What has it been like to be "Director of (the) Novice" these last seven months? Have I had hard times? Have I had good times? Have I cried? Have I laughed? The answer? YES! That's right, yes to all the above. When the word got out that this would be my ministry for at least this year and next many friends said that they certainly would never have thought it. And I can assure you neither would I!
It has truly been a walk on the wild side! Just to be living with some of my Sisters after 12 years of living alone has been something new. New and wonderful. The time we five (Amy Hereford, Clare Spaeth, Paula Michaud, Sarah Heger and I) spend together sharing a meal, praying together each night, laughing, talking, having our Sharing of the State of the Heart and the State of Our House each week have been great opportunities for me to grow as an individual as well as a member of our novitiate community. I am blessed. And just walking the walk with Sarah in a very special, particular way as she travels this first year in the novitiate has been a gift. As you can well imagine, I, too, have revisited some aspects of my own novitiate life as I move through it with her. I, too, am "in the novitiate" in a very real way. Discernment of the Spirit-of-God within me is an on-going/never-ending process--for you, too?
All of the above has also had its challenges. Do I miss my most recent community and friends at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Ozark, MO? You bet I do. Do I miss my apartment in Nixa, MO and my landlady, Margaret, and the good visits had with her and my neighbors in my building? Certainly. At the same time, I welcome this time and opportunity to be involved with this aspect of vocation ministry. For the most part it keeps me alert and alive and I am delighted with that.
I'll close now with a reminder that we are approaching two high feasts of our church year: the Feast of St. Patrick and the Feast of St. Joseph. Join us, at least in spirit, this weekend as we gather and celebrate the years of love and service given by so many of our Sisters. Let the Jubilee begin!
Novice Director Pat