Over Hill, Over Dale?
Off to the Bronx: Janlyn, Sr. Mary Amata, Sr. Diana Marie, Sr. Lauren, Gary, Sr. Joseph Maria, Sr. Mary Jeremiah, Sr. Mary Catharine.
Actually, it was more like "on the NJ Turnpike and over the George Washington Bridge!"
Sr. Mary Jeremiah, Sr. Diana Marie and Janlyn give a wave as everyone piles in the car.
The Italian nun look
Our Sisters at Corpus Christi Monastery in the Bronx asked Sr. Mary Jeremiah to come for a few days to give them lectures on St. Catherine of Siena. Meanwhile, the novitiate sisters expressed the hope that someday they could visit our Sisters and see what is now the oldest Dominican monastery in the US since the monastery in Newark closed several years ago. Before Sr. Mary Catharine could ask, while we were at the General Assembly, Sr. Maria Pia, prioress of the Bronx monastery invited the novitiate sisters to come for a visit. Sr. Mary Martin agreed and so, it took 6 nuns and Gary, our handyman to escort Sr. Mary Jeremiah!
Gary recently bought a van that seats 8 which was just perfect for us. Just 2 days ago, Janlyn Rathgeber from Ottawa, Ontario arrived for her aspirancy. We teased her that when she returns home her family and friends won't believe her when she tells them that she made a trip to NY.
The sisters climb the stairs to view the 16th century monstrance.
Our angels provided a smooth trip into the Bronx and we were at the door of Corpus Christi Monastery in 40 minutes! Sr. Michael Marie met us at the door and led us into the kitchen for a quick drink and snack and the usual hugs and kisses before the Office of Sext and Rosary at 11:15. Then we were treated to a delicious dinner prepared by Sr. Faustinita. We sat around the table talking, telling stories, laughing and enjoying being together. "How good and how pleasant it is when brethren (and sisters!) live in unity."
Sr. Mary Amata enjoys a conversation along with Sr. Michael Marie. Sr. Faustinita is talking to Sr. Mary Jeremiah in the background.
Gary settles in to the guest dining room with a cup of coffee and a book by Benedict XVI.
Sr. Maria Pia and Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart then led the sisters on a tour through their huge monastery. We enjoyed seeing artifacts and relics from the founding days (Bronx was founded by Newark in 1889) and all the nooks and crannies of the house. We finished up in the garden enjoying the view of the New York skyline. Sr. Maria Pia recounted how she was working in the garden on 9/11 and saw the planes hit and the towers crumble.
With Sr. Maria Pia and Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart in the garden.
Before we knew it was three o'clock and time to head back to Summit. Unfortunately, there was no time to visit the vault and pray for the sisters who have gone before us but, "next time!" Meanwhile, poor Gary had been patiently waiting outside the enclosure for us.
Thanks to his skill and the superior knowledge of "Mrs. Tomtom" we got out of the Bronx onto the NJ Turnpike. Again the traffic was moving and were home in an hour grateful to spend time with our sisters but also grateful to be back home! Thank you, Gary, for making this wonderful trip possible!
There are some photos of the monastery HERE. If you are a young woman discerning a vocation we encourage you to contact Sr. Maria Pia. The Sisters also accept limited numbers of people for private retreats and they have special permission to admit women religious inside the enclosure for private retreats.