Sunday, March 6, 2016

Spring Break Travelogue Part I

The novices are traveling again.

For spring break we are taking a whirlwind tour of Dominican Motherhouses between St. Louis and the Atlantic. We will visit Columbus, Blauvelt, Sparkill, Amityville, Mariandale, Maryknoll, Caldwell, Summit, and Akron. Then, just because we didn't want any down time (and when else would we get the opportunity), we will be visiting Sr. Margaret Mace at the United Nations and we will be visiting a couple fellow ICN members who are Sisters of Providence at St. Mary of the Woods.

My hope is to update the blog every couple of days so our loyal readers can follow along with our travels and because too many pictures on one post doesn't seem to work too well. So I am taking what I think is a rare, quiet moment in the trip to begin the travelogue.

We started Friday morning and drove as far as Columbus where we were warmly greeted and given a quick tour before supper. After eating and meeting all the sisters in the dining room we continued the tour including the history of the art and architecture of the beautiful chapel by the sister who was on the art committee when it was being built. We then joined the sisters for "Game Night" where they graciously let us win at Uno. A good night's sleep and breakfast in the morning rounded out a very quick but enjoyable time in Columbus. We were sent on our way with greetings to pass on to sisters in the east and sisters back home.

The chapel was filled with hints of water throughout.

Quincy won this game, note the look of determination.
This game didn't seem nearly as competitive,

Outside the front on our way out.

Goodbye Peace Sisters.

The next stop, after nine hours on the road, was Blauvelt. We are making home base here for a few days as we travel to some of the other communities. We pulled up in the dark to a big, old building across from a college. We were again (no coincidence, I know) warmly greeted and shown to our suite where snacks were waiting for the weary travelers. With the question of would you like a tour now or do you want to rest, we were both pretty eager to see every nook and cranny. We had the beginning of a tour that took us well into today. We have seen the buildings, inside and out, heard the history of foundation of the convent and the ministries that have been housed here, visited the infirmary, met many if not all of the sisters along the way and during breakfast and lunch, went across the street to the college, and I was even lucky enough to happen into the chapel just when the sister who is giving a virtual tour tomorrow of the artwork was there and she gave me a dress rehearsal.

The convent and in front the gate to the original building.

Outside the front door.

The chapel, the preferred design for Dominicans because there are no pillars to block the sound of the preaching.

Choir stalls to the sides of the altar and Dominican saints behind.

My mom has said before that when my sister travels you never know where she was but you definitely know who she was with and that with me you get the full history of a place but it seems as though I went alone. I am aware that once I got into a big, old building my pictures were a lot more of the space and less of the people. We'll see if I can stay aware of that or not as we go along.

To be continued...


  1. Great, Nicole! Keep it coming! We feel like we are traveling right along with you! Safe travels and have fun! Greetings from Boston to all whom you meet! Much love, Michelle and Chris

  2. Thanks for keeping us updated on your trip! Sounds like a great trip for both of you and the sisters you are seeing.

  3. Thank you, Nicole, for sharing your grand tour with us. I always enjoyed Rick Steves' (tour guide) videos. You both bring the scene alive and give a real taste of it. Reading this blog was just as good, or actually even better, because of the relationships and common interest. Thank you for sharing. Have a safe trip and blessings on both of you. See you soon in Akron. :-)

  4. Looking forward to your visit on Wednesday!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Glad to hear you arrived safely in Blauvelt. Thanks for visiting us here in Columbus - be assured of our prayers. The sisters are enjoying your blogs - keep em' coming.

  7. This is GREAT!! Thanks for the pics and narrative.