Monday, August 18, 2008

The countdown begins...

Well it's been a little while since I've updated... which means that there's a bit to share.

Last week Friday, Kathy, Bee Jay Ciszek and myself flew to Wichita for Susanne Daniel's final vows. We went a bit early because there was a surprise birthday party for Karen Salsberry. Happy 40th KAREN!!!!! It was a great gathering of probably 25 people from 6 different community (if you separate the 7 of us for a moment, take some and add a few other communities). Ann Letourneau provided a prayer after dinner and all of us sat in a big circle and blessed, with grateful hearts, the life of Karen. I felt so much energy in that circle from God and from our community of hearts!

One of the novices that will be joining me in California is 25 year old, Julie Christensen from Concordia. For about 8 months now Julie and I have been talking through emails and over the phone but had never met each other. We shared pictures of each other over the internet and were able to share community living through the eyes of the 25 year olds. Since Concordia is only 2 hour north of Wichita, I encouraged her to come in and visit but it didn't seem like it was going to happen because of her schedule at the time. While we were eating dinner at Karen's party, there were sisters asking me about the 7 novices that I was going to be with and in walks Julie through the kitchen. My mouth fell WIDE open as I pointed at her in disbelief! What a great surprise for me. I wonder if the evening was more of a surprise for me than Karen? So now out of the 7 other novices, I've met 6 six so I'm not so apprehensive about the idea of "meeting new people and living with them".

Since my last post, Sister Peter Mary from LaGrange died. The communal heart in LaGrange remains heavy after her funeral today. I was able to thank God for her life as well when I was invited to help sing in the choir at her funeral. The LaGrange community continues to carry on their tradition of gathering in the chapel the evening before the funeral to share stories of their experience with the deceased. Some of the stories shared lifts spirits by showing the humorous side of life (in this case) with Peter Mary and others show the human side and the occasion where God made God's self completely visible in the moment... these are the ones that the kleenex comes out on. I never sat down with Peter Mary to talk but I definitely think I have a great picture of her from the sharing. She was all about vocation and formation work. In fact, Kathy, who worked with her in that capacity said that when she visited Peter Mary once in the hospital, she mentioned, "The new novice is here". Peter responded, "Oh yeah, Jenn." It's nice to know that even though we didn't know each other well that she still was involved in the vocation/formation news of the community. I feel as if I have another one to pray to look out for me on my journey. Rest in peace, Peter, may we continue to hear your contagious laugh when we start to take life too seriously.

Only a short period of time before I'm on the plane to California. Before that time, I'll be visiting my family once last time and will need to find the time to pack. I had a dream last night, I was starting to pack my suitcases and decided that I would watch a movie with a friend. I fell asleep watching the movie and when I woke up we were really late to catch the plane. I started saying, "But I have to finish packing! One suitcase is packed but the other one's only half packed." I almost started to cry because all of this was too rushed for me. Then someone said, "Forget it, zip it up and let's go! We have to go!" So off I went crying with half a suitcase packed. I shared this story with Kathy Sherman today and she said, "That's just God telling you that you have everything that you need already," as she pointed to her chest. Thanks Kathy! She's so right, then I came home and read today's gospel:

A young man approached Jesus and said,“Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good?There is only One who is good.If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”He asked him, “Which ones?”And Jesus replied, “You shall not kill;you shall not commit adultery;you shall not steal;you shall not bear false witness;honor your father and your mother;and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”The young man said to him,“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,sell what you have and give to the poor,and you will have treasure in heaven.Then come, follow me.”When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,for he had many possessions.

Wow, wake up Jenn! It's funny what God can teach you through a dream if you pay attention!
Peace to each of you!


Frankie said...

As usual, you've captured so much in so little space. LOVE your countdown to landing in CA. AND, I know your dreams are very vivid in your mind. I think Kathy is right - you DO have everything that you need in your heart, your soul and your mind.
Keep on being you "our novice"!!!
Love ya,

Anonymous said...

Well, my friend, I've been behind in visiting your blog because of Marie's visit. It did take first place for two weeks. I know you understand! We did communicate with SKYPE though and that was so good!
Your history piece was really helpful and you had the privilege of hearing it from the earthy originator's side of it!!

I understand our conversation of yesterday better because of your most recent blog concerning your dream. Yes, we each have everything we need. We just don't always recognize that! We need each other to remind each other of that fact! Take care. More later. Love this communication - and - I will update my blog soon!!
Love 'ya, Jeanne

Anonymous said...

P.S. I should check my comments before sending them! In the previous comment it should read
"earthLY" originator - not "earthy". BAD error!!
Love, Jeanne

Anonymous said...

Great idea to have your own web page. This is practice for me to see if you get this.

Novitiate Community said...

So glad that you and Julie caught up. All of you will have a wonderful, enriching, stretching, challenging, AWESOME experience whatever transpires. Know I will hold you all in special prayer as another grand transition transpires.

Kelly_SSJ/A said...

Prayers are with yoiu as you journey forward!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jenn,
You sounded like us in our early days in community, hardly any time to pack--just get on the bus and go and all turned out ok.
Your sharing is a joy, thank you.
The best to you in CA. I am sure we will learn much from your sharing of your programs.
Ann Therese

Sandy, csj said...

Jenn, it is now only 11 hours before your plane lands in CA, so I imagine you'll be there by the time you read this.

Blessings as you begin the novitiate experience in Orange! Say hello to my friend Jayne Helmlinger when you run into her...

Marie said...

Hi Jenn,
As I read your dream, I'm aware that you are now in Orange and in the midst of new beginnings. I hope that by the time you traveled you had finished packing and felt prepared for the experience. I hope you are having a great beginning!