Sunday, August 26, 2012

Community takes Work


Community life, like family life, takes some extra work and determination! Our community of over a hundred has small groups of 5-14 for evening recreation, family support, and prayer.  Every Fall our small groups gather to set goals, evaluate how they are supporting each other and the community as a whole, and determine how the work of community life can be helped.  Out on the mission, Sister and I just sat down to discuss life at our little Convent apartment away from the Monastery. 

We asked one of our sisters from the closest of our Convents to guide us through our discussion.  The work of our community life was wonderful discussion and all worked out well.  Our life together moves along fairly smoothly, but it is always good to reflect and share about the past year and our hopes for the year to come.  Then the secondary reason for our going to the other sisters' Convent apartment was FUN. 

We recently put our 6 bedroom, 2 full bathroom, 2 living room (you get the picture) house up for sale since we only had a couple sisters still living and working in the city.  So...They gave us a tour of our new place in the big city!  It is a lovely little Convent apartment, simply furnished but homey.  After our meeting, we shared in a wonderful supper, Liturgy of the Hours, and reflection on the Gospel.  Then we returned to the table for some fun!  A lively game of hand and foot which my partner, Sister Principal, and I lost...but a good time was had by all.  It was good just to visit, see our new place, hear their stories of moving and packing and moving, and share some prayer together.  Sister Roommate and I didn't set out for home until 9:45PM (very late)! 

Even though it was quite the late night by the time we reached our little convent, it was a wonderful day and blessing to get to visit with our sisters nearby.  Now, we are getting back to the work of our daily life our horarium here together while we remember our sisters at the Monastery.  Soon enough we will be home for a weekend Theology Institute and later on our holiday fair...


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

School Eve


Ah summer, it was just too brief.  It was wonderful to be home at the monastery with my sisters, but August sends us back to our places of ministry and service.  I've returned to the big city and school.

The staff and faculty have worked through three days of preparation and inservices, and tomorrow hails the first day of classes!  I've unpacked into a lovely new office space I share with another theology teacher, tweaked & photocopied all my syllabi, and re-read and re-wrote the beginning of my lesson plans.  Still, nothing prepares me totally for our 7:55 bell for first period and 20 boys trooping into my classroom.

Speaking of the boys, it was wonderful to see them at the school Mass and picnic on Sunday.  I floated along with the school staff throughout the families and their students.  The fun in such a gathering is to find out what they had been doing over the summer.  Most of the boys were already trimmed up and ready for school, but a few were still quite scruffy around the edges...this offers us a chance to tease them a bit without any need for demerits or detentions.  What surprised me (and always does) is how many will walk up to the teachers to ask us how our summers went. 

Back to 7:55 tomorrow morning; even though all I plan on discussing is my syllabi and general issues, I'm always a bit anxious about that first day.  In preparation, I've been doing a bit more than keeping the school schedule and working on my lessons; I've been praying for my students and me.  A few extra petitions in our Liturgy of the Hours, a chaplet or all helps remind me that it isn't just my boys and me in our classroom, Christ is in the midst of us all.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Generosity in Work


For the third time in three years, I am moving to a different office.  Our spaces keep changing, and needs have shifted another theology teacher and myself to an office near the crypt (in the basement).  At the end of last school year, we peeked  into the space that was currently being used for an extra office, storage space, and keeper of odds and ends...and made a polite request.  We hoped for a good scrub down of the space and a new coat of paint to brighten the windowless room.

Our maintenance and custodial folk have never been okay with just the basics but poured out their generosity in service to the school.  Yesterday, I turned on the light to the office and was frozen in the doorway with amazement!  The new Theology Department Office:  a drop ceiling to hide the pipes and plumbing above, carpet squares to cover the simple poured cement floor below, one wall is sage green with the other three a sunny mustardy yellow, even the wall of power boxes has been hidden behind a new wall!  As soon as I gathered my wits together, I began to search out the men and women behind the amazing transformation of the basement room into this Awesome Office and profusely thanked each of them.

There are days when I struggle and wonder if I'm really in the right place, but then I recall the outpouring of support among the staff and faculty and realize I don't want to be anywhere else!  These last few weeks, the generosity came from the maintenance staff, but tomorrow it could be anyone else or even myself reaching out to others.  I hope you also have such moments of joy in your work-service-ministry with others.