Thursday, August 29, 2013

Welcome to the 2013/2014 CDN Experience

August 28th - Feast of St. Augustine

Structure, schedules, timetables, shared responsibility. The gift of St. Augustine to the Dominicans is structure, a common structure to wrap our common life around.  These first weeks at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate have been filled with establishing order out of chaos! We have worked on schedules for our common prayer, common meals, common chores, preaching, school, meeting with our directors, travel and leading the weekly days of reflection. We are living into the daily structure of our lives, which includes morning contemplation, morning prayer, study, ministry, evening prayer, meal preparation and sharing. If we’re lucky there are actually a few spare moments for recreation.

Amidst all the busyness though, God’s voice gently continues to invite. When all the imposed order erupts in chaos, as it is wont to do, there is God saying, “Remember me?’ This entire year is geared toward helping me discern if this is the life to which God is calling me.  If I do not welcome the chaos within the order I’m afraid I will miss that still, small voice leading me to God’s deepest desire for me. So, thank you St. Augustine for giving us a structure on which to pattern this common life and thank you God for keeping it real!


  1. As a friend of mine reminded me once, chaos is the prerequisite of creation, so I pray that you all give yourselves to the discernment process with astonishing generosity. It is all worth it! The CDN was the best year of my initial formation.
    Keeping you in my prayers,
    Adela Langa, O.P.

    1. That definitely ties in with the Universe Story theme of the Jubilee farm visit!

  2. How well we all remember faithfully reading the Rule of St. Augustine. Thank for your great article, Ann. Well done! Know that we both hold you all in heart and prayer as your journey of discernment continues. Our best to the Novices and please give our love to Joye!
    Michelle Sherliza, OP
    Chris McManus, OP
    Dominican Sisters of Peace - Watertown, MA

  3. Thanks so much Anne for reminding me how important it is for some structure in my life, but most imnportant those times where we can stop and hear God's Voice!! It does help to keep one balanced! Smile! Know that I am praying for you and all the novices everyday! Love, Margie

  4. Enjoy the surprises midst the routine. May you always enjoy hearing that "still, small voice." Blessings, Pat Twohill, OP

  5. Thank you Anne for sharing your novitiate life!

  6. Thanks, Anne! I think of you often and pray that this CDN experience will be truly a contemplative year despite all the busyness and chaos. I send my love and many many blessings.

  7. It was so lovely to be reminded of our novitiate days as experienced by Anne in a new time. I still listen for that still small voice within. It is an ageless opportunity to hear what God wants. Diane Traffas.

  8. It is indeed busy, but take time to let yourself go and just experience it--this will be an amazing year you will never forget :)