Monday, August 05, 2013

Romeward Bound

The past few weeks have certainly been interesting for us as Catholics--while I was visiting my family in New Orleans and Austin, I didn't have much opportunity for online interaction--in fact, I had a hard time keeping up with any of the World Youth Day events (so no plenary indulgence for me). So I guess it's a good thing I didn't write all enthusiastically about the 3 million people at last week's closing Mass; the more sober crowd counts are coming out now. "Only" about a million and a half people were actually at Copacabana beach to pray with Pope Francis and hear his message. Still wish I could have been in that number, even if only virtually.

These next few weeks ("few" as in "six or so") promise to be very interesting indeed. I am currently at the motherhouse, the first of the choir arrivals for the new recording project which begins on Tuesday. We don't have our music yet, but the overall thrust of the album will be along the lines of our last one, "There Can Be Miracles"--inspirational (but contemplative) pop style songs, of the sort you can find done by Andrea Boccelli or Susan Boyle. For two days, we'll also have a vocal coach: that's something I'm very grateful for!

Paul presenting St Praxedes to Christ;
From the Basilica of St Praxedes in Rome.

I won't be singing for long, though.  Saturday two of the novices are to make their first vows, so the album project will go on hold as we focus on the Mass and the Rite of Religious Profession. We already know where the two will be sent for their first assignments... either place I'd willingly go (hint, hint--in case the provincial superior is reading this). The day after the vows, I head for Rome and the "General Chapter" of the Daughters of St. Paul. I'm traveling alone this time (the four American delegates will converge one by one on the Eternal City), so I made my ticket on Aer Lingus; this way I change planes in Dublin--touching down for the first time on the olde sod my ancestors left in 1834.

While it's exciting (and how!) to be preparing for a trip to Rome (even if it means sitting through 4 solid weeks of meetings), an aspect of the Chapter that I am especially looking forward to is seeing our life and mission as it is lived in the non-Western world. With sisters in 51 countries, there is going to be a lot to learn, and to learn from.  It is also providential that this meeting will be so soon after Pope Francis' visit to World Youth Day: we can reflect together, in an international setting, on this experience and on the Holy Father's message, and incorporate it into our deliberations. (The first task at hand is electing a new Superior General to lead our congregation for the next six years: please pray for her in advance!)


Pat Gohn said...

My son is going to be studying in Rome after Aug22 for the fall semester. I'd love him to meet you!

Marg Mowczko said...

Dear Sr Anne,

I have used your photo of St Praxedes and Paul in a blog post entitle "Paul and Women in a Nutshell". If you would prefer me to take the photo down, I will do so immediately.

If I have your permission to use it, could you let me know how you would like me to word the credit.

Marg Mowczko

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

Basilica Santa Prassede, Rome.