Friday, September 21, 2012

News from Guaimaca Community, Honduras


In Guaimaca we not only celebrate the Feast of St. Dominic on August 8th, but also the feast of St. Rose of Lima, our parish patron saint. It starts with nine days of preparation with masses in the different neighborhoods, followed by a special Eucharistic celebration on August 23rd and then, a week of festival, by the town itself, to culminate with another special mass on the 30th, the old date of the feast.

This year, as we celebrated the Feast of St. Dominic at the Parish with the participation of our Associate Candidates, we pointed out to the parishioners, that August 2012 has three Dominican Feasts at our Parish: St. Dominic, St. Rose of Lima, a Lay Dominican, and the Golden Jubilee of Religious Life of Sr. María Ceballos.
There were two special moments on the feast of St. Dominic:  an afternoon of recollection and prayer for the students at the Marie Poussepin Center and then, the parish Mass. Several parishioners and the students had been practicing songs to St. Dominic and were joined in by our pastor, Fr. Jonathan, who is a singer and composer. The Sisters and the Associate Candidates participated in different ways in the Liturgy.  It was an opportunity to make better known our Dominican roots and charism.

Sr. María had celebrated her jubilee in Dighton, but we were waiting for her to celebrate it here with us. On Sunday, August 26th we had the renewal of her commitment at the Sunday morning Eucharist.  It was an opportunity to thank the Lord for her 50 years of consecration to the Lord, 11 of which have been spent at the service of the poor in this local Church. It was a good vocational awareness opportunity.  Many people were able to be present at the Eucharist and the small reception that followed on the side of the Church and outside the clinic.

That evening the Associate Candidates and their families surprised her with a good meal, time of sharing,

 cake and "piñata." It was very meaningful that it came from them to organize this moment for her.  We can see that they have grown to be part of us, Dominican Sisters of the Presentation in Honduras.

On the very day, August 28th, we joined her, once more, in thanking the Lord for the many graces of these years. This was the day for the stud ents to provide some time of celebration for Sr. María.  That evening they danced and expressed the joy of celebrating with her. They were able to watch a presentation we had shown Sr. María and the parishioners at the Parish celebration.  It was an opportunity to get to know more about Sr. María’s religious life and to ask her some questions. Again, another vocational moment…hopefully!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

News from Dighton Community

Summer is coming to an end which means that as New Englanders we will need to adjust to a different lifestyle. The Dighton community had a good summer. We enjoyed the beautiful flowers all around the property. Our sisters took advantage of the outdoors. The older sisters sat on the porch; but also joined the rest of us as we spent a day at Herman’s cottage while Sr. Monique was here.

Yes, the highlight of the summer was the canonical visit by Sr. Monique, our Superior General. Sr. Monique came a few days early for R & R and joined us for the outing. Later in the summer, we had another outing to St. Anne’s community. The “under 65” sisters went sightseeing in Boston for a day. They were lucky enough to visit the “USS Constitution” and have a short boat ride on the Charles river. Their only complaint was that they need more time to see Boston. Isn’t that true!

While Sister Monique was here we hosted some 80 people for the celebration of Eucharist and dinner in order to celebrate Sr. Marie Therese Ernou’s 75th Jubilee of religious life. Sr. Maria Ceballos was celebrating her 50th. 

One unexpected event of this grand celebration was when a sister opened those warmers to put the pan of food over the steaming water when suddenly the fire alarm went off. No matter how fast you call them, or what you say, the Dighton Fire Engines and Police were here before you could blink. It turned out to be fun event because the guest were coming in at the same time and were teasing Srs. Marie Therese and Sr. Maria about having all these guests for the celebration..

We had a nice cozy celebration of Labor Day. It was a gorgeous day. Some sisters carried tables, others were in the kitchen, another at the grill and of course we had the famous potato salad delivered. We enjoyed a few family and friends.

Now let’s look forward to the autumn phase.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

St. Dominic Guzman

      Can you hear a wam, joyful laughter leaping through the ageless mountains of Spain and southern France?  That resonating, exultant joy is the spirit of a man who lived in the 12th and 13th centuries.  Yet his zeal for souls of his sisters and brothers sings out even now.

       And how can he be adequately introduced in such a small space in a blog?

        Who is this saint behind all the legends: some undoubtedly true; some pious traditions from later centuries?

    What surprised was the recurring emphasis on Dominic Guzman’s great energy, and enthusiasm.  People were attracted to that charismatic joyfulness which can only come from the Holy Spirit. 
            Today we are so far removed from the Middle Ages it is hard to fathom what life was like.  Our English language was in its infancy.
    The earliest Dominicans as we now call them, were unlike other orders.  They were mendicants who lived not in the isolated countryside, but in urban settings.  They interacted with the everyday person, their neighbors.  Also different was their emphasis on the study of Scripture not on manual labor as was the norm at the time.  Lastly, until this time preaching was the sole responsibility of the local bishop.  Friars dedicated to preaching?  Now that was new!  It took awhile to get approval.  Once received, St Dominic and his followers-both brothers and sisters- endeavored to imitate the apostles.

      They were to speak only to God or about God.  Does this sound slightly familiar my joy-filled sisters and brothers?