Fall is officially in California! Ellen DeGeneres announced on her show yesterday that it's official that Autumn has started in California since the temperature has fallen 2 degrees!!!!! You've GOT to be kidding me... I just laugh at all the folks that are bundling up already!
What a busy week! Last time I wrote, I was on my way to the overnight Intercommunity-Novitiate (ICN) retreat. We were joined by about 7 others communities: many Saleians, Lovers of the Holy Cross - a Vietnamese order and Claretian brothers are some that I remember. Many of the Saleians seemed like they were right out of high school and with about 40 people in the whole ICN group, less than 50% were actually novices. Seems confusing based on the title, huh? The 3 Claretians along with the 10 of us were the only ones in everyday clothes. The other 30 or so were in uniforms and habits. I was able to have some quiet prayer time but overall didn't get too much out of the presentations themselves. Every week on Monday we meet with the same group and have different speakers. This coming Monday we have Kathy Bryant, rsc talking about "God's Will and Our Desire". It seems from the comments that people have made that this program as a whole is very introductory but I know that I'll still be able to find a thread that I can hang onto for the day that applies to life as I know it.
This week we had class with Bernie and Ann on Tuesday and the building coordinator saw us on Wednesday to talk about earthquake safety. Many of the novices were glad to finally have talked about that. I'll just put it all in God's hands and pray that I don't fall into the ocean while I'm here. (Some sisters actually told me that they'd pray for that reason while I'm here!)
Wednesday afternoon was free so 5 of us went to Huntington Beach for the first time. Definitely different than Seal Beach. It's the surfer's beach and we saw quite a few. We even saw some folks that choose to be homeless, live on the beach and out of their Winnebago, and just surf... all day. As much as I like the beach, I can't say that I'd like to be homeless for it. The breeze was amazing sitting there as I read and relaxed. I didn't go there yesterday for prayer day because it was a bit cloudy but I think that I'll be going many Fridays. #1 Beach: Huntington.... maybe I'll make a Top Ten list while I'm here!
Thursday was our first ministry day. I chose to go to Thomas House, two apartment buildings which are used for transitional housing for families. Both Melissa and I chose to go there but I'll be working with Kathy Stein, who's a CSJ from Carondelet - LA and the manager of Thomas House. It's not officially a religious organization because of being able to get more grants, but they do call her Sister. I'll be helping Kathy with the computer records for graduates of the program from about 2-5pm. At 5, the parents go to their parenting class on Thursday night and all of the kids 30+ go to a room to finish homework before going outside to play. So I think it's a good mix and yet will be a challenge for me.
Yesterday was a prayer day but I wish I had another today! Instead, we're leaving at 10:30 to go to LA. We're going to Hollywood since last time it didn't work out. I'm not sure what the plan has worked out to be but I'll update you next week. The reason we decided to go is that we were invited to something called the Hollywood Bowl. It's a summer concert series that takes place outside in Hollywood. Tonight Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys are here. YAY!!! Beach Boys in California!!! So we have to be at the Carondelet center by 5 to get the bus with the rest of the sisters. I think since Carondelet are co-hosts of this Fed. Novitiate that we'll be doing a few things like this with them. Don't worry I'll take lots of pictures!
Thanks to all for the cards and emails. Even though I give you the highlights on here of all the happenings, there has been plenty of free time, settling time, and God time. These highlights are my breaks from the internal work. Thanks for sending the prayers, love and letters that help me keep my head above water when things start getting deep here. Peace!