Friday, December 28, 2012

Mary and Elizabeth: Looking to the Future Together

My housemates and I at the Disney Store
before going to see Once.
The past few weeks have been a great time of reconnecting with Sisters in my own Congregation.  I've had the opportunity to visit friends and attend pre- and post-Christmas celebrations.  As a local community, we went to Manhattan to see the Broadway musical, "Once."  

The Crazy Christmas display in the Bronx.
I presented what the novitiate experience was like to our Sisters in our infirmary.  I've had good conversations over meals with several of my Sisters.  I went with Sisters from several Congregations and the Dominican Volunteers living in the Bronx to see the lights on Pelham Parkway.  (Yes, this is one of the sites that was featured on TLC's Crazy Christmas Lights).  

Rockefeller Center Tree
With one of our elder Sisters, I watched an elementary school Christmas Program at St. Anthony School, which is staffed by Dominicans from Blauvelt and Sparkill.  

And, I spent the day walking with a friend to many of the tourist sites in Manhattan while discussing our hopes for the future of the Congregation. 

At our Chapter in 2011, my Congregation decided that they would do what they could to create an "Enduring Future."  This year, I was invited to preach at our Advent Reflection Series the Wednesday before Christmas.  I'm sharing the text of that preaching with you, as I think we, as the Dominican Order, are working to create an Enduring Future together.  

Jenn Schaaf, Sisters of St. Dominic, Blauvelt, NY

The Visitation by Fra Angelico, Dominican

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,the infant leaped in her womb,and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

"Blessed are you among women,
And how does this happen to me,
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled."

The Good News of our God.

Preparing for a New Year of Retreatants in San Rafael

After returning to my home congregation in San Rafael, California, I have had the opportunity to help at our lovely retreat house Santa Sabina Center. It is a brief walk through the Dominican University campus past old Victorians, and I have been going several days a week since I got back. The Center itself is gorgeous with a mixture of Gothic and Mission architecture surrounded by cottage gardens, so it is always a treat to be able to visit, even to work hard!

The first project was a several thousand piece mailing that needed to be sorted, put into envelopes, addressed, and stamped with multiple pieces of information. We spread out all over the dining area, which used to be where the novices ate before Santa Sabina became a retreat center. It felt right somehow to be there as a novice myself, and I couldn't help thinking of all the women who had come before me through that hall as I folded and stamped the papers.

The second project I have been working on is going through the bookstore area. There is a new identity font for Santa Sabina, and the taxes had changed, so we needed to go through all the books and replace the tags.

Step one was creating an inventory of the books we already had, then creating every label. The biggest step was cutting all those little pieces and alphabetizing them! I then went through the books, replaced their tags, and found their stands.

You can see in the photo how the left side is done, and the right side books are not upright yet. That was my code for what had been completed.

It was quite the project, but it was great to see the bookstore go from empty shelves and piles everywhere to looking neat and organized again. The retreatants of 2013 have a great shop to look forward to!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

These last few months...

Consuming fire, love that expands my heart to lengths I never thought possible,
Can we talk again? And when words are useless, inadequate and incomplete, can we talk in silence?  And when silence is too loud, can we talk again with laughter?  Can we hold hands and touch each other’s cheeks?  And when touch is too much, can we part ways –you leaving with my heart and I’ll take yours?  And when distance is too much, can we call the world to bring our hearts together?  And when the pulse of our hearts is too loud, can we let the world to hold us until there’s no more me, you, they but only one breath, one body…

I am directionally challenged.  If you tell me to go East or West, I’ll give you the puzzled look that says, “plain English please.”  Left or right I can do.  Cardinal points not so much.  I can also doubt my choice for one direction vs. another.  But my experience has been that there is no right or wrong turn when it comes to following God’s call.  The crucial element is thriving to be authentic.  In St Louis I have encountered numerous people whose main goal is to live authentic lives.  The place that I first considered a temporary stop has become a home of communities, and I am so grateful for God’s invitation to take this step.    

When I moved to St. Louis, I was already tired of building relationships in new places only to have to say goodbye a few months later.  And let’s face it: Who has the energy, not to mention the time, to maintain ALL relationships, especially when you need to be present to a new community –and when you need to pay close attention to everything you’re experiencing?  As much as we stay in touch with family members and friends, the transformation of relationships is inevitable.  With each letting go of what we once knew and experienced, we walk into the unknown hoping that that which we will find is so much more than that which we have left behind.  We are always mourning and rejoicing.  Mourning a past that had its own dreams in its own future and rejoicing in the new dreams and hopes of a future we yet have to see.  Deep down we know that what we follow is beyond anything we have imagined.  Guides along the way welcome us not with signs for directions but with so much more: with their witness to a life they live through daily commitment.

The communities I have met at Aquinas Institute, at the Dominican Priory, at the Inter-community novitiate, at my ministry, and in the city that welcomed us with kind, warm people have all enriched my discernment.  However, I couldn’t have come to appreciate them had I not had the support of my CDN community.  Through our tears of sorrow and joy, through our serious and playful times, through our daily living, I have become more of me -- I have embraced my own unfolding identity with reverence and joy.  I have celebrated with them my Romanian heritage, my struggles as an immigrant, and my voice is more authentic because of their listening hearts.  If this blog entry reads more like a love letter, then know you’re not mistaken.  It is a love letter for the God who called us to discern religious life and for the people who have allowed me to be me. 

In August Alexa, Jenn, Joye, Megan, and Renee were the names of my new community members.  Today they are so much more.  They are my sisters.  They are the women who take the time to give me driving directions in my own language (with left and right not E or W).  They are the women who hum for me so I can lead chanting because I cannot read music –and they encourage me all along.  They are the women who fast with me and offer me support with their prayers.  They are the women who invite me to consider my shadow side when I’d rather ignore it for a while.  They are the women who remind me that when the time comes, I am the only one who can push for new birth and they will be right there by my side with their cheering pompons (metaphorically speaking).  They are the women I would CHOOSE for community but instead God chose them for me this year, and all I can say is, “Thank you, God.” 

If I were to summarize what my experience has been, then this is how I would describe this fall semester: I have learned that despite all risks, being vulnerable is the only way I can live my call as a follower of Jesus Christ.  I have learned that people surprise you when you open the eyes of your heart.  I have learned that as much as I dislike surprises, I also love them.  I have learned that when we surrender to God, we become a paradox ourselves.  I have learned that our models of living religious life come not only from those who witness to an authentic life, but also from those who do not.  I have learned that I bring my own prejudices to every encounter only to discover how limited my love is.  I have learned that everyone does the same... 

~ Adela Langa, Adrian Dominican Sisters

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

CDN Advent Wreath

 (Greens Courtesy Jenn's Father)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Accepting the untidiness within

During days of reflection, I often visit the Missouri Botanical Garden. When I first arrived in St. Louis, it was still summer with green trees and flowers everywhere. Over the months I have been here, the gardens have succumbed to autumn and now into winter.

One of my favorite areas when I first came was the Woodland Garden. It was like a fairyland of supple trees interspersed with creeks and benches with flowers springing up from the turf and ferns. Overhead birds sweetly chirped during the day. Recently, though, the trees have lost their bright leaves and instead of a lush green forest floor there is a tangle of skeletal twigs and fallen leaves beginning to decay.

As I sat in the Woodland Garden looking around at how much it had changed, I asked myself why I continued to come even after it had lost its fairylike quality. As I looked around, I realized it was still beautiful, but in a different way. There is a stark, yet dreamy quality to the bare trunks and scattered garments of leaves on the ground. If the gardeners were to rake up all the leaves, many places would merely show bare dirt. The untidy lived in quality of the forest had become a part of its beauty. To "clean it up" would be to truly rob the woods of their attraction.

As I considered the forest, it became intermingled with how I see myself. Part of the novitiate is an intense time of seeing who we are and the challenge to deeply share in a venerable way. The more I looked intently at myself the more flaws and failings I saw and wanted to "rake up" to be perfect. Looking at the messy forest floor, it is an image of how I see myself—bare patches, lots of downed dying things, and yet interspersed with tiny flowers and growth pushing up through all the negative. When I asked the question of the forest why I kept coming back even in the beginning of winter, it became a sort of question about me as well. When I look at the untidy woods settling in for winter, do I see their beauty, or an area to "fix"? As I realized the answer was that I saw beauty in the untidiness it seemed to be the Holy Spirit telling me that is how God sees me. I don't have to be the perfect spring-time woods with orderly green sprigs and flowers covering every surface. Just because there are downed leaves and neglect doesn't mean the forest is ugly or no longer a forest. It doesn't mean someone needs to go in and tidy it up so it can be perfect again. It is exactly how it should be during this season and it is still beautiful.

—Alexa Chipman (

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Waiting For Waiting

I love Advent.  The busyness of shopping… The quiet dark nights…  The pre-Christmas gatherings with friends…  The white lights on houses and Christmas trees in town squares or malls...  I love the readings from Isaiah, which promise peace and justice.  And, I love that Advent and Easter are times you hear the stories of strong women in the Gospels – Mary, the mother of Jesus; Elizabeth, Mary’s cousin; and Mary Magdalene, who witnessed the resurrection.  I love the flow of readings from the celebration of Christ the King, the end of the Liturgical Year; to Thanksgiving; to the First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of a new year.

This year, however, is an anomaly.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving is not the first Sunday of Advent, which means I have to wait for the time of waiting.

Those of you who know me know I hate waiting.  If I’m driving, I want to get there now – not be slowed down by traffic.  If I have a question, I want the answer now, which, thanks to Google, is usually possible.  If I’m in a meeting, I want to come to resolutions now, not keep postponing agenda items ad nauseum.  I’ve been told, “Patience is a virtue.”  Well, it’s not one I received!

Discernment, however, is about waiting – waiting in grace.  I waited to enter until it felt right.  I waited for acceptance in each new phase.  I waited to know if this is the right place and way to live out my vocation. (Half the time wishing it wasn’t so I could get on with my life!)  I’m now waiting to find out what the three weeks over Christmas break will entail.  Patience is a virtue I’m slowly growing into --   patience with myself, with others and with God.  God is funny that way…  If I don’t learn something quickly, God keeps on giving me opportunities to learn.  So, I’m waiting, somewhat patiently, for Advent, the season of waiting. 

Jenn Schaaf

Monday, November 12, 2012

Welcome and Enjoy a glimpse of Our Open House Celebration!

Open House

On Saturday, November 10, we celebrated our annual Open House.

One of the many highlights was our Inter-Congregational Novitiate (ICN) gathering in a circle of sharing and relaxing, and then spontaneously breaking out in singing prayer.

I went into the kitchen to collect pots, pans, spoons, lids, and bottles, which became unique sounding instruments. From the chapel, I retrieved maracas and a tambourine. Together we all created a "jamboree"! We had fun.

Reflecting back, I became aware of how comfortable we are with one another.

Listening to one another's rhythm enabled us to create a wonderful blending of musical sounds. Some of us, including myself, even broke out into song, helping one another with lyrics and melodies. Another danced! Others were moved to sing solos.

Our warm and welcoming Dominican Hospitality certainly allowed our guests to relax, meet new people, savor a variety of our ethnic delights, enjoy intellectual and heart-felt conversations, and simply just be themselves.

Several of our guests remarked to me that there is an energy of joy, harmony, light-heartedness, and deep peace here in this place. Several others, including my own community, those I live with, mirror to me I personally radiate joy!

My companions reflect this gift of joy and spontaneous playfulness to me, as well as support one another in our vulnerabilities. In companioning one another in our areas of growth, our care and love for one another deepens, life is fuller.

The truth is that I like it here. I feel a deep joy within myself being among my fellow sister- novices with whom I live. I am growing to love each one of them. We are blessed that we can speak openly among ourselves, thank God.

Our weekly communal ICN experiences of mutual self-disclosure have bonded us to other participating novices from all over the country and world.

Perhaps our creation of such beautiful music out of a wacky combination of items is because of how we experience one another and ourselves in our novitiate context?!

Our Collaborative Dominican Novitiate Community is evolving into a close-knit, peaceful, happy, intentional home we are building together. We are so blessed with such a privileged gift!

We all feel such gratitude to our sponsoring congregations for this sacred, life-giving place and process as facilitated by our gifted Co-Directors.

We pray our intentional process of discernment and deepening in our religious way of life radiates energies of compassion, healing, reconciliation, and peace within one another’s hearts and the world.

PS:  Stay tuned for a couple of photos, which I will post shortly!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


This weekend we had a yard day where we cleaned up the leaves, trimmed plants and planted the bulbs that were sent for the 25th anniversary celebration.  The Geranium was planted earlier and is doing well and the seeds will be planted in spring.  Thanks for the gifts!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one [most] traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” 

We like to think that we are unique and special, in some cultures more than others, and while we are each created in God’s image and with a diversity of gifts that testifies to God’s abundant love and mercy, we are finite beings that need to be reminded of our humanity not just of our divine heritage.  In the end, we all share a longing…

A few years ago I embarked on a beautiful, challenging journey that is both unique and ordinary.  I joined a wonderful religious community, and that has made all the difference.
Whatever path we take, someone else has already walked that road, and yet by the very fact that we make this choice at this particular time and place, we shape the path in a new way.  But in order to be able to choose, one needs to have the freedom to make that choice. Unfortunately, freedom can be mistaken for obedience to society, or cultural norms, so what is freedom?

Growing up on another continent I never thought I would be entering religious life in a foreign land, and yet, here I am.  But isn’t this a path that so many women and men have taken?
A question I often get is, “Why would someone who experienced an oppressive government join a religious congregation?”  The shorter answer I give is, “Why not?”  The longer answer is a statement on the rights and responsibilities of a free person.  People who take freedom for granted forget that in a free society one has the right to make his/her choices in accordance to one’s conscience, and following our informed conscience is a responsibility we have as free individuals. 

At the time of my reception into the novitiate, on April 17, 2011, I stated, “Continuing my discernment with the Adrian Dominican Sisters is a walk into freedom.  With each choice I am my own individual and at the same time part of a community of women who walk side by side with women and men across centuries and continents.  We are indeed members of one body, diverse by our very existence, and yet united.” 

Today I continue to stand by that statement. My sisters have been witnesses to the commitment it takes to stay faithful to the choice they made many decades ago, and their faithfulness has always been rooted in their love for God and God’s people. I am inspired by their life-long faithfulness to our Catholic identity, and with them I never have to be anything else than be who I am.  I treasure the support and love they so freely give because they know that once you have experienced God’s love, you cannot exist but by loving God’s people. 

There is much to be said about respecting people’s freedom to make their own life choices, and maybe from time to time we all need a course on the rights and responsibilities of a free person. I wonder if we realize the tremendous gift we have to be able to freely choose our path, and the responsibility we have to use that freedom not as a weapon against those who make choices different than ours but rather as a tool to dig deeper in our own identity and foster respect for all life.  


Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Have A Dream

You might have read the title and thought this post would be about Martin Luther King, Jr.  However, these words were spoken to us by Bruno Cadore, OP the Master of the Order of Preachers last Saturday.  We traveled to the Motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield upon the invitation of the Springfield Leadership Team.  The cloistered nuns were gathered for a conference and Brian Pierce, OP (Southern Province and liaison to the Dominican Nuns), as well as Bruno were attending the meeting.

Following Morning Prayer and Mass with the group, we had a chance to visit with Bruno, who asked how vocation promotion was going.  We explained that although we do some things collaboratively, each Congregation has their own vocation promoter, so there is not any consistency across the board.

Bruno then began his, "I have a dream" speech, sharing his hopes that one day nuns, sisters and friars will all work on vocations together for each other.  What if the friars who served in campus ministry encouraged women to join the various apostolic or cloistered communities?  What if the nuns, who often learn of interest of vocations through the internet could help send men and women to appropriate places for discernment?  What if sisters encouraged young men and women to consider all forms of Dominican religious life?

Bruno Cadore has a dream -- and so do we -- how do we make it a reality?

Jenn Schaaf

CDN Group with Brian Pierce, OP and Bruno Cadore, OP

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Birthday and Balloons

Last night we celebrated Joye's birthday by attending the Balloon Glow in nearby Forest Park.  Here are a few pictures from the event:


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Novitiate Follow-Up

Last Saturday, Sr. Christine De Anna, one of the novices at the CDN last year, made her first profession with the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill.

Sr. Joye Gros shared her reflections on the readings:

To read more about Sr. Chris's profession, visit this link:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Short Story & Update

Our schedule at the CDN is beginning to have a rhythm with ministry mondays, Aquinas classes on Preaching and the Vows on tuesday, joining with other orders for ICN speakers on wednesday, History of Religious Life and Dominican Life on thursday, with days of reflection bridging the weekends often filled with events. We were especially fortunate this friday to be graced with Don Goergen, OP leading the friday of reflection examining prayer and contemplation.

Despite the packed and exciting schedule, we have also been finding ways to join together as a community for some fun. The following short story relates a harrowing escape of friday evening as narrated in 1930s pulp fiction style. This is what happens when a novelist is asked to post on the blog.

- Sr. Alexa

The Narrow Escape

This would be trouble—I knew it from the first moment we hit the pavement. An unearthly wind blew its solemn melodies down the grey shadowed street sending leaves trundling like helpless fairies into a flooded creek. Our intrepid trio rounded a looming edifice to face black clouds darker than a dungeon in the dead of night after its inhabitant had spilled ink on the ebony stone floor. The dames put on a brave face, but we knew it was only a bus ride and taxi away from real trouble. We pushed through the bristling blasts of wind and dust racing the oncoming monster of a storm. What foolish thought had sent us out? Distant snarling threatened us standing helpless in the deserted street surrounded only by candy wrappers blown by and that guy in a suit with a nefarious air. We were in a heap of trouble as sure as a tree casts shadows on a saturday afternoon. 

Wheels screeched the pavement as I felt the first drop on my hand, blown from miles away by the forceful gale. "Ya need a lift?" A strong New York lullaby rent through the stormy air by now thicker than molasses in January. She'd come through alright, as she always did. Giving her fedora a roguish tilt, she opened the doors. My boot had barely crossed the threshold when the rain came louder than the engine as we floored it for safety. Relentless water flung itself at our metal auto faster than greyhounds run to Fourth of July BBQs. Skidding to a stop, we poised for the sprint to our door. As I stood dripping on the grey-studded mat, I knew we'd had a narrow escape. Those St. Louis skies were not to be trusted. They were trouble alright, and we'd been caught square by them.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Our First Road Trip

This past weekend, we took a road trip to the roots of U.S. Dominican life in Kentucky.  Here are a few photos from our trip:

At the "Overlook Restaurant" on the Ohio River in Indiana

A cow came to visit us while on a hay ride through the Dominican
Sisters' farm in St. Catharine, Kentucky

Sr. Rosemary Rule brought us to St. Rose Priory, the place where
Angela Sansbury and her companions were inspired to begin
the first Dominican Congregation of women in the U.S.

At Maker's Mark, Alexa points to the vat of
yeasty Bourbon brew.

Renee sips the final product at the end of the tour

We visited Gesthemani and prayed Vespers with the monks

On the way back to St. Louis, we stopped at Marengo Caves.

The beauty of the formations in the cave were reflected in natural pools.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Introducing the 2012-13 Dominican Novices

Adela-Iuliana Langa
Dominican Sisters of Adrian, MI

Place of Birth: Romania
Education: Bachelor of Arts in French and English; Master of Arts in English
Previous Ministry: Working with women coming out of prison

After meeting one of our sisters on a Megabus ride, I continued visiting Adrian for a couple of years before I decided to explore religious life. At first I was intrigued by how much I had in common with these women, especially in their commitment to social justice and prayerful living. But as an immigrant it was not easy to enter the process of discernment. While I had been in the U.S. for several years and had started to feel at home, the call to religious life was another invitation to leave the familiar and trust that the journey would bring me to a life-giving place. I now think of discernment itself as a source of nourishment, one that continues to enrich my life and draws me deeper in my commitment to follow Jesus Christ.  My hope for the year is that we will grow roots in God and stay open to that which unfolds as our calling.

Alexa Chipman
Dominican Sisters of San Rafael

Place of Birth: California
Education: Bachelor of Fine Art
Previous Ministry: Web Editor at San Domenico School

While there were many factors that led me to consider religious life, what actively started my research into practically pursuing it came through reading a history book by W.H. Lewis (C.S. Lewis’ brother). As a side note while discussing education, he mentioned a convent of nuns that had a belief which clashed with the prevailing theology of the king of France. Together their voice was so powerful that he felt threatened enough to send the army in to disband the convent at arrow point. The only way the king could silence the women was to separate them, and that impressed me—I remember crying out, “Oh! If only we had that today!” It did not take long before I realized we do still have that in the religious women of modern times. I began several years of researching different ways of living in community and after talking with nuns and sisters from all over the world I realized the cloister was not a good fit for me. I wanted to find women who were compassionate yet strong and willing to stand up for the truth while being open to preaching in keeping with our era. I found them in the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael.

Jennifer (Jenn) Schaaf
Sisters of St. Dominic, Blauvelt, NY

Place of Birth: Washington State
Education: Bachelor of Music Education;
Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry
Previous Ministry: Director of Communications,
Sisters of St. Dominic, Blauvelt, NY

I first encountered the Dominicans at the University of Portland. My undergraduate dean and two of my graduate professors were Dominican Sisters—all from different Congregations in the East. At the time, religious life wasn’t something I was considering.  I was focused on teaching and school work, singing in my church choir, shopping and spending time with friends. The closest I had come to religious life was singing songs from the soundtrack of The Sound of Music with my roommates. Who didn’t want to be Fraulein Maria? However, what I saw in the women at the University of Portland resonated with my own life. These were bright women, fully engaged in Church life, but not afraid to question the Church either. They were passionate about bringing about peace and justice in a way that was both gentle and strong. In doing volunteer work with Dominicans in Chicago, then working in Campus Ministry at Ohio Dominican, I continued to find the same qualities in other Dominican women from across the country. I am grateful for finding a home among the Dominican Sisters in Blauvelt and look forward to continuing the Dominican journey with my sisters.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A New Year, A New Group of Novices

Dear Friends, 

We will soon be giving you a longer introduction to ourselves, but wanted to give an account of our initial time together at the Novitiate. 

On August 16th, we arrived with our Congregational Formation Representative (CFRs) to the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate (CDN). We were greeted by the Directors, Joye Gros (Peace) and Megan McElroy (Grand Rapids). As a community, we will be living together for ten months. We are settled into our rooms and have, for the most part, unpacked our bags, boxes and books for the year. 

The past few days have been a time of getting to know the other novices, our Directors and the CFRs from the other Congregations. We have had time to meet with the Directors, learn more about the expectations of the year, formulate our goals and see some of the neighborhood. We were treated to a meal with home-grown ingredients brought in from San Rafael and a fruit crisp courtesy of Sparkill. We have experienced praying morning prayer from Dominican Praise and contemplative “Visio Divina” for evening prayer. 

During our last morning with the CFRs, we took part in a ritual of transfer. Each novice brought soil from her home Motherhouse, which was ritually mingled together in a flowerpot. The novices then planted a seedling, which was watered by the CFRs, symbolizing their care and nourishment in our growth. Then, the CFRs individually blessed the novices and handed them over to the care of the Directors. Bricks were placed in the chapel with the names of each of our home Congregations. It was a touching send-off, knowing that we are starting a new community here, but with the prayer and support of the many Sisters in our home Congregations. 

...and Watering
Transfer to the Directors
Following the departure of our CFRs, we continued with more orientation which included everything from where the extra paper towels are kept to rules about technology and suggestions of spiritual directors. This is a year of building community and growing in contemplation, while studying more about vowed life. However, it won’t be without fun - which we had a chance to experience at the Festival of the Little Hills in historic St. Charles, MO, as we enjoyed a street art fair and dinner out together. 

We want you to know that we all appreciate your prayers and will be praying for you during this year.

From Left to Right:  Adela, Renee, Alexa, Jenn

With Love,

Your Dominican Novices:  Adela Langa (Adrian), Jenn Schaaf (Blauvelt), Alexa Chipman (San Rafael)