|That's me in the back left; Sr Julia in the foreground.|
Tomorrow we have choir practice not for an album, but for the Mass of Religious Profession for two of the novices. Sister Jackie's parents came in from Kenya to be with her; her brother is already in the States, working on his doctoral dissertation. (Their sister was unable to get a visa; Dad said to just accept it as the mysterious will of God: no wonder a religious vocation blossomed in that family!) Speaking of religious vocations, we got the news that another young woman has been accepted intoour postulancy program! Entrance date is September 8. (The provincial commented at breakfast that there would have been others to join them but for outstanding college debt, which is the biggest obstacle to following a vocation--not just religious life, of course; plenty of young adults put off marriage because of debt...)
Also speaking of religious vocations, our postulants and their formator are spending a month in Mexico, learning Spanish up close and personal, and in general sharing the Pauline life of our Mexican community. Our province (USA and Anglophone Canada) is "twinned" with Mexico precisely so that we can exchange sisters and collaborate on projects without needing special permissions from Mother General in Rome (who probably has bigger things requiring her attention).
And still speaking of vocations (the discernment part), this week a group of young women will be joining us for a Discernment Week, a summer program that has among its graduates those two postulants (excuse me, "pre-novices") in Mexico. Pray for these "first time" St Paul discerners!
One more vocation tidbit: Sr Rose, our movie nun in Southern California (you might know her from her movie reviews in St. Anthony Messenger) sent me a very special package. Inside was...a plastic sewing kit (???) and, in the kind of little bag you would use for a wedding party favor, a beat-up metal thimble. The card explained it all. In 1978, a few months before I made first vows, our Sister Joan Mary Ravetto died of cancer. Sister Rose was given Sister Joan Mary's large black rosary, and her thimble. Sister Joan Mary's death was the first bereavement our community had suffered since 1948, and we didn't even have a place to bury her. This dear sister had been the novice director for many years, and was universally loved. (We had also had her help as an assistant novice director where our own formator attended a lengthy meeting in Rome, so I knew her, too.) When I made my vows, Mother Paula assigned my new name herself, adding "Joan" to my baptismal name, Anne.
So when Sister Rose opened her sewing kit last week and the thimble popped out, she figured it was a kind of sign that Sister Joan Mary (who had attended the crucial General Chapter right after Vatican II) wanted to attend the next General Chapter, too--with her namesake. I'll be keeping that special thimble with me as we sing the Veni Creator and enter into the Chapter work on August 15.
You'll be joining us in prayer, too, won't you?