Sunday, May 4, 2014

Transitions, Transitions...

Last ICN Group Photo, 4/30/2014.

As our time in the novitiate is winding down our good byes have begun.  This week we experienced our last day of class at Aquinas, our last ICN meeting, and the last class with our dear sister Regina Siegfried, ASC.  Our time in St. Louis has helped us build support structures and connect with the Dominican family in a very special way.  As we prepare to leave all this behind and move on to the next step in our journeys, I am reminded of today’s Gospel about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Colloquium at Aquinas, 8/2013.
The story begins on the day of Jesus’ resurrection.  His two disciples are walking away from Jerusalem and the chaos which ensued that previous week.  They watched earlier that week as Jesus was welcomed to the city like a king, the crowds singing his praises.  Then the emotional tide turned.  A small, but very loud group of dissenters caused such havoc that the government official in charge feared the challenge.  Threatened with riots, he sentences Jesus to death.  Jesus, the very man who had been lauded earlier that week.  And Jesus was crucified like a common criminal.  Today, someone pointed out to me that these disciples walking to Emmaus were clearly close enough to Jesus that they were present at the Last Supper – for how else would they have known Him by the breaking of the bread?  They knew Jesus, they loved Jesus, and they experienced Jesus.  And at the beginning of this story, we see them attempting to return to their “normal” lives.  

"The Road to Emmaus"
It begs the question, “Did they really integrate experiences from the past week or are they returning to their ‘reality’ unchanged?”  Part of me thinks that, if they were in the novitiate, this would have been the point a novice director would have approached them for a conversation!  And we see Jesus, Himself, filling that role.  He meets and accompanies them along their path, gently helping them make sense of the chaos.  One might speculate that He is challenging them to integrate their experiences of His life and death within the context of their faith tradition and culture (sounds suspiciously like a Theological Reflection if you ask me).  And in the end, the disciples realize they cannot return to their “normal reality” the same people.  That Passover week affected them deeply.

Sr. Megan, Sr. Katy and Sr. Bea celebrating with Sparkie,
St. Dominic's Dog, 5/2/2014.
So the bigger question for us as we prepare for our transition out of the CDN is, how have we experienced Jesus and have we integrated those experiences?

Sitting in the chapel at Aquinas this past Friday evening celebrating Sr. Megan’s 25th Jubilee, I found myself looking around at the congregation.  Those who were at first unknown, have become an extension of my own community.  I thought back on our first meetings and remembered the trepidation as I introduced myself to these now too familiar faces.  I thought about the relationships that we formed and the deep connections we made; the support we offered each other as the process of discernment took its course.  And I was overwhelmed by love.  As Megan preached, “Community doesn’t happen in solitude.  I wouldn’t have a Jubilee without those groups represented here today.” 

We too, would not have had this year without the communities of the ICN, Aquinas and the Dominican family.  Reflecting on that, I realized that I met Christ along the road this year.  I experienced Him in all those who accompanied me and will be forever changed by them.  Thanks be to God.


  1. Katy -- thank you for this excellent reflection on the life of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and your experience in novitiate this year. I think you are right on with your insights about how disciples become evangelizers over time and in relationship with one another. It is true of all of us on the road.... thanks for your insights.

  2. Enjoyed your reflection! Also, felt your joys, excitement, and appreciation for the past months! God bless!

  3. Is Sr Megan wearing a Dominican friar's habit? I am assuming this is not what her congregation's habit looks like. Are there women religious who have adopted male religious garb as their official habit? If so, why? It needs to be okay again to be a woman, to dress in women's dress, etc and not feel like we need to adopt male things. I think there is a fallacy going around with some women today that says to have status or dignity we need to do male things... this is so not so. I think we will see that fade though.