Novitiate Update

This afternoon I went on a drive with our Candidate Dorothy - who will be received as a Novice next month - to the Mariandale Retreat Center in Ossining, NY where she will be attending the Intercommunity Novitiate Program starting in September. This way she knows how to get there and knows a bit of what to expect.

For me it was a nostalgic drive down memory lane, almost like visiting the campus of your old college. It made me realize how fast my time in the Novitiate is progressing. In just a little over a month I will have finished my Canonical Year! It's so hard to believe. This time last year I was sorting, purging and packing my belongings, finishing up at work and getting ready for my nun-bachelorette party in Vegas.

This year I'm finishing up my canonical year, getting ready to visit our mission in El Salvador and preparing to spend 3 months on a ministry experience with our Sisters in London. The 2nd year of novitiate will be more varied, with two 3-month ministry experiences away from the Novitiate House. Before I know it this time next year will roll around and I'll (hopefully) be preparing to take vows! Crazy!!!

What happened in between last summer and this summer? It's hard to even know. I moved 3,000 miles away from the life I'd built for myself, trusting that there was something to this whole vocation thing and my groovy CSJP community. It was a hard adjustment from an overly busy life of work, ministry and social life to a quieter existence where prayer, solitude and reflection rule the day. There has been a lot of inner work, many challenges living in community, adjustments to religious life and our Eastern province, homesickness, and assorted unbloggables. But there have also been many blessings - new relationships, the opportunity to get to know our east coast sisters and associates, new prayer experiences, a deeper relationship with God, and a continued feeling that there is something to this whole vocation thing and the CSJP community. That's a good place to end the 1st year of Novitiate and continue the adventure I think. Although I'm a bit ahead of myself ... the year doesn't officially end until September 8th.

The picture is one I took on the grounds of Mariandale where I spent Tuesdays & Wednesday last year with novices from other religious communities. Truly a beautiful place!


Anonymous said...

May the saddest day of your future be no worse

Than the happiest day of your past.

grace said...

how weird is it that i'm where you were on the sorting, purging packing, & it's the same time of year. there is a finishline right? can you fit a year's worth of stuff in one suitcase & 3 boxes? it's what i'm aiming for, mostly so i don't have to buy more boxes.

Lisa said...

A really beautiful reflection, Susan, one that engages the reader in looking back in a parallel way to Dorothy's imagining forward... Enjoy the remaining weeks of the canonical year as gift and challenge! And especially "la peregrinacion a El Salvador!"