Thursday, May 06, 2010

Early in the morning, it's the dawn of a new day
- new hopes, new dreams, new ways.
I open up my eyes and I open up my mind and
I wonder how life will surprise me today.
A Beautiful Day ~ India Arie

Where has the time gone? How is it that I haven't blogged since Palm Sunday weekend? Craziness...

I suppose it's time for an update on life. My sister said to me not too long ago, "I didn't know sisters traveled so much." My response? "Well... this one does." And that's the story of my life, my friends! :)

Let's see. What's been going on since Palm Sunday... It's sad. I just had to reach for my planner....

The Triduum was beautiful as always. I won't tell you all the details of each day, but we celebrated the beauty of this short liturgical season very well. The Vigil on Holy Saturday was fantastic. Two students were baptized and another was received into full communion. It was such a joyous occasion for the UD community.

In the midst of such joy, however, the UD community was hit with 2 tragedies during Holy Week. First, a graduate student and teaching assistant took his life. It was a difficult time for many people on campus. I believe that happened just before Holy Week. Then... on Holy Thursday, a junior volleyball player and her father were killed in a plane crash on their way to pick up her sister at another college. That was very difficult also. The compassionate response of the UD community was wonderful, but the loss was just so great.

It was odd to have these tragedies in the midst of Holy Week. Perhaps, though, the timing allowed everyone some time to reflect on the Paschal Mystery... and the fact that death does not ever triumph. But it's not realistic to expect that people can ponder theology in the midst of such loss.

And then... it was April...

April was a PACKED month for me. With two weekends in a row spent out of town for Marianist LIFE planning (one weekend in Philadelphia for 4 days followed by a weekend in San Antonio for 3)... one weekend spent celebrating the jubilee of 4 brothers in Cincinnati... one weekend visiting with friends from out of town (one from LA and another from Fort Worth)... AND... finishing 2 14-page research papers for my class. No wonder April flew!

While I was in Philadelphia I spent every free second writing. The two papers that were due the last week of April were 1) an integration paper (prompt - what did you learn this semester? What new insights did you gain into spiritual direction or pastoral care?) and 2) a topic of our choice. I chose to do something on how the Marianist charism influences the way a person does spiritual direction. We didn't get page parameters for either paper. I was shooting for 12-15 pages. The first one ended up being just shy of a full 15 pages. The other was just barely 14. But... they are done. I did well and the semester is over.

So, the last week of April was finals week at UD. Many stressed out students getting very little sleep and drinking energy drinks. There were many interesting conversations happening in the Campus Ministry office of Marycrest residence hall! I'll miss the energy of the first year students I got to know this year. But, a new group will be here before I know it!

Graduation was the first weekend of May.... another busy weekend!

Now... since the students are gone (except the summer employees and those in summer courses), you'd think I'd have more time. FALSE! :) With end of year meetings, lunches, dinners, receptions, awards, recognitions... I've spent the better part of the past 5 days eating! Or... that's what it seems like and that's how my clothes feel! Things will slow down next week, though... which is a good thing.

Then... I'll be off to an 8-day silent, directed retreat (May 17-26) and thus begins my summer adventures! I'm heading back to Texas at the end of the month... Then to a 4-day conference in Chicago... a 2-week Scripture course at Oblate School of Theology... a wedding in Fort Worth... Marianist temporary professed formation gathering in Louisville followed by 3 days of meetings with the Marianist brothers (also in Louisville)... 8 days to visit with family/friends in Texas... 16 days of Marianist LIFE (program and meetings)... and then I'll be back in Dayton to start all over again. Whew! It'll be quite the summer!!!

So... it's the start of a new day... new things... life is full of surprises and blessings. I hope that you are able to count many blessings at the start of your days, too!

Many blessings,
Sr. N


Kelly_SSJ/A said...

You certainly have been busy!!!!!!!! I have been holding all of the students and families affected in prayer. Hope all is getting easier day by day as the semester draws to a close.

things are moving along here...please say a couple extra prayers...they are starting to get scary exciting...can I handle it??? Answer: of course God and I together can! :)

Lisa said...

Always good to hear from and about you, Nicole. Sorry for the losses to your local community. Prayers accompany you all.

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