These past few weeks since Sr. Mary Martin's re-election have been busy here at the monastery. Shortly after the election Sr. Mary Martin headed to the Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament, Farmington Hills, MI for a much needed time of rest and relaxation. Then, it was off to Springfield, IL to the Motherhouse of the Springfield Dominican Sisters who generously offered to host the Council of the Association of the Monasteries of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers in the United States of America. (This is quite a mouthful so we shorten it to "the Association".) The Association comprising of 9 member monasteries was approved by the Holy See in May, 2006.
The Council, comprised of: Sr. Mary John, OP (Lufkin, TX), President, Sr. Mary Rose, OP (Farmington Hills, MI), Vice-President, Sr .David Marie, OP (Elmira, NY), , Sr. Mary Martin, OP (Summit, NJ), Sr. Mary of the Sacred Heart, OP (Menlo, CA) and Sr. Mary Christine, OP (Menlo, CA), Treasurer, and Fr. Dominic Izzo, OP, Friar-Consultant, met to plan for our 1st General Assembly to be held in September, 2008. The Springfield Dominican Sisters have generously offered to host the meeting at no charge to the Association, a gift for which we are most grateful.
As you can see by the photos the Council worked hard during the few days they were together. While this will be the first assembly held as an canonically erected association, the monasteries of the United States, under the umbrella of the "Conference of Dominican Nuns" has been holding assemblies every 4 years since the early '70's so the Sisters have had a lot of experience. However, the input of Fr. Izzo helped greatly.
Meanwhile, back home, Fall tried to settle in but as anyone who lives on the east coast knows, it didn't last long! One afternoon, the novitiate sisters began cleaning out the garden and harvested the last of the pumpkins and squash. There is still lots more to clean up but we're waiting for a good frost to kill the weeds to make the job easier.
Lastly, this week we welcomed Sr. Mary Catherine of Jesus Hale, OP from the Dominican Sisters of Mt. Thabor, Monastery in Ortonville, MI. Sister is beginning her transfer process, a period of time that will last approximately four to five years before Solemn Profession. For the first few years Sister will be with the novitiate as part of her formation toward her total consecration as a Nun of the Order of Preachers. We are grateful for Sister's arrival and pray that she will find much joy in our monastery!