Every year we celebrate the Prioress's Feast Day as an all day celebration. In fact, the party starts the evening before! With Sr. Mary Martin as our current prioress, this year's celebration took place yesterday on the Feast of St. Martin de Porres.
The evening before the celebration was begun with the 'Greeting Song', this year written by Sr. Maureen and sung by the community as Sr. Mary Amata, our Sub-prioress led Sr. Mary Martin to her seat of honor at the head table in the community room. Everyone greeted Sister in order of profession and received little gifts: cold processed soap made by Sr. Mary Veronica and creative Dominican themed Password Booklets made by Sr. Mary Catharine..and of course a piece of chocolate! Whoever discovered the prioress's number in her password booklet won the doorprize, and this year's winner was Sr. Maureen! The All Souls Day fast was dispensed beginning at 7:30 so we could partake in ice cream and cookies!
The next day was full of specially prepared entertainment, goodies and games. In the morning Sr. Mary Cecilia sang a dramatized duet with herself, Sr. Maria Agnes quizzed us on the family relations of sisters past and present, and Sr. Mary Magdalene and Sr. Mary Jacinta made a Scripture Jeopardy Game that stumped many of the sisters but wasn't quite difficult enough for Sr. Mary Martin who teaches the novitiate scripture class.
Dinner was a 'talking meal' in the community room....with a little twist! This year Sr. Maureen had a game for us to play during the meal. The name of a dog breed was pinned to the back of each sister's veil. Everyone had to guess which dog they were with the help of their neighbors. In the end everyone was able to figure it out, though some of the clue-givers had to get creative! "The first part of the word is the thing you breathe..." "air?" "yes! Okay.. the second part of the word is the name of a chipmunk.....not Chip but...?" "Dale? Air....dale?" "Yes!" "....what is an Airedale?!" "I don't know!" That was by far the hardest breed! Other's discovered their breed right away. "Am I a big dog?" "Huge!" "Am I furry?" "You have hair" "Am I a sheepdog?" "Not that hairy" "Am I a St Bernard?" "Yes!"
In the afternoon we were treated to special ice cream called tartufo from Nasto's Ice Cream in Newark, NJ. They provided ice cream for the Knights of Columbus' "Taste of Italy" this past Sunday and sent some home with Sr. Mary Cecilia! It was a huge hit.
Supper was eaten in the refectory with music. Usually this is also a talking meal, but there was a special game planned for evening recreation that would take a little longer than usual.....Monastery Clue! Sr. Mary Veronica and Sr. Joseph Maria are becoming known for the games they come up with together. This one topped them all! Not only did they create a Monastery version of Clue, they created it in such a way that it could be played in teams by 16 people!
We had just enough time to figure out 'whodunit', as the winning team, "Sabina", made their accusation just as the bell for Compline rang!
*Note: The 'summer house' is our name for the gazebo, the 'toilet graveyard' is what we call an area where extra donated or broken toilets happen to be kept, and 'the scb' is the Summit Choir Book.
The evening ended with a closing song written by Sr. Judith Miryam.
Sr. Mary Martin received many lovely gifts including a beautifully painted candle of her patron Saint by Sr. Mary Catharine and Sr. Danielle, but the best gift of all must surely have been the presence of our Sr. Mary Elizabeth who was able to come for a few hours to celebrate the day with us. Sister resides at the infirmary of the Caldwell Dominicans because she requires more care than we are able to provide in the monastery, and it was a great joy to have her home with us for a few hours for Sr. Mary Martin's feast day!