The "Professed Feast"

By immemorial custom, in our monastery the feast of St. Mary Magdalen is the "Professed Feast" and is the day when the novitiate sisters fete the professed sisters by cooking for them. For many new sisters the idea is not only daunting by frightening! Every sister has a tale of her first professed feast and either the success or the tragedy of her attempts at cooking.

With almost a "full house" in the novitate and with our new sisters coming from various cultural backgrounds the theme was International Cooking. Sr. Deepa made her mom's yummy curry chicken rice. Sr. Giang was going to make Vietnamese spring rolls for supper but various attempts at purchasing edible rice paper here in this multi-cultural state proved to be most frustrating! In the end, Sr. Giang made delectable egg rolls. The only problem is that she didn't make enough! The sisters also provided a colorful antipasto! Mangiare!

Sr. Diana Marie made her mom's Italian dish of pasta and peas and our aspirant Patty who is Spanish-Mexican teamed up with general coordinator, Sr. Mary Catharine to make beautiful, tasty, creamy flans.

For breakfast there was a surprise of waffles and fruit and the Sisters' favorite German crumb cake. Usually breakfast is a simple affair of either bread or cereal taken in silence in the refectory but today we ate in the community room so that we could talk. By custom we keep silence in the refectory so all "talking" meals are taken in the community room.

For afternoon snack the novitiate sisters treated the community to an ice cream bar accompanied by Sr. Deepa's trademark Treasure Bars and cookies made by Sr. Giang and Sr. Diana Marie.

Just in time to join the fun, Lauren arrived Saturday for her aspirancy. We kept telling her that this is not normal life in the monastery!

At evening recreation we entertained each other with a game Sr. Denise Marie concocted called Bartimeus. She went around the room with a large shopping bag and each sister with her eyes closed had to pull out an object and quickly guess what it was. The Sisters were pretty good at guessing but the objects Sister gathered gave us all a few laughs, especially when someone like Sr. Maria had a hard time figuring out that she pulled out a pitch pipe!

It was a marvelous day of joy and unity. A big thank you to the novitiate Sisters for their generous feast...and for helping each of us put on 10 pounds! Is tomorrow a fast day?!?