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