Monday, July 28, 2008

Wow!! What a weekend!

What a fabulous weekend of beginning and celebrating commitment. I could feel the walls of Nazareth and my heart swelling with all the love and support that was in that building this weekend. Many sisters were home and sisters from the other centers joined us for the celebrations of my novitiate ceremony and our jubilee celebrations for those in religious life for 50, 60 and 75 years. It was a very busy weekend with all the parties, socials, programs, ceremony and liturgy!

For my entrance into novitiate, sisters from the Cleveland, LaGrange, Wheeling, and of course Nazareth were all present. In fact there were a couple of sisters from Cleveland that came up for the ceremony and I hadn't even met them previously. That's what community does in your life though. You realize the spirit and heart that is in those around you and those with the same initials after there name and though you've never met, you share the same experience and are able to be a support and a presence without even knowing names. I thought a lot of those sisters that traveled all that way to celebrate my day, even for a short time!

During the ceremony, I think I was called up 3 times in front of all who were gathered and just looking out towards the people made my heart expand with their prayers and support. All of the innumerable hugs will definitely last me quite a while.

Some sisters requested that I make available the responses to Marie's questions that I answered during the ceremony. Below you will find those but before I do that, I just want to thank everyone that was with me whether is was with their physical or prayerful presence.

Marie: Jenn, What do you ask of the Congregation?

In this period of novitiate which the community and God have invited me to, I would ask from my sisters: prayers, support and encouragement. Relationships through both prayer and presence are the things that have helped me to see God within myself and in this community. I would hope that your words of encouragement would continue to help me say “yes” to all that God plans on my journey.

Marie: What has brought you to this decision?

I can’t say that I alone am responsible for this decision to continue my journey in religious life. There have been struggles (and I would guess there will be a few in the future) that make me realize how counter-cultural this life is. There are times that I’ve allowed God to say “yes” for me when I couldn’t say it myself. I know that each struggle, each joy, each lesson-learned, gives me more strength to allow God to keep working in my life. I know that this period of novitiate will allow me the opportunity to build a deeper relationship with God. This is the “something more” that I started to search for before coming to this community. The desire to deepen and strengthen this relationship is what brings me to say “yes” with God today.

Marie: Jenn, What has drawn you to the Congregation of St. Joseph?

In my 7-year introduction to the Sisters of St. Joseph, I have experienced being one with the God-given Spirit for authentic life that runs through this community. As my family is realizing, this lifestyle is very different than the American culture we are used to but that difference is what attracted me. I have seen the Spirit of humility and hospitality at work when sisters are in relationship with others both in and outside of the community… welcoming others and putting them at ease. There is also an honesty that CSJs live out of that allows them to be open to God and to the Spirit as they live their day to day life. I have also found that a Sister of St. Joseph’s energy comes from the time that they are able to have alone and with God. This energy allows them to live life to the fullest and with enthusiasm while being aware of God’s continuous presence. These are characteristics that I desire to have as a part of myself. I have found that I can grow in these traits with this community and also be focused on the presence of God throughout life.


Jeanne said...

Hey, I posted a comment last night! Don't know where it went!! I said, "WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL!!"
I loved the photos. It helped make it more real for me. Thanks for the opportunity be a special part of the ceremony - and glad my spirit had a "seat".
Love you, Jeanne

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your day! Looking at your pictures brought memories of my visits to Nazareth as an associate! I looking forward to future entries regarding your journey!

Nun in recovery said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

Hi Jenn,

Congratulations! The pictures look great. Thanks for sharing the blog. I'll see you in a couple of weeks.


dcosta said...

Hey Sister! Looks like you had a beautiful day full of love with family and friends. It is a blessing that you are able to share this special day with us so quickly.
What a great beginning to what is going to be a teriffic year! Diane

Jenn said...

I'm just seeing how easy it is to put a comment on my own blog... Hmmm.

Judy said...

Hey CHickie-Doo,

This blog is AWESOME...just like you! I am up to my eyeballs in getting ready to move we are in transition together, Baby!! Your ceremony loooked beautiful; thanks for sharing the pictures and your story. CSJ Namaste is a great way to keep us all connected...and to get us used to using blogs. We'll be linking it to our vocations website, I hope. Look for a card and gift from me and some sisters coming to you in California...Love you lots, Judy

barb said...

Greetings, Jenn!
I love your blog! Looks like you had a great day! I'm so happy for you and for us! I also think it's cool that you send yourself comments on your own blog...and ponder them...hmmm.

I look forward to chatting with you soon!!! Love and blessings!!! Barb

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jenn,

Glad you added further instructions for your blog. What a great way to keep track of you! Remember, you will be at a distance physically, but you will be very close to us in Mich. in heart and prayer.


Anonymous said...

I was with you in thought and prayer. Having returned from my mother's death and funeral, caused me to be delayed in getting a note to you.
I am so grateful to be in your mission circle. I look forward to our Sept mtg. You are great>
WELCOME Welcome, Welcome as a novice.
love, Ruthann