Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Community catch-up

We just concluded a lovely visitation by our newish provincial and her councilor. Visitation is a time not just of fellowship and prayer together, but where the superior gets a sense of a community's life and mission; the situation of the local Church itself; the opportunities and so forth. And each of the sisters has the opportunity to make her own perspectives known, too. Our provincial came to office a year ago, after being "back" in the States for only two or three years: she spent most of the last thirty years serving in Germany (20 years) and Russia (8 years), so she really has a broad experience with which to look at how things are developing in our various settings. Although the provincial superior isn't required to visit the communities in person, there is certainly an advantage if she can do so. And given that Sister Leonora was "in the missions" for so long, her visit gave us all a chance to get to know her on a different level, while she had the opportunity of getting the big picture of our mission in the US and English-speaking Canada. During the week, I tried a few new recipes out on the sisters, and we had a real treat on Sunday with the fajita party. Dessert was courtesy of our postulants in St. Louis, who shared a box of Godiva chocolates with us when I was there the week before to give them some background on our Pauline history. (Honestly, sisters, y'all can do that chocolate-sharing thing any time.) When I had a chance for my one-on-one with the provincial, "I did it my way." We took a trip to Old Town and the Spice House. Between the cinnamon, cardamom and caraway seeds and then our sushi lunch across the street, I shared some of my ideas and questions, and presented a few special requests (all granted!). We made it back in plenty of time for her to meet with a retail specialist for a consultation on making the most of our fabulous location here in downtown Chicago. All in all, it was a wonderful experience, even if Sr. Leonora had to leave earlier than planned so as to be with the sisters at the motherhouse for our Sr Concetta's funeral. Next up on our community schedule: hosting our missionaries to the Spanish speaking communities as they focus on learning English this summer!

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