Monday, June 30, 2014

Our Summer Program

Left to Right: Sister Regina Rose, Sister Carolee, Sister Pamela Catherine (from Perpetual Vows Summer Program), Sister Theresa, myself, and Sarah (postulant, soon-to-be novice)
Every summer, we Sisters come home to the Motherhouse to reconnect, renew, and recharge. I take part in the Temporary Vows Summer Program. We take classes, have instructions, wash cars, clean windows, pick strawberries, plan the Fourth of July community events, and my personal favorite: recreate with each other. So far, we have played Pinochle, Polish Poker, Hand and Foot, Time's Up, Three Fifteen (a Rummy card game), and Ticket to Ride.
"Ticket to Ride" board game: It looks a lot more complicated than it is. It's a fun game!
Last week, we were able to travel to Shorewood (near Milwaukee) for Cor Jesu, which is Latin for "Heart of Jesus." It is a weekly gathering of young adults for Eucharist Adoration, Reconciliation, Praise and Worship, and Mass. We were amazed with how many young adults were able to come together in the middle of the week to adore Christ. If any of you live in the Milwaukee area, I invite you to take advantage of this and the other programs that the Arise community has to offer.

The class that we are all taking together has been enlightening, and I hope to write about that soon!

Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Quick Takes from My First Directed Retreat

I signed up for this directed retreat for a very practical purpose: by going on retreat this week, I would be able to do my homevisit in July. Later this month, my sister-in-law will give birth to my niece and I want a chance to meet her before returning to Kauai. I've never been an aunt before and I'm really excited to meet this little girl whom I already love dearly.

In the past, my retreats have been limited to three types: the loud youth group or Steubenville-type retreats, the silent preached retreats (where you attend talks), and the busy-student retreats that are common on colleges and universities. Yet this kind of retreat, while silent, is quite different than the others.

I decided to bring along some treats from Hawaii to share!

We all met as a group to pray morning prayer, evening prayer, and attend mass together each day. We took turns planning and leading the liturgies. We also met individually with our retreat director daily for forty-five minutes. The rest of the time we were in silence.
What I very quickly found out was that a directed retreat is personalized. In many ways, it is a more challenging retreat than the other types I have attended. It's like a hard workout: difficult, but in a good way. While I do not wish to expound on what my personal retreat was about, I would recommend the experience to anyone.

It is always recommended to continue to get some physical activity during retreats. For me, that meant rollerblading. For anyone considering joining our Community, we have great places to rollerblade here, and the best places happen to be around St. Francis Convent, where the retreat was held. Mom, I included my helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads in the picture for you. You're welcome.

One of the many things I've learned as a Sister was how to sew. I felt quite domestic as I sat sewing laundry numbers on my clothes. I am all caught up with them now.

Yet most of the time was spent kicking back and hanging out with God. Yes, my relationship with Jesus is as casual as the prayer-selfie suggests. I'm a product of LifeTeen, what can I say?

While I had a practical purpose for signing up for this particular retreat, I can clearly see how attending it was part of God's providence. He guided each of us to this week, from our fearless director in the back row, Father Gearoid (Francisco) O'Conaire, OFM to the participants: myself, Sister Regina Rose, Sister Mary Ann, Sister June, Sister Winifred, and Sister Mardelle.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!