Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Monica Martin shares about a recent Initial Formation Weekend.
There is a time-honored tradition of those in initial formation gathering at the Motherhouse for a weekend each winter. In years’ past, it was a chance for the temporary professed to meet and get to know the postulants and novices. This year, however, was different. In the months leading up to to the weekend, Sister Regina Rose and I would comment on how strange it would be to just have the two of us, and that it is a good thing we like each other.
There was a pleasant surprise in store for us, because we would get a chance to interact with young women who are discerning whether to join our community. Sister Julie Ann arranged to have a discernment retreat that very weekend. Interacting with people discerning religious life always gives one a chance to step back from day-to-day life and look at the big picture of our calling again. It’s also nice to be able to pass on information that we have learned in our own journeys.
Sister Theresa Feldkamp had taken the time to schedule sessions for Sister Regina Rose and I to attend. On Saturday morning, Sister Marie Kolbe spent time teaching us about the roles of Mary as daughter, Mary as spouse, and Mary as mother, as illustrated through the Annunciation. She challenged us to see ourselves in each of those roles as consecrated women religious. In the afternoon, we had a panel discussion with Sister Paula, Sister Lois Ann, and Sister Jerianne. We talked about how we come across to others through our dress and actions, how we can have holistic health, and how we can improve our dining experiences. We got to put what we learned into practice immediately during an outing to Culver’s, where we enjoyed Sundaes.
All in all, it was a great weekend to get refreshed, reconnect with our Sisters, and get to know some potential Sisters.