you dirty thieves-go to the hospital! Who do you think you are? You certainly won't eat or sleep here'--and if we bear it patiently and take the insults with joy and love in our hearts, Oh, Brother Leo, write that that is perfect joy![/b][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]And if later, suffering intensely from hunger and the painful cold, with night falling, we still knock and call, and crying loudly beg them to open for us and let us come in for the love of God, and he grows still more angry and says: 'Those fellows are bold and shameless ruffians. I'll give them what they deserve.' And he comes out with a knotty club, and grasping us by the cowl throws us onto the ground, rolling us in the mud and snow, and beats us with that club so much that he covers our bodies with wounds--if we endure all those evils and insults and blows with joy and patience, reflecting that we must accept and bear the sufferings of the Blessed Christ patiently for love of Him, oh, Brother Leo, write: that is perfect joy![/b][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]'And now hear the conclusion, Brother Leo. Above all the graces and gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ gives to His friends is that of conquering oneself and willingly enduring sufferings, insults, humiliations, and hardships for the love of Christ. For we cannot glory in all those other marvelous gifts of God, as they are not ours but God's, as the Apostle says: 'What have you that you have not received?' But we can glory in the cross of tribulations and afflictions, because that is ours, and so the Apostle says: 'I will not glory save in the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ.'"[/b][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size][/indent]
[indent=1][size=4][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times][color=#000000][font=Times]5][b]To whom be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.[/b][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/font][/color][/size][/indent]


[indent=1][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif][size=4][color=#000000][color=#000000][color=#000000][color=#000000][color=#000000][color=#000000][color=#000000][color=#000000]Edit: I am watching The Hiding Place, and the concept that God's love is often shown to us when we seem to be suffering acutely is very much expressed in the story of Corrie Ten Boom. If anyone doesn't know the aspect of her story I am referencing, she was in a concentration camp and her 'dorm' was infested with lice. What would seem to be an added suffering was actually for her extreme benefit in the end. The guards were raping women, and the lice kept them out of her dorm. A must read.[/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/color][/size][/font][/indent]

Edited by emmaberry101
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Could anyone on VS who has entered religious life please PM me or reply concerning the time they entered? My little sister has a lead role in a play, and we just found out she will have the dress rehearsal on my entrance date.

In short, did you enter after morning Mass, later in the morning, or in the afternoon? May God reward you!

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[quote name='emmaberry101' timestamp='1350328098' post='2493708']
Could anyone on VS who has entered religious life please PM me or reply concerning the time they entered? [/quote]

I entered after Mass in the morning; and it was a Sunday. The weekend Masses were later than during the week (7 am during the week and 8 am for the weekend.) So I was probably in the cloister by 9:30 am. After Mass, people that were there and knew that I was entering wanted to see me and talk with me and then you have your family that wants to be with you before you enter. Then you go to the enclosure door. :heart:

Have you talked to Mother yet about it? I always thought the norm was that the entrance was always after Mass in the morning because its what I heard a lot and was also the way it was with those that entered while I was there, but I'm sure this isn't always the case. I would think that something could get worked out for you and your family. :)

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[quote name='VeniJesuAmorMi' timestamp='1350344826' post='2493788']
I entered after Mass in the morning; and it was a Sunday. The weekend Masses were later than during the week (7 am during the week and 8 am for the weekend.) So I was probably in the cloister by 9:30 am. After Mass, people that were there and knew that I was entering wanted to see me and talk with me and then you have your family that wants to be with you before you enter. Then you go to the enclosure door. :heart:

Have you talked to Mother yet about it? I always thought the norm was that the entrance was always after Mass in the morning because its what I heard a lot and was also the way it was with those that entered while I was there, but I'm sure this isn't always the case. I would think that something could get worked out for you and your family. :)
[/quote]

:like: May God reward you for your response VJAM!! Your response was enough to prompt me to look at my calendar, and I enter on a Sunday, so it will most definitely be following Sunday Mass. This is great, as it takes a lot of (extra) stress off my family concerning traveling back after they 'see me off'... Is it just me or is that kind of a funny expression for entering the cloister? :lol:

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I have actually heard of someone entering Carmel in the evening after Vespers :pray: (yes, it was a 1990 Carmel)

VJAM, was it immediately following Mass that you entered? Was there time for a thanksgiving first (edit: a thanksgiving & then goodbyes) or did they have you make it (a thanksgiving) in choir in the enclosure? Just wondering. This is all very interesting :)

I think I would have a heard time with that because on the one hand, you just received Jesus and you want to pay attention to His Presence but then you're saying goodbye to your family and getting to hug them for the last time and then you enter! Ah, that's a lot at one time I think! But yes, I have heard it's that way in a few Carmels.

Edited by Chiquitunga
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[quote name='Chiquitunga' timestamp='1350536264' post='2494353']
I have actually heard of someone entering Carmel in the evening after Vespers :pray: (yes, it was a 1990 Carmel)

VJAM, was it immediately following Mass that you entered? Was there time for a thanksgiving first (edit: a thanksgiving & then goodbyes) or did they have you make it (a thanksgiving) in choir in the enclosure? Just wondering. This is all very interesting :)

[b]I think I would have a heard time with that because on the one hand, you just received Jesus and you want to pay attention to His Presence [/b]but then you're saying goodbye to your family and getting to hug them for the last time and then you enter! Ah, that's a lot at one time I think! But yes, I have heard it's that way in a few Carmels.
[/quote]


I agree with you Chiquitunga! :) It never seems right to just get up and leave after receiving Him so intimately. I was able to stay in the Chapel for just a few minutes after Mass. People in the Chapel knew I was entering that day, so there wasn't much of any private time with Our Lord before entering. I remember leaving the Chapel with my parents and I thought I was going to just be with them for a little before Father and I went to the enclosure door. Well, there was a room of people and a lot of them wanted to see me enter so they went to the enclosure door too. I remember at the door turning around to hug my parents, and there was a line of people. Then Father gave me His blessing before I went in. (He is now a Bishop!)

After I went in (I know it's always exciting to hear about entrance days; and maybe Emmaberry will get even more excited to hear about it with her upcoming entrance coming soon!) Reverend Mother took me to "our cell" (everything in Carmel is "ours" we never say that anything is mine; even to get the permission to brush your teeth after meals you would say "our teeth" ..... this may sound really strange to a lot of people, but they can't say its not interesting. After I got to our cell; I put on the postulant dress and veil and headed on down to the speakroom where the community was with my parents and we all visited for a bit. My parents wanted pictures of me in my postulant dress; so they put their camera through the turn and one of the sisters took me around the monastery and took pictures. This was exciting for me also, because I got to see things around the monastery for the first time. Then we went back to the speakroom; the Sisters left and I got to stay with my parents for awhile before they left.

After this, I headed to the refectory because it was dinner time. I still had my speakroom veil on; I remember walking in and being really confused. Reverend Mother wasn't there, but Mother Subprioress was (thankfully!). So I walked over to her and she let me know what to do and so I kissed her Scapular before going to my place.

After this, I really don't remember the rest of the first day. I do know though that the first week the postulant sleeps a lot because you get a lot of extra sleep. Everyone knows what its like to just come in and learn everything so they are so sweet and charitable. :heart: The funny thing is, that by the time your postulancy is over, you'll probably have a lot of funny stories to take with you and share with the others! Even things that you would do normally everyday in the world, it still seems so different in the monastery. From sleeping, to brushing "our teeth." :hehe2:

Edited by VeniJesuAmorMi
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'The Church Is One' article from Mother Mary Francis, from the Eindhoven Poor Clares website: [url="http://web.inter.nl.net/users/clarissenklooster/script/contempl.html"]http://web.inter.nl.net/users/clarissenklooster/script/contempl.html[/url]

These Eindhoven site pics have probably been posted before, but some have Mother Francis in them so I thought I'd post:
[img]http://web.inter.nl.net/users/clarissenklooster/images/group.jpg[/img]
[img]http://web.inter.nl.net/users/clarissenklooster/images/1frontdoor.jpg[/img]
[img]http://web.inter.nl.net/users/clarissenklooster/images/moed-brd.jpg[/img]
[img]http://web.inter.nl.net/users/clarissenklooster/images/ring.jpg[/img]

I love this full image of my favorite depiction of Saint Clare:
[img]http://web.inter.nl.net/users/clarissenklooster/images/claresimple.jpg[/img]


Chiquitunga and VJAM: Please forgive me for taking so long to reply! I had typed out a response before and somehow it was erased so I gave up for a couple days..

I do think it would be a precarious situation to enter right after Mass, now that I read your posts about Mass goers generally knowing about the entrance and wanting to 'get on with it,' so to speak. The Roswell Poor Clares have a mandatory 15 minute thanksgiving (which I love! Not sure if this is common for all religious, though.), so I know the entrance would not be immediately following Mass, probably more like 20-45 minutes after.

VJAM, your post did indeed make me soo excited to enter! I have been feeling kind of blah about entering these past weeks (leaving my family, etc), and your post just perked me right up! It will also help that I am visiting the Monastery again in about a week. Being back there always brings a lot of grace concerning feeling secure and confident in the vocation... I am depending on that grace this time! Also, my mom and I had a good long laugh over 'our teeth.' It is adorably silly yet somehow profound all at once.

Edited by emmaberry101
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[quote name='emmaberry101' timestamp='1350328098' post='2493708']
Could anyone on VS who has entered religious life please PM me or reply concerning the time they entered? My little sister has a lead role in a play, and we just found out she will have the dress rehearsal on my entrance date.

In short, did you enter after morning Mass, later in the morning, or in the afternoon? May God reward you!
[/quote]


emmaberry - I don't have my PM turned back on yet but thought I would respond here. The time you enter is really something to decide between you and the community. I prefer to enter in the afternoon because it is a more quiet time for the community (mornings are busy with Mass and work and other business) and because it gives me time to settle in while things are a little quieter but this could vary for each community. When I went for my live-in this time, the Prioress took me to visit the Blessed Sacrament first and then we took my things to the cell. My angel came to the cell soon after that to take me on a tour of the convent and show me where everything is (some things had changed since I was there last). I was shown my stall in choir and things like procession and routine were explained to me (and a timetable given to me). Then I was taken to Our Reverend Mother for a little chat and to go over anything that was necessary. Then I was given some time alone to unpack and get things organised in the cell before my angel came again to take me down to Vespers that first evening. One hour of Mental Prayer followed Vespers then Supper and dishes and finally Recreation with the nuns. After Recreation, the other nuns went to choir for the Office of Readings, but Mother told me not to attend on my first night, so I was free for the rest of the evening, and could either read or get washed and go to bed early, whatever I wanted to do. I found this a very relaxing way to begin, so when I go back to enter, I hope to enter in the afternoon again. I don't know about your community, but with the Carmelites it is a very long day, and there is usually some stress and excitement associated with one's first day, so starting halfway through the day just seems sensible to me. It somehow makes it easier (for me) to start with a half day and then make my first full day with waking up in the convent the next day. But I know these things are very personal.

Blessings on your entrance.

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When my friend re-entered the active/contemplative Carmelite order, she entered at 7pm the night before the Feast of the Sacred Heart which is traditionally the Sisters' recreation time. I would imagine it went much smoother this time than the first time since the first time she entered was in the morning after Mass. I don't know how the Sisters handle newcomers but I would hope that every order starts out slowly so the postulants can become accustomed to the time. :)

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Praised be Jesus Christ! No worries, emmaberry! I had been meaning to reply to VJAM's post for the longest time too. It was so wonderful to read!

But wow, that must have been hard having all of those people there wanting to see you enter.. and hugging your parents and saying final goodbyes in front of them. I know of another one who entered a Carmel who described her experience as something like this too. She said some people just wanted to talk to her and get to know her while there was so little time and this was the final time with her family, etc.

But for the one who entered after Vespers it was entirely private :like:

Carmelites, and I think all cloistered communities really, have the 15 minute mandatory thanksgiving also. But still, though the Sisters may have the 15 minutes, the one entering might not .. or if she does, it might kind of have to get split with saying goodbye to family .. there might be that pressure, especially if there are others there watching :disguise: .. lol, I thought that emoticon expressed it well! :smile3:

God's will either way! But if I end up entering where you have to enter pretty much right after Mass/it's their custom, etc. I will make sure to get some private time with family beforehand, and to let them know. Thanks again for sharing your experience!

p.s. I laughed at brushing "our teeth" too :smile4: I know it's this way in Carmel, no my's, but that phrase never occurred to me :hehe:

I suppose they would say it this way when speaking for instance with a dentist also .. or at least in Valparaiso where they have their own dentist visit the enclosure.

Sister: Doctor, our teeth have really been hurting lately..

Dentist: Really, the whole community's?

:hehe2:

Edited by Chiquitunga
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[quote name='Chiquitunga' timestamp='1351143526' post='2497459']
p.s. I laughed at brushing "our teeth" too :smile4: I know it's this way in Carmel, no my's, but that phrase never occurred to me :hehe:

I suppose they would say it this way when speaking for instance with a dentist also .. or at least in Valparaiso where they have their own dentist visit the enclosure.

Sister: Doctor, our teeth have really been hurting lately..

Dentist: Really, the whole community's?

:hehe2:
[/quote]

:lol4:

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I have heard of a sister reporting, "Mother, I have broken our false teeth". Ow!


You asked for entrance stories, Emma.....

I entered a traditional Community that has an active apostolate but is very closely based on their cloistered 2nd order Nuns in lifestyle. (In terms of what the community's lifestyle was like, think Nun's Story, but with some modernizations because it was 80 years later.....)

Actual entrance was very much like what one would expect entrance to be like in the Poor Clares or Carmelites or Dominicans or... you get it. (I'm not naming community on line, but will provide info if PMed....)

So there are some parallels and some differences with what I would anticipate with the Poor Clares.

The custom of that community was that all those who were entering as postulants came on the same day with their families. (Think of Gabrielle's entrance in the Nun's Story and you will have the picture.)

The families had a chance to get some pictures with the ones who would be entering (but in lay clothes, as we didn't get our postulant outfit until later in the day, after we had entered). They gave a tour of the place to the families, and it included letting the families see the cell the new postulant would be occupying! (Gasp!!!) The postulant AND the families firmly were informed that this was a one time only thing, that it would NEVER be allowed again... but that yes, they were allowed in the cloistered section just this once.

Then everyone went back downstairs and back to the lay people's area (there were coffee and cookies, I think...), where the families and postulant said their final good-byes. (I had thought we would get a chance to see my family again after we were wearing the postulant outfit, but found out it wasn't the custom....)

We postulants then were escorted to our cells to change into the postulant habits, with the help of our angel novices. After we had changed clothes, our families would be able to see us from a distance, and they were permitted to be present at the entrance ceremony (a benediction service and a blessing for the new postulants)... but there was no more interaction with the families on that day... no more contact until the following month's visit. (I personally thought that was awful rough on the families, but that is me....)

Then we were taken off to one end of the grounds for a recreation period with each other and the postulant mistress ... . (I remember one of the others' had her little brother run up and try to join the circle, which was heart-wrenching for all of us!). (If I recall correctly, the Postulant Mistress went over to him, smiled at him, and gently led him back to the family.)

None of the other Sisters were there at that time; we just processed what it had been like to leave our families and what we should expect for the rest of the day. (In retrospect, I suspect that the rest of the community were doing mental prayer and Evening Prayer during this period... but we hadn't been shown what to do or where to go.... so the Mistress was keeping us in a holding pattern till dinner.... ;) Just a suspicion.... )

We were next taken to the refectory, where the Community greeted us, and we had dinner and recreation with them, and then we just were slipped into the daily life with mini-instructions from Mistress and Angel..... including Night Prayer and the first good-night blessing by the Superior.

Yes. It was a VERY full day, and we were ready for rest....


If I had a choice, I think I'd prefer to enter in the afternoon before Vespers.... too hard to enter with all the Mass-Attendee visitors. It's pretty common for people to have immediate family and a few friends, but it would be tough to have a bunch of gawkers. Just my 2 cents....



One other thing Emma - I'm actually GLAD to hear you are having some nerves & 2nd thoughts. I'd be worried if the little devils weren't trying to derail your vocation.

Just keep on doing what you had decided to do, and be as loving and gentle toward your family as you can.

What is a wonderful & exciting thing for you will look like pure loss to them. Be gentle and loving toward them... and God will help them.

Prayers & Love for all of you.....

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[quote name='AnneLine' timestamp='1351193033' post='2497638']
I have heard of a sister reporting, "Mother, I have broken our false teeth". Ow!


You asked for entrance stories, Emma.....

I entered a traditional Community that has an active apostolate but is very closely based on their cloistered 2nd order Nuns in lifestyle. (In terms of what the community's lifestyle was like, think Nun's Story, but with some modernizations because it was 80 years later.....)

Actual entrance was very much like what one would expect entrance to be like in the Poor Clares or Carmelites or Dominicans or... you get it. (I'm not naming community on line, but will provide info if PMed....)

So there are some parallels and some differences with what I would anticipate with the Poor Clares.

The custom of that community was that all those who were entering as postulants came on the same day with their families. (Think of Gabrielle's entrance in the Nun's Story and you will have the picture.)

The families had a chance to get some pictures with the ones who would be entering (but in lay clothes, as we didn't get our postulant outfit until later in the day, after we had entered). They gave a tour of the place to the families, and it included letting the families see the cell the new postulant would be occupying! (Gasp!!!) The postulant AND the families firmly were informed that this was a one time only thing, that it would NEVER be allowed again... but that yes, they were allowed in the cloistered section just this once.

Then everyone went back downstairs and back to the lay people's area (there were coffee and cookies, I think...), where the families and postulant said their final good-byes. (I had thought we would get a chance to see my family again after we were wearing the postulant outfit, but found out it wasn't the custom....)

We postulants then were escorted to our cells to change into the postulant habits, with the help of our angel novices. After we had changed clothes, our families would be able to see us from a distance, and they were permitted to be present at the entrance ceremony (a benediction service and a blessing for the new postulants)... but there was no more interaction with the families on that day... no more contact until the following month's visit. (I personally thought that was awful rough on the families, but that is me....)

Then we were taken off to one end of the grounds for a recreation period with each other and the postulant mistress ... . (I remember one of the others' had her little brother run up and try to join the circle, which was heart-wrenching for all of us!). (If I recall correctly, the Postulant Mistress went over to him, smiled at him, and gently led him back to the family.)

None of the other Sisters were there at that time; we just processed what it had been like to leave our families and what we should expect for the rest of the day. (In retrospect, I suspect that the rest of the community were doing mental prayer and Evening Prayer during this period... but we hadn't been shown what to do or where to go.... so the Mistress was keeping us in a holding pattern till dinner.... ;) Just a suspicion.... )

We were next taken to the refectory, where the Community greeted us, and we had dinner and recreation with them, and then we just were slipped into the daily life with mini-instructions from Mistress and Angel..... including Night Prayer and the first good-night blessing by the Superior.

Yes. It was a VERY full day, and we were ready for rest....


If I had a choice, I think I'd prefer to enter in the afternoon before Vespers.... too hard to enter with all the Mass-Attendee visitors. It's pretty common for people to have immediate family and a few friends, but it would be tough to have a bunch of gawkers. Just my 2 cents....



[b]One other thing Emma - I'm actually GLAD to hear you are having some nerves & 2nd thoughts. I'd be worried if the little devils weren't trying to derail your vocation.[/b]

Just keep on doing what you had decided to do, and be as loving and gentle toward your family as you can.

What is a wonderful & exciting thing for you will look like pure loss to them. Be gentle and loving toward them... and God will help them.

Prayers & Love for all of you.....
[/quote]

Oh BLESS YOU AnneLine for your post and especially the bolded bit! I really needed to hear that. It is amazing how much you (and everyone) remembers about their entrance day! It seems like one of those experiences that just imprint themselves on your brain..whether this is due to the significance, the trauma, or the joy is for you to know and me to find out. :P

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