An Outline of Events

Monday, November 27, 2006

All that I did on my visit...
Thursday evening, about an hour after I was supposed to arrive, I made my way down to baggage claim. Waiting there for me was one of the candidates. (I thought I was going to grab my luggage and look for veils out where the cars were so this was a surprise.) She greeted me with a warm smile and big hug. We chatted and waited for luggage then made our way in a hurry to the cars outside. She looked for another cadidate and when we found her, we raced - as much as you can race in 5 o'clock traffic in New York - back to the convent.

We had lovely conversation and prayed evening prayer on the way there. (Since I had arrived so late, they thought we were going to miss evening prayer. Luckily I had my brievary with me!)

When we arrived at the convent, I was greeted immediately by Sister Clare. It was nice to see her again. When we told her we had prayed evening prayer she laughed and told us she had pushed back prayer so that we could make it in time! Oops. Oh well... She sent the girls into the chapel to wait with the others as she showed me the 'dorm' (helping me with my luggage) and got me a glass of water. We chatted for just a few minutes about my trip and she left me to relax for a minute before I made my way to the chapel.

I started my visit in Eucharisitc adoration. Evening prayer was also said during this time. Following all of that was dinner. I can't remember a whole lot of what else happened that evening but I remember Sister Clare telling me constantly that it was okay to retire early if I was feeling tired. I managed to make it until everyone else called it a night.

Night Prayer, Rosary, Bed.

Friday is a day of prayer for the community so it was a very solitary day. They have 'respectful silence' (instead of 'grand silence') so it wasn't without a few whispered conversations.

Office of Readings, Hour of Meditation, Morning Prayer, Mass, Breakfast, Confession, Quiet time, Midday Prayer, Lunch as desired, Evening Prayer, Dinner.

I believe it was at dinner that we 'broke' silence. (This is their main community time.)

Not too long after dinner and dishes, the guests (there were four of us) rushed off with Sr. Clare to the novitiate to meet with Sr. Lucille, one-on-one.

Sr. Lucille is a very kind and gentle heart - very motherly! She thought we had met before but I assured her we hadn't. She introduced us to the novice class (10 in all) and to the one professed sister.

While there I prayed rosary and night prayer with the novice class in their chapel, had meditation time, and started The Life of Saint Francis by Saint Bonaventure (in the library). One of the novices gave us iced tea and soon it was my turn for a talk with Sr. Lucille, Community Servant. (Equal to 'Mother Superior')

We chatted for a good long while before I made my way back to the library. Once there I discovered two sisters (one first year, one novice) talking to the other girls. They were very nice and answered a lot of questions.

Late that evening they drove us back to the other convent.


Saturday - Day of Craziness
I still struggle trying to remember what all we did on Saturday. At the end of the day we all reflected on how crazy our day had been and laughed for a good while at the fact that no one could put together all we had done!


Office of Readings
Meditation time (1 hour)
Morning Prayer
Chores/Food Bagging
Rosary at Abortion Clinic
Chores/Food Bagging
Midday Prayer

Jump dead van, Turkey-ize other van, Prepare carrots, make 50 food bags, clean out freezer downstairs, Organize pantry, 3 give morality talk/testimony at school, 2 take guest to airport, the rest prepare dinner.

Evening prayer (with only four people)
Dinner (everyone arrives before the end)
Sisters Leave for Friary
Everyone leaves for Friary
Night of Praise (Eucharistic adoration and benediction, praise and worship)
Night Prayer

*I think it was sometime on this day that Father Andrew came to meet with each of the candidates and guests but he ran out of time and had to meet with two of us the next day. Honestly, I can't remember which day he came first... I think it was Saturday. *shrug* I also know we had a holy hour but can't remember during what part of the day.

Office, Meditation, Mass/Morning Prayer, Breakfast, Hang out/Chill time (music in the basement), one-on-one meeting with Father Andrew, moving groceries upstairs in preparation for Monday...

Again.. the days all kinda blur together. I know we did a lot of prep work for the following day. We had the usual midday prayer, lunch, evening prayer, holy hour and dinner together.

If I recall this was the night that we went to a concert at the church next door. The Friar Suppliers came over that night so we had a lot to unload and unpack. They joined us for evening prayer and dinner/desert and there are plenty of funny stories within that short amount of time for another day.

Most of that night, if I remember correctly, we spent unloading and moving and rearranging. We were pretty much tripping on food (which is amazing).

Rosary, Night Prayer, Bed.

Office of Readings, Meditation time (1 hour), Morning Prayer, Mass, Breakfast, Prep work for food hand-out, Meeting to review plan for food hand-out, grocery store visit to buy 115 turkeys, more prep work

10:30-12 noon = Turkey hand-out

We handed out about 114 turkeys during that time and even more bags of food. We had hot cocoa, chocolate chip cookies, music, and prayer to go along with the other things. I helped in several different areas but mainly worked at the front of the line checking cards, talking to people, and handing out food. Toward the end of the time, a new guest and I helped one woman carry her food (bag of non-perishables and a turkey) back to her apartment about three blocks over.

After that was done, midday prayer and lunch.

Again, don't remember exactly what else happened and in what order but I remember cleaning, stocking shelves (and then bins because the shelves were too full), breaking down boxes, helping Sr. Jacinta again (just she and I) with another line that had formed outside for food, more cleaning, more breaking down boxes...

rest time (walk through the cemetery with one of the candidates), evening prayer, holy hour, dinner, down time for guests/house meeting for candidates and sisters, rosary, night prayer, BED!

*At the end of the day we had handed out over 200 turkeys and I would assume close to 250 (or so) bags of food.

Office of Readings, Meditation Time (1 hour), Morning Prayer, Breakfast

Goodness... I honestly can't remember all that happened. I remember it being another day where we were all doing a million different things... but I can't remember what those things were.

I'll have to look it up in my journal. But anyway... I know we had midday prayer and lunch. The candidates had to leave for meetings with Sr. Lucille and the rest of us stayed and hung out around the table with the Sisters. The next time I looked up it was time to leave. Sister ran around in a mad rush trying to figure out which car to take and how she would get back in time to grab the other sisters to head to the friary for an early start on Thanksgiving. I somehow managed to grab a few minutes in the chapel before leaving. The last thing I did before putting my things in the car and leaving was help to dry the lunchtime dishes.

Sister Clare and I talked the whole way to the airport about my trip and how it went.

The End.

I know that looks like a really long description of my trip but I gave you the really broken down version. Imagine what my parents heard. They were sorry they asked. Anyway, I'll be thinking and praying over all that I experienced there and will share in due time. For now, you've got more than enough reading material - I think.

You're sorry you asked too aren't ya?

Oh.. I forgot to mention that we had Mass/meals/talk time with Fr. Leo, Fr. Terry, and Fr. Andrew while I was there. Plus everyone (friars, brothers, sisters, postulants, and candidates) was at the Night of Praise. So I saw or spoke with everyone that wasn't in England or Honduras on at least one occassion during my visit. 'Twas fun.


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