The heavens are telling the glory of God!
And all creation is shouting for joy!
Come dance in the forest, come play in the field!
And sing, sing to the glory of the Lord!
Canticle of the Sun
I know... it's been a long time since you last heard from me... and so much has gone on... the trip to A&M, Holy Week, Easter, a trip to Baltimore... Finishing up the study of the vow of obedience and beginning the study of celibacy... Life is moving pretty fast these days... But, life is good so I can't complain.
First of all, the trip to A&M was great. It was so good to be back in a place in which so much happened for me in terms of my faith life. It was also good to reconnect with different people - campus ministers, students, the associate pastor with whom I went to college. All around, it was just a good trip. There were 4 Mariansits who went - myself, our provincial, our vocation/formation director, and a brother in formation. We had a chance to sit and talk with different people on the staff, 2 discernment groups and just students hanging out in general. Great trip!
Holy Week was phenomenal for me. I really enjoy the liturgies of the Triduum... more so, I think, than liturgies at any other point in the year. I had the great blessing of singing in the choir at both the Good Friday liturgy and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. What powerful prayer experiences!!! I can't even put it into words, really.
Easter Sunday was a great celebration here at our home. We invited over 3 Marianist men's communities (one could not come, but the other 2 did) and we also invited over the 3 Marianist volunteers (young adults doing volunteer work for 1 year here in San Antonio). We were a total of 27 people. We started out with Mass in our chapel at 11am. Then we had a short social in our living room followed by a WONDERFUL meal prepared by all of the Sisters. We had turkey, ham, 3 different vegetable dishes, 2 types of salad, homemade rolls (Sr. Eileen makes the BEST rolls), 2 pies and a chocolate cake. It was a great day! The house was filled with laughter and singing.... It was exactly how I think Easter should be celebrated.
Then, on Tuesday morning I traveled to Baltimore for the National Catholic Educators Association (NCEA)annual convention. At this conference I was not a participant, but I was in an exhibition booth. Why? I was there with 3 Marianist men (2 brothers and a priest) to give out information about the Marianist family. There may have been some people there who are considering religious life, but mainly we were there to give info to teachers/administrators/campus ministers about who the Marianists are so that they could share the info with students. It was a good thing. We had a great time and met TONS of people. There were a little over 9,000 people there total.
The conference ended on Friday morning. Friday afternoon a good friend of mine who is studying at Catholic Univ in Washington,DC drove up to spend some time with me. We walked all over historic Baltimore... we saw the US's first Catholic Cathedral (now a basilica in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption)... we saw a number of Gothic-style churches... and we spent hours in an art museum. We had a great time.
On Saturday morning, I came back to San Antonio ready to finish out this portion of my first year of novitiate. You see, I leave for Dayton Ohio in about 1 month. My first year will still be going on (until August), but a different phase of it will start in May. I'm excited to move to Dayton. I'm not sure how long I'll be there... and I have SO MUCH to do before I leave (in terms of packing, sorting, giving things away, etc), but I'm looking forward to spending a few months with our Sisters there.
So, are you wondering why I began this post with the song? It is simply because yesterday morning and this morning when I walked outside... felt the cool breeze... and beautiful sunrises... when I look at how God has blessed me in recent weeks... I can't help, but sing of the glory of God. That song has been on my heart for a few days. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to start there.
Many blessings on all who read this!