9.17.2005

Continuing on the journey

Thanks everyone for the prayers .... I'm still at the groovy sisters' spot on the lake, using the common computer in the library. I wasn't planning to post anything just checking my e-mail. But.... since you all have been so wonderful and I'm sure are curious, I figured it wouldn't hurt.

The meeting went really well. A continued affirmation of the rightness of this journey God has invited me on, and this community in particular as "home." I don't want to go into the details ... I want to savour them, pray about them and perhaps (gasp) actually journal about them with paper and a pen! But the short story is ... I am now a candidate for vowed membership with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. Letters to me and the community from the provincial will be coming. The welcoming ritual will be in October. I know who my mentor will be and who my local community will be, but we still need to meet, discuss expectations, details, process, etc ...

I know you're all curious about the groovy sister formation process, so since I'm in the library I've pulled a copy of the Constitutions off the shelves:

Initial formation has three stages: candidacy, novitiate, and temporary profession. All these stages of incorporation into the congregation include a process of decision-making in a faith context involving the individual and those facilitating her formation.

In the candidacy period we offer an individual opportunities to experience community living with us and to grow in awareness of our charism and spirit. We provide guidance in prayer and assistance in discerning her readiness to enter the novitate.

So, that's where I am. I don't know how it will all play out. When I'll have my debt paid off or otherwise be ready to enter novitiate. I don't know what the future of religious life holds. Except I know that Jesus is calling me to follow him, and I most clearly hear this call in the context of this community. Again, the Constitutions:

Christ is our peace, the source of our power. United with him we engage in the struggle against the reality of evil and continue the work of establishing God's reign of justice and peace. ...

Our charism of peace challenges us to prohpetic risk so that God's reign might be more fully realized. Confident of God's faithful love and collaborating with others who work for justice and peace we face the future with gratitude and hope.

And so I do (face the future with gratitude and hope), now as a candidate for vowed membership. How crazy & wonderful is that? We will be adapting candidacy for me a bit. Normally yes you do live in a local community, but you are financially independent and have your own job. However, because my job is 3 hours away and I need my high paying job working for the man to pay off my debt so I can one day drop everything and follow Christ, we're adapting things a bit. (What would those fisherman have done if they'd had thousands of dollars of credit card debt? Hmmmm.... Food for thought!) I will have a local community here in Seattle who are my "home" base. I'll visit regularly and I imagine spend holidays with them and stay in regular touch as I begin to experience the larger community through a smaller community (make sense?). I'm thinking of it as the national guard version of religious life (weekend peacemaker as opposed to "warrior") - or a kid whose parents have joint custody and hence has two homes. We'll see how it all plays out.

All I know is this is the path God is calling me on and my deepest desire continues to be to say yes. Only God knows how it turns out. My job is to continue on the journey.

Blessings of Peace
Susan Rose

PS - all my bloggy friends, you are privy to the news before my actual real life friends & family! I'm going to wait till I home to write a good long letter to all those folks

11 comments:

mark said...

Congratulations! This is great news! I am sure you have been and will continue to be as much of a blessing to the Groovy Sisters as they have been, and will continue to be, for you!
God's abundant blessings as you continue this journey!!!

Joe said...

Susan -
Congrats on the happy news! You must be very excited. Please know that I have been and will continue to pray for you as you move forward. Know too that I've really enjoyed reading about your discernment and about candidacy and formation in the "Groovy Sisters" - it's neat to be able to pick out the similarities and differences with my own experience in the Jesuits. God bless!

leonora afuyog said...

Congratulations. It's been wonderful to read your journey especially since my path back to the church has just begun. By the way thanks for the comments on my blog.

Nate said...

That's so great, Susan! I'm really excited for you.

Steph said...

WOOO-HOOO!!!!!

Good luck .... best wishes .... and get ready for one heck of a ride!!!

Steve Bogner said...

COngratulations! This is great news.

andrea said...

Wonderful news! Blessings on this next stage of your life.

"Omis" said...

Truly wonderful!

Richard said...

Congratulations and Blessings as you move into this new stage of your discernment/formation. I'm so excited and happy for you and the Groovy Sisters - and, once again, I am very moved by the awesome power of God's call that you have so wonderfully made real for your bloggy friends. We are truly blessed to have you and all of the other folks in discernment sharing their intimate stories and the movements of the Spirit in their lives.

Emily said...

What good, good news. Blessings for this next stage of the journey!

~m2~ said...

oh, susan! i got tears in my eyes when i read that you were accepted (and why wouldn't you be???)

thrilled for you, thrilled for me to be able to continue on in your journey with you. this is way cool.