When in Rome...

Our blog has been a little quite lately, but if you’ve seen our last post (October Events) you know that it isn’t due to an absence of anything to post about! So what else has been going on?

Last month we had two extra sisters fly ‘home’ to Summit along with our Novice Mistress, Sr. Joseph Maria. They had been attending the Association’s Novice Mistress meeting at the monastery in Menlo Park, California. As you many know, our monastery belongs to the North American Association of Dominican Monasteries. The Association joins autonomous monasteries of the Order for the purpose of mutual support and collaboration. Every year the Association sponsors a meeting for the novice mistresses and this year it was held at Corpus Christi Monastery in California.

The two sisters who flew into Summit with Sr. Joseph Maria were Sr. Mary Rose, novice mistress from the Monastery of the Infant Jesus in Lufkin, Texas, and Sr. Maria Christine, the prioress of the hosting monastery, who were on there way (along with our Sr. Mary Catharine) to Rome.

The three sisters traveled to Rome to attend the Macro-meeting of Dominican nuns, held in response to the recent document Cor Orans, the ‘implementing instruction’ of the Apostolic Constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere on Women’s Contemplative Life. The new instruction will require updating our Constitutions, which means a lot of discussion and meetings! Sr. Maria Christine went in her function as our Association’s President; Sr. Mary Rose is the ICN (International Commission of [Dominican] Nuns) representative for our region and was attending as delegate for the monasteries in our region that do not belong to the Association; and our Sr. Mary Catharine had been elected by the Association monasteries as their delegate.

The Macro-meeting was held from 27 September to 3 October in the Order’s three official languages English, Spanish, and French with simultaneous translation. There was a massive amount of work to be done, and the nuns were warned they’d be staying until it was finished. Thankfully they were able to get through everything necessary in the allotted time, and still had time for a little sightseeing! It isn’t every day these cloistered nuns are in Rome, and so they were grateful for the opportunity to attend a Papal Mass, visit the Order’s ‘home-base’ for its Curia at Santa Sabina, tour the Angelicum, and of course enjoy authentic Italian gelato!

The sisters returned with hopefully more answers than questions, though we’re told that for some things the four canon lawyers attending each had a different interpretation!

One thing’s for sure: How good it is to be a Dominican!