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)


  1. Welcome to the CDN ladies!!! I can't wait to follow what you are all up to and how the year goes. I have been thinking about and praying for you as you transitioned. I am guessing Myriam did not come based on your post. I will continue to pray for her too.

  2. Fantastic introduction! Looking forward to the year with celebrations of all kinds.

  3. Alexa and Jenn, thank you for the wonderful job you've done. Awesome.

  4. Wishing you joy, challenge, and happiness from Bardonia, NY

    1. Almost 10PM! Thank you with Love in haste but substantial in feeling,
      your sister, renee

  5. Welcome, welcome, welcome, and welcome! As I was reading your first blog, my heart took me back to last year. How excited I am for each of you! Enjoy the journey.- Chris in Sparkill, NY

    1. Thanks Chris!
      Sept 8 is around the corner; be assured of joyful prayers for you... :) Your sister, Renee

  6. Welcome to the CDN!I was so happy to read the blog, post it all over Facebook to share with others! I pray your year is wonderful, exciting and filled with fun new experiences in Dominican Life! my best to you all. - aneesah

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  8. Welcome to the CDN! Know you will be in thought and prayer these 10 months! May this year be on of grace, peace, love and great joy! Look forward to reading your blogs! Amor y paz, your OP Sister (Sinsinawa) in Florida...Priscilla Torres

  9. How delighted we are to meet all of you. We will look forward to your future blogs. Know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Our love to each one of you and to our wonderful Joye.
    Blessings of joy, peace and much love,
    Michelle Sherliza
    Chris McManus
    Dominican Sisters of Peace
    Watertown, MA

  10. Such a joy to read your blog and be part of your beginnings! May deepest blessing and unexpected grace mark the journey of these days. Know that we are with you all the way!!!! Love,

    Barb and Rita

  11. Blessingsand love to each of you on this day! You are upheld by many hands of love on earth and in heaven as you begin this new step of faith. Adela, I send you the love of your family of friends in Bowling Green.
    Janilyn Dennis