On May 14th the Novitiate sisters plus, Aisling, our aspirant from Ireland, journeyed to Corpus Christi Monastery in the Bronx, currently the oldest Dominican monastery in the United States, to drop off Sr. Mary Catharine, OP of Summit, Sr. Joseph Marie, OP of Menlo Park, and Sr. Marie Teresidas, OP of Squamish for the annual Novice Mistress Meeting.
After several years of begging to see the monastery, and many "Are we there yet?'s on the way, the sisters finally arrived safely for their "Dominican Sources Field Trip". After being warmly greeted by the sisters and after a brief tour, a lively recreation ensued in the community room. As more and more novice mistresses arrived the sense of sisterly communion grew. Imagine siblings you had heard stories about and seen pictures of but never had the chance to meet. That's what it felt like for the novitiate of Summit, finally putting faces to sisters after only vague recollects of who they were.
Then, we ran outside and exerted much energy, climbing rocks, swinging on the swing, and checking out the amazing view of the NY skyline. It echoed cloistered Dominican spirituality, at the heart of the city in the heart of the Church, praying for the salvation of souls. Then Sr. Maria Pia, OP conducted a tour including a trip to the three crypts, (which the previous crop of novices didn't get to see). The monastery is huge.
As three o'clock rolled around we bid a temporary farewell and hopped into the two cars to return to Summit, promising to see them again on the 24th to pick them back up. It was a quick visit but gave the novitiate much to reflect upon.
At the Novice Mistress meeting a midst a blur of accents, it was quickly realized that only 4 out of the 12 nuns were born in the US. Countries represented included: Italy, Trinidad, Tanzania, Cameroon, Vietnam, Mexico, etc. However, the cultural boundaries only served to foster the unity of these Nuns united in St. Dominic, coming together in JOY.
The Novice Mistresses gathered at the Bronx Monastery for lectures, discussion, retreat, community, and fun. Guest speakers included Fr. Allan White, OP, Fr. Gregory Salomone, OP, Fr. Walter Wagner, OP, and Sr. Esther Mary, RSM of the Alma Religious Sisters of Mercy.
Click on the photo below to see a slideshow.