Thursday, July 30, 2009

Planning Ahead!

It generally takes 6-9 years to become a perpetually professed sister in our community. Quite a long time!

I remember talking to my mom on the phone about 2 weeks after I entered the community. She told me she had everything figured out. Some relatives were going to stay at my parents' house. Some were going to stay in other houses of nearby relatives. At first, I had no idea what she was talking about. Then I realized that she was already planning my profession. When I told her it was going to be a few years, at least 6, she said, "I know. I'm just planning ahead."

Then I had to break the news that it wasn't going to be in my hometown. (I'm glad I told her that before she started planning the parade.) When she realized it was going to be in Ferdinand, she said, "Oh, I guess I'll just get a bus and pick up people along the way."

My mom and I both spent 7 years preparing for perpetual profession.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Blogger with New Job

I am finishing my last week of orientation in the long-term health care center for our own sisters. On August 17 I will begin my work as the administrator. I worked in health care several years ago; and although I have enjoyed every ministry since then, I do look forward to returning to health care.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Going back on Mission

I am headed back to my mission house today. I have spent the summer here at the Monastery. During the school year I live at what we call a mission house. I live in Rockport, IN. I live with 2 other sisters. We pray together and enjoy time together in the evening. I teach 4th grade at St. Bernard Catholic School. I am looking forward to getting back to school. The rest of this week and next week I will spend time in my classroom getting ready. It is so exciting for me. I love teaching.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy New Year!

First of all, I would like to apologize for not posting more this summer but as you can imagine, it has been a busy one for all of us, as I'm sure it has been for you as well.

Last week we had our Community Days, which consists of meetings, time to reconnect with each other and a little fun along the way, too. After two full days of meetings we had what we call Familian Fest or family fest. Each year a group of sisters plans a way for us to "play" together the Friday afternoon of our Community Days. This year we went on a road trip inside the monastery. We were divided into groups and each group traveled around following clues left at the various locations. Once at a location, the group performed a task, such as playing a game, praying, trivia games, and much more. It was a LOT of fun!!!

Then on Saturday morning we had what we call Missioning. As part of our Morning Prayer, our prioress (superior), Sister Kristine Anne, delivered a sending-forth message and then blessed each of us, giving us our mission card, which contains the deanery we are assigned to live and our ministry (this is not a surprise as it was in the old days). This ceremony is the beginning of a new year for us.

Here is a link to my Facebook photo album of the Familian Fest and Missioning. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

BSWR and Back

Summers at the monastery are a wonderful treat, if you're a mission sister. Of course, sometimes it seems everyone is coming or going on vacation or retreat, or is off studying somewhere, or who knows what! For about three weeks in June I was one of the travelers, attending BSWR (Benedictine Spirituality Workshop and Retreat, a.k.a. "vow camp") at the Benedictine monastery in Yankton, South Dakota. Basically the program is two weeks of participating in lots of conferences on various Benedictine topics, then a lovely week of silent retreat. It provides time and space for sisters preparing for perpetual profession to reflect on whether this really is the life for them.

I enjoyed the conferences, for the most part, and the various artsy things we did, but I loved talking with the ten other sisters from other monasteries. We were able to compare notes on how we live this life, to laugh at some of our communities' common quirks, and to appreciate the gifts that make each of our monasteries special. While every one sounded good in its own way, I was happy to realize that I do love my own monastery and my own sisters the best! Sometimes being away helps you realize better where your home truly is.

We also talked about the future of monastic life, and I think we all were surprised and delighted to realize that while we may live the life a little differently, we all have a common vision of what we'd like Benedictine life to look like in 10-15 years. We agree on the main values, and we want to live our charism as authentically as we can. Benedictines have been around for 1500 years; while changes may come, especially for individual monasteries, as an order, we probably aren't disappearing any day soon. We all shared a lot of energetic hope about where we are going.

Having gained a little perspective, I am happy to be back in Ferdinand again, being hospitality minister for our chaplains and guests at prayer and mass, answering the phone at switchboard, helping in the liturgy office, and working in the bakery. (Not all at once!) I count it a grace to realize anew how blessed we really are. Feel free to come visit sometime!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I have been the tour guide here at the Monastery this week. I just love to give tours. I like helping others to understand who we are and what are ministries are. I also like it because I get to meet many people for all over the United States. I gave a tour yesterday to a group from Kentucky. They asked lots of questions, which makes the tours fun. Sometimes though you just never know what the question is going to be. One woman asked "What is your diet?" My first thought was how does she know I am on a diet? But what she meant was what kind of food do we eat. I commented how we just eat regular food like everyone else. Sometime if you are in the area stop by for a tour.