Our annual retreat ended on the Fourth of July, perfect timing! Fr. Richard Ounsworth OP, our Retreat Master and member of the English Province of Dominicans, was a good sport about celebrating the Independence Day Mass for us, although it was a bit odd to hear an English priest pray for "our nation" in the closing prayer!
In the morning sisters congregated in the community room, some played Settlers of Catan, others enjoyed conversation, and all had their American history knowledge tested by Sr. Maria Agnes. Before office we invited Fr. Richard on a tour of the new wing. It is really progressing!
We enjoyed a 'picnic' dinner in the community room, as it was much too hot outside. While the heat wasn't conducive to a picnic it was perfect for a water-balloon fight in the afternoon! These water-balloons were a much appreciated gift from one of the men working on the new wing.
We ended evening recreation with the National Anthem, but that wasn't the end of the festivities! If you are a longtime reader of our blog you'll remember that every year the younger sisters climb up to the roof on the Fourth of July to watch the fireworks. Some years you can see as many as 13 different towns' firework shows! Years ago sisters would congregate under an apple tree and be able to see Summit's fireworks over the our enclosure wall. Over time the surrounding trees grew up and blocked the fireworks.
This year we had a new plan! While visiting the new wing as it has been going up, we realized it might give us a great view of the fireworks. So after Compline while the novitiate climbed to the roof another group of sisters walked over to what will be the guest area of the new wing. It was the perfect view for all the higher fireworks!