The girls of Benedictine Academy with Sr. Angela, Sr. Mariana and Sr. Mary Catharine standing on chairs in the background so as to get into the picture!
This morning we welcomed over 30 high school girls from Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth to share about our life, our love for the Lord and of course, cookies!
The girls were wonderful! They were full of enthusiasm, great questions and listened attentively to Sr. Mary Catharine's talk and to our responses to their questions.
The girls were brought here by Linda Michalski, TOP, and Sr. Donna Jo Repetti, OSF, who are long time friends of our monastery. Both serve in campus ministry and teach religion at the academy. The girls wanted to visit a "real monastery" and we were delighted to have them.
Using the story of the rich young man who comes to Jesus and asks, "Good Master, what must I do to attain Eternal Life?" Sr. Mary Catharine shared with the girls that God creates every person to share in His Trinitarian communion of love and that every person is called to respond to the invitation of Christ to "come and follow me" either through marriage, priesthood or religious life. Sister then shared the beauty of Jesus' invitation to an exclusive relationship with Him in spousal love. "As a bridegroom delights in His bride, so shall your God delight in you." Sister talked about the beauty and richness of our life which can appear to outsiders as not only boring but maybe even crazy! When Sr. Mary Catharine questioned the girls if they thought this about cloistered life most of them agreed but we hope that after this experience with us they will have changed their minds!
The view from the "inside". Sr. Mary Catharine giving her talk.
Following the talk, Sr. Mary Martin, Sr. Mariana, Sr. Angela and Sr. Mary Catharine fielded many questions. Why do you wear white? Do you miss your family and friends? Do you have mini-fights? What do you do if you have doubts about the life you live? Where to you get the faith to continue to pray without falling asleep? (We assured them that we fall asleep sometimes, too!) Do you ever want to go out and see things?
There were many more questions and it was wonderful to see the interest shown in our responses.
Following the Q & A session there was a few moments to down cookies and punch before heading to the chapel to pray the Office of Sext and Rosary with us.
We hope this experience of visiting a "real monastery" will bear fruit in a few religious vocations! Sr. Mary Catharine encouraged the girls to spend time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and listen to what Jesus may be inviting them to. She also encouraged them to ask for the gift of a vocation. Since God is a loving Father who delights in giving good things to His children He will certainly here their prayers....and we hope, ours, too!
Thank you, Mrs. M, Sr. Donna Jo and the girls of Benedictine Academy for a wonderful visit!