Giving Voice sisters in their 20s and 30s gathered for the long weekend at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Phoenix, AZ. Jamie Caporizo, candidate with the Adrian Dominican sisters, shares about her first Giving Voice event.
As I prepared to go to Phoenix for this experience, I wasn't sure what to expect: would I be the only candidate? The only Dominican sister? Would I know ANYONE there? My house and formation director joked that, being an extrovert, I would have new friends by the end of the weekend. I hoped they were right!
You may recall we had some crazy weather last weekend. Miraculously, I was able to get to Phoenix after enduring a slight delay. Once I arrived, I met up with another candidate and we shared a Lyft to Our Lady Guadalupe Monastery in Phoenix. Upon arriving, we were greeted with hugs, laughter and applause. The energy was palpable and I was here for it!
What to say about this weekend? I could write pages, but I realize it's best to keep this short.
- I learned I am not alone in my journey: Religious Life is NOT just for women/ people over 70! This weekend I encountered vibrant, talented, wise women who are just as in love with God, Church, and people as I am; who want to improve the world and make it a loving, safe place. I am not alone in these desires and it felt amazing to experience their joy and energy.
- We all have wisdom to share from which we can learn: I was 1 of 4 candidates present at this retreat. There was 1 novice and the remainder of our sisters were temporarily or finally professed. As we spent time in reflection and sharing, there was so much wisdom in the room from all levels of experience. I made sure to ask many questions about my next phase in religious life, Novitiate, and was able to share my candidate and previous work experience to help others. I learned how to continue listening to people and understand who they are and their experiences. I don't have to add my own commentary to everything- sometimes listening and internalizing is all that is required.
- There is great hope for religious life in the Catholic Church: We were women from many parts of the country and world with varied experiences and energies. We are scholars, spiritual directors, educators, health care professionals, legal professionals, and missionaries. None of these women were afraid to ask for help, share their stories, or challenge the status quo. We spoke with fervor about the Synod process, the future we wish to create together for religious life and the connectedness we feel to our older sisters and the heritages we will inherit from them. And all of us want to carry these legacies into a future that can be sustainable, active, and meaningful to the wider world. We hope to blend our voices with those who have come before us to create a lasting imprint on our church and our world. After getting to know these wonderful women, I believe we can do it.
- I am filled with Gratitude for my Community: No life is perfect, not even religious life. But I came away from this weekend with a deep introspection into who my sisters are; how they have organized our community and my formation process. I am deeply thankful to the Adrian Dominican Sisters for my education in community life and the innovative ways I have been integrated at the start of my journey.
Side note: my community and formator were right. I have 12 new friends with whom I am excited to share faith and life as we move into the future.
Link to the full reflection and more from Jamie are here.