It has been officially announced that I'll be headed within the next month or so back to St. Paul for a semester of community and ministry there. It was providencial that chapter happened to be in St. Paul as I was able to look at possible ministry sites, meet this sisters, see places where I might live, etc. I have a few weeks left here, so I'm trying to maintain some schedule and novitiate routine while spending time with family, friends, and community that I won't see for awhile, and also preparing myself for the coming transition. Always an interesting balancing act. But, I am very much looking forward to my time in St. Paul (aside from the anticipated winter weather). I have had wonderful experiences with sisters outside of the St. Louis province and hope to cherish this time just as much.
After Christmas I'll then head to Denver for the second "semester" before heading for a month of vow prep of some kind before I would make initial profession next August. When I started this process nearly three and a half years ago the time of initial profession seemed far, far away. Actually it seemed that way until very recently. The last time Pat and I met with our leadership liaison for my six month evaluation, I realized that the next time we meet for that purpose will be when my request should come. How in the world did that happen?! So, while I'll be meeting people, taking classes, and doing some ministry in St. Paul, I'll also have some discernment to continue in as well. While next August would be my initial profession with a sort of "opt out program" still in place, I would be requesting vows with the intent that they would be for life. I want that decision to be made with a deep sense of peace and delight if it is what God is calling me to six months from now.
Right now, though, I'm just living the days. Today we celebrated Clare's birthday. Tomorrow a celebration with one of the sisters who just completed her bar exam. Wednesday a vow ceremony for some of the novices that had been in my intercommunity novitiate. So much to celebrate and for which to be thankful.
A quote from the Gospel today comes to mind, "Ask and it will be given you, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks finds, and for everyone who knocks the door will be opened." (Mt 7:7-8) I don't even know that I could have asked for all that has been given to me.