Presenting to the CDN Board

They say that the Canonical Novitiate year at the CDN flies by, and it certainly does.  I’m amazed that the CDN Board meeting that I’ve been hearing about from former novices for such a long time is actually over.  The opportunity to meet so many Dominican formation directors and congregational leaders was enriching and affirming – the interest and support in the room were palpable.  In my short visit with these sisters, I heard conversations here and there that made it clear that these women are filled with new ideas, and open to new possibilities for religious life, formation and ministry in the future.  Once again, I found myself filled with hope for the future.

The opportunity to present my experiences this year to the Board reminded me again of how rich the year has been, not only with community, classes, ICN meetings, and ministry, but with some unique experiential opportunities.  Our Fall semester visits to a number of Dominican congregation sites (as well as my visit with Jessica to St. Mary of the Woods), and events like the RFC Congress brought home to me how pioneering religious women in the US have lived, and continue to live the Gospel and turn their passions into action such that their lives become a visible preaching:

  • Sisters’ Pioneering History – St. Catherine’s, KY; St. Mary of the Woods
  • Care of God’s Creation – Jubilee Farm, Springfield, IL
  • Addressing the Signs of the Times – Sr. Eileen Gannon’s discussion of her work at the UN, during Aquinas Institute Dominican Day, St. Louis, MO; and Sr. Norma Pimentel’s presentation on her work with immigrants at our border during the RFC Congress, Louisville, KY
  • Sisters in Community in Action – Fundraising Bazaar for Nigerian Sisters, Great Bend, KA 

S-Pops at Jubilee Farm with Sr. Sharon Zayac, OP

Meeting Sr. Norma Pimentel at the RFC Congress

Of course, the presentation also gave me a chance to see how much my prayer life, personally and in community, has grown, as has my understanding of how critical that part of life is to everything else we do.

Community prayer in the CDN chapel

As I was preparing for the Board meeting, it was a relief to know that while I am the only Dominican novice this year, Janice and Jessica would also be presenting to the Board.  With so much to talk about, it was also helpful that they took the lead on sharing the essential inter-charism aspect of our CDN experience this year, while I focused more on other aspects of the year.  At the same time, we all emphasized two key points:

  • Sharing our two charisms in the deeper way that living together has allowed has enriched all of us – God’s Providence has a much deeper meaning for me than it would have if I’d only been hearing about it through the ICN
  • As much as we appreciate each other’s charisms, we each feel more drawn than ever to the charisms of the congregations we have been discerning with since entering

Dominican Days Orientation May 2019