Novice Mistresses Gather for Annual Meeting

Novice mistreses--L-R: Sr. Anna Marie(Elmira), Sr. Mary Veronica (Lancaster), Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart, (Menlo Park), Sr. Mary of the Precious Blood (Marbury), Sr. Mary Rose, (Farmington Hills), Sr. Maria Gaudalupe (Lufkin), Sr. Mary Catharine (Summit)

Yesterday Sr. Mary Catharine returned from the annual meeting of novice mistresses which is sponsored by the Association of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers USA. Our Sr. Mary Catharine is the coordinator for this annual meeting. This year the meeting was hosted by our sisters of the Monastery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Lancaster, PA. For 10 days the sisters prayed, studied, and yes, had fun! The group was small this year due to commitments by other novice mistresses in their own monasteries and because this year many monasteries are having their prioral elections.

From August 11-14 Fr. Christian Leisy, OSB, a monk of Christ in the Desert Abbey in Abiquiu, NM shared with the nuns reflections and insights in welcoming new members from various cultures and ethnic backgrounds. His own monastery is a multicultural community of monks from the US, Mexico, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and other countries!

From August 16-18 Dr. Jocelyn Sherman, a long-time friend of the Lancaster Monastery and a member of the Lay Dominican Fraternities led an engaging and informative workshop on helping the novice mistresses with some "techniques" to be better vocation directresses and novice mistresses. This workshop was a "hands on" approach and each sister enjoyed "testing" another sister with a problem that a novice might present to her!

Listening to Sr. Mary Magdalen's talk via Skype!

One evening we celebrated an historical "first" with a SKYPE conference from our Sr. Mary Magdalen, novice mistress of Queen of Peace Monastery in Squamish, BC. Sister gave us a wonderful talk on the role of art in monastic life. Unfortunately, just when we got to the fun part (discussion) the call got dropped and no effort of getting back together was successful. However, it was an import "first" and opened up possibilities for the future when Sisters are prevented from attending for one reason or another. Sr. Mary Magdalen's community was in the midst of moving to their new property in Squamish, BC. The area is SO beautiful we look forward to the day when we can have a meeting there! Do, check out the photo albums on their website!

During our meeting we also had the privilege to welcome the international promoter for nuns, Fr. Brian Pierce, OP. Fr Brian is the representative of the Master of the Order and travels constantly throughout the world visiting nearly 3,000 nuns in 250 monasteries. All this without a secretary! On Saturday Fr. Brian led the novice mistresses in a day of retreat and lectio divina.

On Thursday the Sisters departed refreshed and ready to go home to their respective monasteries and looking forward to next year's meeting.

Sr. Mary Magdalene and Sr. Maria Teresa got the tough assignment to pick up their novice mistress! Of course, this meant that a stop at Baskin Robbins was necessary! Taking the photo was Sr. Maria Guadalupe who came to Summit for a too-short visit before returning to Lufkin.

Fr. Brian shares with the novice mistresses and the Lancaster community news about the Order and our Sisters throughout the world.
Fr. Christian imparts words of wisdom with true Benedictine affection!
Fr. Brian Pierce, OP meets with the novice mistresses

Dr. Jocelyn poses for a photo. Sr. Mary Catharine must be taking the photo since she's not in it!
The nuns of the Monastery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary with Fr. Brian Pierce, OP, Christina, their aspirant, comes from Alaska!