Today is a special day in our monastery because not only is it Our Lady's birthday or our prioress' birthday (age not to be revealed) but it is also the 50th anniversary of entrance of Sr. Maria of the Cross, the 48th of Sr. Mary Elizabeth and the 39th of Sr. Mary Martin. We don't mark the anniversary of entrance but of profession however 50 years is quite a milestone. At dinner which we had in our community room in honor of our Lady's day, the sisters swapped stories of their entrance day memories and some are more than amusing. For most of us, entrance day is a blur of a memory which the rest of the community helps fill in the missing pieces!
Recently we had a new aspirant with us but she found that the monastic life is not her vocation and returned home. Her short stay with us was for her a great grace and we are happy that we could provide this opportunity for her to discern God's will for her.
The gardens are still producing tomatoes, eggplant, string beans and peppers. The tomatoes in the novitiate garden have been curious. They look good, are firm but ripen very slowly. One sister said, "They remind me of store-bought tomatoes!" With 19 tomatoes plants we were sure that we would be deluged with the makings of "gravy" but the darn things rippen so slowly that we barely have enough for the table.
One night at recreation Sr. Maria Conception, who gave the novitiate the seedlings was asked where she got the seeds. "From the case of tomatoes we were given at Christmas!" So, yes, they not only look like store-bought tomatoes they ARE store-bought tomatoes. If this nice weather keeps up we figure that we'll have tomatoes right up until, let's see, Christmas!