Today Sr. Mary Martin and Sr. Mary Catharine head out to Springfield, IL for the General Assembly of the Association of the Monasteries of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers of North America (how's that for a mouthful?) . Sr. Judith Miryam, who is serving the meeting with Sr. Mary Christine (Menlo Park, CA) for communications, flew out yesterday only to be stranded at O'Hare Airport for over 6 hours due to Ike dumping rain and causing severe flooding in the region. However, she was met by the 3 nuns from Menlo Park so we're pretty sure that she wasn't bored!
This General Assembly is especially important because it is the first to be held since nine of our Dominican monasteries formed an Association which was approved by the Holy See in 2006. Previously, the monasteries were connected by what we called a "Conference". However, when Verbi Sponsa, the new norms for enclosure, were promulgated by the Holy See we were informed by the head of the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes that this manner of collaboration would no longer be aedequate and that if we wish to work within such a structure our bylaws would have to be approved by the Holy See as either a Federation or Association.
After nearly 4 years of discussions, meetings and canonical council 9 monasteries voted to be the first members of the Association. We have a meeting every 4 years under a theme chosen by the Council. This year's theme is "Liturgy the Heart of our Life". Talks will be given by Fr. David Wright, OP and Sr. Kathleen Harmon, SNDdeN on the role of liturgy in our monastic life.
Also present will be Fr. Brian Pierce, OP, the International Promoter for the nuns and Fr. Dominic Izzo, OP, the friar consultant for the Association.
If the schedule we've been given is any indication we'll be awfully busy!
Please pray for the success of this meeting! We'll share a few tidbits if we have Internet capability.