Community Time

Two times a year, CSJP Sisters and Associates gather in our regional centers for time to pray, play and ponder together. There is always something good and "of God" that happens when we come together. Don't get me wrong--we live in community, so we are always playing and praying together. But in our local communities, we are three or four or five. Those of us that live closer to groovy sister hq get more of the community buzz. For example, I try to come to St. Mary-on-the-lake once a week to visit with the Sisters.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, our geographic reality means that we live separated by more miles than our Sisters and Associates in New Jersey or England. As a result, when we come together for our Assemblies it is like a homecoming. People come from Anchorage and San Salvador, South San Francisco, Eugene, Oregon, Spokane, Washington and places in between. A few days before the Assembly begins, visitors start to arrive at our Seattle area houses and the buzz begins. Laughter and stories abound. We gather for prayer and reflection. It is always a time to rest in the width, breadth and depth of community.

This weekend was our Fall Assembly. We had an amazing speaker that invited us to engage rather than avoid the difficult passages of Scripture, particularly places in our sacred writings where violence abounds. She gave us new tools for growing in nonviolence and much to ponder.

Saturday night we gathered for Eucharistic liturgy and the first profession of vows of Sister Sukyi. Quite obviously a joyous occasion!

This morning we returned for "business" meetings, followed up by lunch.

It was at my first Fall Assembly, 6 years ago that I first started to make connections with the Sisters. I felt welcomed, included, and absolutely astounded by the energy, care and love that abounds during these gatherings. I was just an inquirer, but attending my first Assembly helped me to see the power and gift of community. Six years later, I'm a temporary professed Sister and more engaged in the goings on of community life. But I am still astounded, and very very grateful.

No comments: