Every Wednesday, starting last week, Pat and I have the opportunity to gather with novices from men's and women's orders from around the St. Louis area for an intercommunity novitiate experience. And what an experience it is! There are sixteen novices, plus directors. We are from Africa, Mexico, Vietnam, the Phillipines, and across the United States. The ages of the novices range from early twenties to mid-fifties. Students, lawyers, mothers, teachers... The first two gatherings have been primarily to get to know one another and to discuss the purpose of the program and our expectations. Future weeks will entail speakers, discussion, and reflection on various topics relative to our journeys. We laugh a lot! With such a diversity of culture and lived experience, I could sit, listen, and observe all day. I think our longest discussions over lunch on Wednesday were about people here bringing dogs into their houses and eating off each other's plates. I can't wait to see what next Wednesday will bring.
I am also including a picture from my community birthday celebration. A quarter of a century old! Some of the sisters here had never been to Fitz' before. We each split a dinner and could still hardly finish the root beer floats. Next time I'm going for the float first.