On Sunday at midnight Sr. Mary Martin's term of office as prioress officially ended. What do we do when we are without a prioress? The subprioress steps in and keeps the house running smoothly until the election of a new prioress. But the prioress's place isn't entirely empty! As per our tradition, our Blessed Mother occupies the empty prioress stall until our new prioress is elected.
On Friday our four sisters who were at the General Assembly returned home! Sr. Clare made this lovely sign to welcome them back, and we had supper in the community room so they could share their experience with us.
What else has been going on?
On Sundays we listen to music with our supper. We usually choose something from our selection of cassettes and CDs, but one Sunday we had a treat when Sr. Mary Veronica pulled out our record player and The Sound of Music record!
Another day our new commercial printer arrived with an interesting label: "Dominican Nuts" We haven't heard that one before! However, our late Sr. Mary Peter used to say we are a bag of mixed nuts!
Our newest sisters are learning their parts for the Grassi Magnificat, and Sr. Mary Magdalene officially welcomed Sr. Clare to the alto section by giving her a box of Altoid mints. Why? Because at some point awhile back the altos acquired the nickname "Altoids."
Yesterday we awoke to a blanket of fog covering our grounds. It was a perfect opportunity for some end of Summer pictures of the gardens. The bees are very slow in the chilly morning and are very obliging to the roving photographer. Earlier in the season 5 tadpoles were added to our pond since last year's frog hopped away. So far sisters have spotted 4 frogs. When they were little and were startled they would simply make a flying leap into the net over the pond and slip right through. That escape strategy doesn't quite work anymore! The net, by the way, is because we have herons that like to come for a bite of sushi.
Let's start with "there"! Four of our sisters are working hard at the North American Association of Dominican Monasteries' General Assembly. The General Assembly is held every four years and this year is being held at the Motherhouse of the Nashville Dominicans. The Assembly began with conferences by Fr. Walter Wagner, OP, the friar consultant for the Association, Fr. Cesar Valero Bajo, OP, the Order's Promoter for the Nuns, Br. Herman Johnson, OP, a cooperator brother of the Southern Province, and Fr. John Paul Walker, OP, Pastor of St. Mary's in New Haven, Connecticut. Sr. Mary Magdalene is doing a fantastic job with the Association's website, keeping all of the monasteries up-to-date with recorded conferences and lots of pictures taken by our talented Sr. Mary Catharine! (These are in the private section for the nuns on the Association's website, in case you are wondering why you can't find them!) Here are a few pictures from the Assembly:
Meanwhile "here" at the monastery we had our traditional "cat's away" party. It is our tradition that when the Prioress (or the Novice Mistress for the Novitiate) is away we have a little party of some sort: when the cat's away, the mice will play! It is always a little sad when we are separated from our sisters for any reason, so the party puts a bit of fun in the occasion. The novitiate held their cat's away party on Saturday's "novitiate night" recreation. Last night the community had our cat's away party, consisting in sundaes and pictionary/charades (thanks to Sr. Joseph Maria!).