Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Day 7 of the General Chapter

It rained Sunday morning. That was fine because the countryside needed it – they had been having a dry spell. We were indoors with meetings. We had the afternoon off and appreciated the fact that the rain let up and we were able to get outside and stretch our legs after so many meetings. Many of us went up to Assisi and explored the many wonderful sights. The rain had left everything fresh. Trappists and Trappistines kept showing up amid the tourists in the quaint, tiny streets and historical plazas, and could be seen praying in the churches and shrines. Some were in their habits, some were in their “play clothes”. 

A different region is in charge of the music for Mass each morning. When it was the turn of the African region a couple days ago it was a lively liturgy, with clapping to the beat. This morning it was in French and the sister who sang the Responsorial Psalm had a beautiful voice. 

Impressions: Despite the great variety in our Order there is much unity. On top of the black and white habits are faces of many different shapes and colors – some old, some young. There are many languages and accents. Among the nuns, some have more hair showing, some less. Some have only the front part of their face showing. There is a wonderful variety of belts. Somehow, our belts remind me of our appreciation for manual work. But in spite of all this diversity, there is much more that we have in common than not. We discover that we are kindred spirits in our conversations. And in the meetings, we see that many of the same problems and issues are being experienced across the regions. 

There is a wonderful family spirit. No signs of competition or egos are to be seen. There is much mutual support. I am impressed with how much solicitude is given to the houses with special problems. There is no time or energy spared them. 

Fr. Stephen, Genesee