Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Home, Sweet Home.

It's amazing how quickly I've adapted to speaking English all day; I don't even have to think about it first. After arriving in Boston Monday at midnight (the people in Boston thought it was only around 6 pm), I'm returning to Chicago tomorrow--and returning to a changed community. One sister is being transferred out (to Toronto) and another sister transferred in (from the motherhouse--after 20-something years). I'll show up in the afternoon to really stir up the soup.

Sister Margaret
already borrowed
one of the new
What's on your wishlist?
Mail Call! All with
my name on them!
There were some surprises already waiting for me in Boston. Last Monday (17th), the Feast of St. Hildegard of Bingen, was declared "International Buy a Nun a Book Day" by Benedictine webmaster Sister Catherine Wybourne (@DigitalNun on Twitter). She was taking a page from the "Buy a Priest a Beer Day" meme. Bottom line: books trump beer any day of the week. I found five packages in the mailroom in Boston--and there are two more books waiting for me in Chicago, all from online friends who visited my Amazon wishlist on St Hildegard's Day and sent me a little literary love. A few of the gifts came with notes so I could thank the donors; some were anonymous. Yesterday I prayed a rosary for all of them.

Since part of the work of a Chapter is communicating the decisions and basic thrust to the rest of the sisters, I'll fulfill some of my immediate commitments in Chicago next week, and then return to Boston to work with the other delegates in preparing the presentations for the roughly 130 sisters who didn't spend the last month in Italy. Since I already registered for the Catholic New Media Conference (Boston, Oct 19-20), all I have to do is change one plane ticket. (Maybe later.)

Bet you can't find
all the patches*; some
are pretty clever.
When I come back, I'll also be able to pick up the new habit that is being made for me. When I was here in August, my already patched summer habit began to shred along the seams. I tried darning the holes, but there wasn't enough fabric for the thread to cling to. So while I was away, the seamstress added some creative new patches to provide me with a work dress that I won't have to worry about messing up. When Pope Francis' new encyclical on poverty comes out (presumably on Oct 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi), maybe I should wear this habit (even's kind of embarrassing). (That thing Jesus said about patching an old cloak with unshrunken fabric? I hope that won't come into play here.) Meanwhile, the weather has changed enough that my winter habit will be pressed into service.

By the way, a little FSP habit trivia: The blue that you may know as "Daughter of St. Paul blue" has a real name, avion. The dye of my habit (photos) has long been bleached by the sun to a muted greyish color. I'm not sure there is a name for that, though.

* Give up? The edge of the button panel is really a patch over some really frayed fabric. The pockets are also patched, inside and out.


catholic traveller said...

I love it! I couldn't tell where the patch was. I too patch my clothes, sometimes until the patches need patches. Sometimes I just have to resign myself to replacing them. Wish I could have bought you a book, but have to keep my homeschooled son in books...

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

I had more books waiting for me in Chicago (just finished unpacking and tore into that Amazon box); I'm set for the rest of the month! No, seriously, I have reading for now through Christmas.
Be sure to keep your son in books! How old is he? We have just published some excellent new children's fiction.

catholic traveller said...

My son is 10, 11 in April. I am glad for the reminder, I did see some titles in your store I wanted to add to the list;)

Heather in Toronto said...

I'm sure you'll miss Sr. Helena, but we'll try to take good care of her in Toronto!

(I'm occasional weekend staff for the Toronto book centre.)