Sr. Mary Martin and I arrived in Springfield, IL around 5:45 after 2 smooth and friendly flights from Newark Airport. During our layover at O'Hare we met Bro. David Spaline, a young Legionnaire of Christ home visiting his family. We told him about the cloistered nuns and well, I just happened to have a vocation brochure in my carry-on!
We were met at the little Springfield Airport by delightful Sr. Mary Henrika who graciously zipped us to the Motherhouse in less than 5 minutes! No parking problems at the airport, no parking fees, either! Springfield may be the capital of IL but it is a bucolic farming town. We saw the Lincoln monument from the air and passed the cemetery where President Lincoln is buried.
At 7 PM we all gathered in the Conference Room for Orientation: all those little details to get a meeting running! Sr. Mary John reminded us of the sign up sheets for liturgical duties and Sr. Mary Christine and Sr. Judith Miryam gave a demonstration of the private website created for our monasteries at home. We then went to the tiny chapel that will be our monastic choir for the duration of our meeting for Compline.
The sisters who had arrived earlier set up the chairs monastic style so that we can pray the traditional way, "choir to choir". Sr. Mary Margaret of Lufkin supplied our every liturgical want with wonderful booklets.
We come from 11 different monasteries but as Sr. Mary John intoned the opening versicle we were united as one--praising, adoring, and giving thanks to God for the gift of this day, for our Dominican communion, for the joy of the privilege of praying together!
After Compline many of us gathered for a few moments in the different little nooks to wind down, sharing travel stories and news of home. Pretty soon it was obvious that it was hard not to nod off and we said good night and headed for our rooms. Tomorrow promises to be a full day!
--Sr. Mary Catharine