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Finding Joy in Our Busy Schedule

Friday is a day of reflection for our CDN community. We spend most of this day in quiet contemplation to reflect on our experiences that connect us to God and to each other. For myself, I had a chance to reflect on where I found my joy during a busy schedule at the CDN.

I am so grateful that we had the opportunity this past week to hear from two speakers. Sister Maria Hughes, ASC, presented to the Inter-Community Novitiate (ICN) about “Living in a Discerning Way,” and Sister Juliet Mousseau, RSCJ, spoke about “Finding Joy in a Fearful World.” One of the topics from Sister Maria’s talk was about being “Mind Full” versus “Mindful.” She explained to us the concept of having a mind that is full and how we are challenged to be mindful when our minds are full. The same concept was brought up during Sister Juliet’s talk when she introduced a few ways to live a joyful life. With those thoughts in mind, I came to ask myself, “How can I find the presence of God even during a busy day?”

I have heard from previous novices who shared with me that, although the novitiate year at the CDN is challenging, it is a wonderful year! A month has passed since I have been here. We have had a full month of activities including taking classes, doing house chores, meeting our novice peers at the ICN, joining the Dominican Friars for mass and prayers at the Priory, and traveling to Kentucky.

During our busy days, we find time to share and hear about each other’s culture, especially during our meals or free time. My fellow novices brought their instruments to the CDN. Sr. Rolande taught us to sing the “Our Father” while she played the drums and Sr. Kieu played the guitar. We are not only sharing prayers, study, and community life at the CDN but also expanding our community relationship with the student brothers when we meet them at the Priory or at Aquinas. I am so grateful to meet the Dominican Friars with whom we can share the same charism in the Dominican Family. I am also grateful to be walking the same path with a multi-cultural group of novices in the ICN who bring and share the experiences of their own formation journey. There is a total of 20 novices (and 13 directors) from different religious congregations participating in the ICN, who come from the US, Canada, Vietnam, Congo, Zambia, Kenya, Philippines, Mexico, and Honduras.

Just last week, we had the opportunity to go on a long-distance trip to visit St. Catharine Motherhouse in Kentucky. We felt so welcomed by the Sisters of Peace, and we were touched when we heard them say, “We are so glad that you all are here with us this weekend.” There, we learned the history of St. Catharine Convent and St. Rose Priory, where the Dominicans first arrived in the US. We were especially happy to meet the discernment group who were at St. Catharine for a retreat that same weekend. We had opportunities to talk and play games with the discerners, and it was a joy to meet women who have started looking for God’s voice in their lives.

Finally, I am thankful for God’s grace through your support and prayers and for those who are journeying with us as a community to help us to find the presence of God within us.

Please keep us in your prayers as we open our hearts to discern God’s call with joy.

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