In part, we are defined by our relationships. I am currently a member of the Biddle family (Hi, Mom!), a member of the Dominican Sisters of Houston (Hi, everyone!), a member of the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate (I say Hi to them everyday, so there's no need to do so here), a member of the Intercongregational Collaborative Novitiate, a member of the Sierra Club, a member of the St. Louis Public Library System, etc. Some of these are friends, some acquaintances, and some (more than one!) are what I would truly call family. The definitions of family is a lot fuzzier than most of us realize.
A big part of this year has been spent interacting with and getting to know our extended Dominican family. That's what our field trips are about (Chicago and Notre Dame, most recently). We've also gotten a great chance to interact with the men of the Dominican Family here in St. Louis, including the student brothers of the Central and Southern provinces (Hi guys!). We've got Dominicans from all over the US coming through our house all the time. Some come to visit and/or teach us, some because they are in town for other reasons, and others are passing through on their way to bigger and better. The Dominican family is so extended, it's impossible for us to truly know them all, but that doesn't keep us from trying. After all, as the adage goes, we are stuck with them now – and they with us.
Here's one possible definition of family – the people that respond to one of your more inane blog posts! So come on, people; drop us a line and say “Hi!”