Sunday, January 5, 2014

Light-heartedly into the new year

At the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate, in the Dominican tradition, we deepen our relationship with God, we contemplate in prayer, we study, we integrate prayer and study, we live in community, we become more aware of who we are, we build mutual relationship, and embrace all these in serving others. I am very glad to say, that novitiate has been very fruitful. We all, novices and directors help each other in this formation process.

During Christmas break, we have similar experiences, but it is lived from a different perspective: reconnecting with our home congregations in all aspects (prayers, learning deeper about who we are, what we do in ministries, and community time with sisters.) As you read the last two blogs, the novices are on Christmas break. Well, it’s not about skiing in the Alps or in Colorado, but we do enjoy this time by living and ministering in our home congregations, and also visiting our friends and families.

Right now, I am with my home congregation (Peace) in New Orleans.      
I would like to dedicate this blog to them. I am going to share some of the light-hearted stories.

Time of “trouble”
On several nights, I visited house communities and had dinner there. One night, when I came home, there was no parking available at the motherhouse, so I parked the car at the pink house. The next morning, I went down early, and said to the sister who uses that car:
Me: Sister, I didn’t park the car where I was supposed to park it.
Sister: Pray the Rosary 5 times... Where did you park the car?
Me: At the pink house.
Sister: Oh... pray the Rosary 5 more times... 
Then sister looked at the table and saw the car keys.
Sister: You didn't return the keys. Pray the Rosary 5 more times.
Good thing that I knew her and knew that she was just joking with all these. But I could imagine that in her time when she was a novice, probably, it would have been seriously taken. Anyway, we had a good laugh.

A sister and I played "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" game on the iPad. We had a nice time together and it was a way to start talking to each other. But, it was so cute to hear when we got all questions right, she said: “We really won this game!” Then we continued playing Bookworm, Solitaire, and Mahjong, and talked in between.

Eat your veggies!
Fortunately, they don’t tell me that. But they do watch out for me in a caring way: one morning, one of the sisters told me to eat a lot at breakfast, because it was going to be shrimp for lunch. (They know that I only eat Swedish Fish [candy], tilapia or salmon.) 

It’s a New Orleans thing
On my second day here, during lunch, one of the sisters asked me at least 3-4 times to pray for the Saints. She told me that they needed lots of prayers, because they would play against the Eagles (Philadelphia) and it's freezing in Philadelphia, PA. The next day, she was the one offering petitions at Mass. I asked her afterward: “Sister, how is that, that you asked me at least 3-4 times to pray for the Saints every day, and you didn’t include them in your petitions?” She was giggling: “I would have been in trouble, but we do need to pray for them in our personal prayers.”

Popeyes – Louisiana kitchen
A sister took me to Popeyes, we had a great time there, but as we were eating, her face turned into a face that showed concern, and she said: “I hope the Saints pack some Popeyes chicken.”  

Here, in Louisiana, I also got to eat Po'-boys (fortunately, not the shrimpy one), I learned how it got its name and how to make one. I also had beignet (yumm), king cake , drive-through tour in the city and also learned about St. Mary's Dominican High School and the damages of Katrina. Monday, I will have another tour, then Tuesday, I will go with a sister to her ministry, Lantern Light Ministry, where they assist people with applying for birth certificates, IDs and food stamps, offering daily lunch, and help with resumes etc. 
After that, I will have an opportunity to preach again.

Something I learned appreciating is: time. Between meals/prayers/Mass I have a lot of time. So, I have been using those times for prayer and reflection. Actually, I am loving it! Still haven’t finished with reflection, but am having a fruitful time…

1 comment:

  1. Dear Bea, As an EAGLES fan and home town girl in Philadelphia, I want you to know that WE prayed for the Eagles. :) Sad to say, your boys won the game, but we had a good season anyway. Know that I am thinking about you and hoping that the CDN experience bears a great deal of fruit in your life and deepens your sense of Dominican identity. Let's pray for each other. Anne Lythgoe, OP