Thursday, December 27, 2007

For unto us a child is born...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I had these hopes that I would have the time and energy to post something on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day... however, that was not to be. But, I figure since it's still the Christmas Season, it's "all good."

What a wonderful week it has been! With lots of laughter, beautiful prayer experiences, great food and time with the Marianist Family, we, the Marianist Sisters in Dayton, started the Christmas Season.

Christmas Eve the house was filled with Christmas music, busy people decorating, and wonderful smells from the kitchen. We started the day with our last Advent morning prayer... then the house became a flurry of activity... with a lot of laughing. Joy is a great way to characterize the mood..... At 5pm we joined other members of the Marianist Family for first vespers of Christmas in the Immaculate Conception Chapel at the Univ. of Dayton. It was a beautiful gathering of approximately 50 or so brothers, priests, sisters and a few Lay Marianists. Then, we returned home for our supper of "heavy hors d'oeuvres" and the opening of gifts. We also shared stories of Christmas Eve traditions from our families.

At 10pm the celebration of the vigil Mass began with carols at UD in the IC Chapel. Three of us sang and/or played an instrument in the choir. What an experience! The music selection was wonderful. Some of the songs, Wood of the Manger and Child of the Poor, were new to me... so beautiful. I recommend looking them up if you're not familiar with them. The homily was also very good. After Mass, around midnight, one of the SM communities (our Marianist brothers and priests) hosted a small reception. We arrived around midnight for fresh-baked, homemade desserts, decaf coffee and egg nog. It was a small, simple gathering, but nice none-the-less.

Christmas Day was wonderful. We invited over the SM novitiate community to share Christmas dinner with us. We cooked the main dishes and they brought over sweet potatoes and desserts. It was a joyful gathering and fun.

And so, yesterday was spent in "recovery" mode, so to speak. I was able to get in some phone calls and some errands yesterday, so that was good. Today I leave for my sister's house. I will be traveling with her and her family to her in-laws for their Christmas gathering over the weekend. Then, I'm back in Dayton for New Years... Busy, busy!!!

And so, I have to leave you.
May you, your communities and your families be blessed abundantly with the peace and joy of Christmas.
~Sr. N