It was only ten months ago when we unpacked our luggage to begin our CDN days.
Time went by quickly!
At the beginning of my canonical year, I learned that “unpack” meant to empty and to let go. I came to the novitiate with an open mind, open heart, and open hands, willing to learn and adapt to something new. For instance, I learned to let go of some of my self-interests, such as personal travel and being present for some family and friend celebrations. I learned to let go many of my old habits, so I could integrate into a new community at the CDN and focus on discerning my religious life. Now that I am at the end of my canonical year, what will I pack and bring with me?
When I came here, I had one box of books and personal belongings. After ten months, although my books have doubled, my experiences and my knowledge have multiplied many times. I entered the novitiate year with a simple understanding of the vowed life. My novitiate year has given me a much deeper understanding of religious life through the three vows: obedience, poverty, and chastity. My novitiate year has helped me grow in my spiritual life, vowed life, and cultural living. Additionally, I have also learned to appreciate more of the CND, ICN Communities, and Dominican family. The time at the CDN gave us many opportunities to meet other Dominican Sisters, Maryknoll Sisters, Dominican Friars, and novices from many different congregations.
We will miss the faculty, staff, and classmates at Aquinas Institute, the ICN novices and formators, and the speakers at the ICN workshops. Each of them has a unique identity, but all are in the same community of love and joy.
We could never thank you enough for the graces of love, support, and friendship that we have received during this past year. Your cards, emails, gifts, and prayers meant a lot to us.
Please receive our sincere gratitude and continue to keep us in your prayers as we keep you in ours.
Your novices, Rolande and Phuong.