When I was discerning entering religious life/the Sisters of Providence, I read many blogs written by younger sisters. I would get disappointed when it seemed that the authors just stopped posting, so I promised myself that I wouldn’t do that. But I did. I’m grateful that I was able to allow myself the space I needed to process my time and transformation, so I thank you for your patience with me.
My year of canonical novitiate is approaching its end. It was a great blessing but also a great challenge. I was busier than expected. As I expected, it was a time to do a great deal of inner work. I honestly think that the world could be a lot better if everyone had a canonical novitiate – although I realize that the opportunity also requires buy-in from people willing to do the work. All that to say that I’m grateful for the opportunity and hope to continue to grow as I move on to the next phase.
Speaking of which, my next phase is called apostolic novitiate. It’s almost a year, during which time I’ll live in a local community (with other Sisters of Providence away from the formation house) and work in full-time paid ministry. I’ll join an LGU (Local Government Unit, a group that engages in conversations three times per year to build relationship and help guide the members of our congregational leadership team through community-wide processes of discernment) and meet regularly with smaller groups of sisters to discuss the vows we take of poverty, chastity, and obedience as part of my discernment as to whether I’ll take first vows in June of 2019.
For my apostolic novitiate ministry, I will be teaching high school theology (and possibly one sociology class) at Bishop McNamara Catholic School in Kankakee, Illinois. I’ll have sophomores and seniors, and I’m (unsurprisingly) most excited about teaching world religions and Catholic Social Teaching. Kankakee is about 2.5 hours from both St. Mary-of-the-Woods and Indianapolis and 1.5 hours from most of Chicago (45 minutes from some of our sisters who live on the south side of Chicago).
As I prepare to transition, I’m pondering what ways I can sustainably re-commit to the values I hold dear. I hope, as I move forward, to get back into blogging here, while also remembering my primary ministries: to my students, my local community (the sister I’ll live with), my novitiate responsibilities, and my self-care. It’s a balancing act, and I plan to keep improving as I readjust all throughout my life.
Until next time, friends, may we strive to love the world a little more each day.