There is the first email, the first visit, entrance day, receiving the habit and then First Profession. All milestones in the life of a novice. Usually, shortly after profession when the black veil is beginning to get the first wrinkles one overhears at recreation or dishes, "Two years until I move downstairs!" "Moving downstairs" is our phrase here at Summit for the big leagues: moving over the professed dormitory and into professed life for the final year before Solemn Profession.
As the day gets closer it is anticipated with a mix of emotions—excitement, fear, dread, and a few tears. Assurances that "it's not that different" from the professed sisters sometimes don't allay the fears!
The date of the big move is announced and there is a flurry of activity from a few professed sisters who are eager to do everything they can to make the transition as easy as possible. Besides, it's fun!
Sr. Maria Teresa's big day was today, September 1st. All week her new cell has been getting a paint job, the floor got a fresh waxing and Sr. Judith Miryam has been rummaging around for the essentials of "cell furniture" such as a Crucifix, a shade, a desk lamp, etc.
It doesn't take too long for a novice to "pack" and move over. For many of us, we just brought a laundry hamper up, threw all our things in and zoomed down the hall, bumped the hamper down the 3 stairs and into the professed dormitory. Alas, because our elevator is on semi-permanent vacation Sr. Maria Teresa has to do it the hard way! So, what did she carry over first? Her books, of course!
Sr. Joseph Marie moved over in February but for some reason we didn't post it. She is looking forward to having Sr. Maria Teresa move, too!
It takes a bit of getting used to for the novitiate sisters. Because our novitiate averages about 6 sisters it's a little community of it's own with their "novitiate night" recreation, classes, afternoon recreation and their own chapter. For a while it seems odd not to have one of their sisters with them but they see her in Choir, recreation and dishes and before you know it, it's not strange at all.
Sr. Maria Teresa's move also means that we have an extra cell in the novitiate for the next postulant! Would that be you?