Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday, Monday

This weekend, life at Trinita was typically full. We had our first real spring weather... record breaking summer weather, to be more accurate. It's been in the low nineties here three days in a row now! I love it. In the midst of this lovely weather, we had Vinnie and a volunteer "summerizing" the property all day by putting away the buckets of ice melt and putting out the picnic tables and so on. Hallelujah, you can sit on the front porch again, the wicker chairs are back out.

While that was going on, we had another set of volunteers, Mike and Rita, crawling around in obscure corners of the property to run a new phone line and to extend our wireless internet access.

And while all that was going on, Siena, Marion and I had about 40 of our fellow parishioners here for a First Communion retreat. It was fun! It was so fun, we did it all over again on Sunday afternoon with another 40 folks. I really enjoy that particular program--I wish more parishes would ask us to give it.

But too much fun can wear a person out. It's been over a month since I had a real day off, due to preparing for the Centennial and other things I could barely keep up with. So all week, knowing the weather was going to be great, I've been looking forward to taking today off. Monday, my day off!

I slept late of course. Then I packed a lunch and got in the car and drove west on Route 4. I have never gone past Torrington on 4. Goshen, Cornwall, Kent-- just names on the map to me. I could see there were some state parks along the way, so with no plan at all, I drove off into the beautiful spring day. I listened to music cranked up loud, I sang at the top of my lungs, and I rubbernecked my way through the gorgeous New England countryside.

I drove over two covered bridges! Wow, that was very cool, I never saw one before. I ate my lunch at Mohawk State Park, which I never even knew existed. There was an old-fashioned hand pump there, and I used it to rinse my face before I got back on the road. The water tasted like water out of a garden hose, which has always appealed to me. I saw many things. Even a waterfall.

This day would have been great no matter what, but it was even better because at the end of my journey, I pulled into the parking lot of Trinita, which is as beautful as anything I saw today. The buds are just coming out on the trees. I think we'll have leaves by the end of the week. I sat at the fire pit awhile and wrote a letter to a friend. As I was finishing up the letter, I looked up and saw, high up in the tree by Cabin 1, a hula hoop. Now that is something you could drive all over Connecticut and never see, but we have a hula hoop 30 feet up a tree right here at Trinita.

Maybe I will take next Monday off, too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Green Shoots

No leaves yet. Waiting is hard. But there are wonderful things pushing up out of the ground at long last here at Trinita.

This has been a long haul for me. A very long winter. I have served on the Core Committee for the Missionary Cenacle Family Centennial for over three year. Four, by the time we have our final meeting in September. Wow. I was still working on my thesis back at University of Dayton.

We have been working on "The Plan" all this time: devising it, revising it, explaining it, pushing it forward, explaining it..... explaining it. Sigh. I guess it is hard to grasp because we have never done anything like this before.

Our last assembly of the Missionary Cenacle Family was a 4 day conference in 2000. We called it the Jubilee Jubileo. (Going bilingual has made redundancy a way of life for us.) After taking counsel for some time, we finally arrived at a statement with some goals for the MCF Council to work on. They did. They created some committees who produced some materials for us to use. Most folks probably did not even know that stuff was the result of the Jubileo.

But this time, it's different. We arrived at some goals, but the work is not going to the MCF Council. It's going to Area Councils. Which don't hardly even exist right now except as a concept. The work is going right back to us. If we don't do it, it won't get done. This may not sound like a big deal, but it is.

I returned to Trinita this week with my head full of experiences. It's odd, how I feel. I feel like it's the New Year, and I have made resolutions I will really keep. I feel like it's Easter, and the Virtue of Hope has sprung up inside me like a new spring flower. Green shoots everywhere. I have a lot of work to do, but I am right where I should be. I am ready to do it.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One Hundred

April 1909.

One hundred years later, it is Holy Thursday. It is my feast day. (My religious name is Sister Deborah of the Eucharist.) We took a morning of prayer and reflection, and soon we'll enjoy a supper of lamb and a sort of Seder meal, thanks to Sr. Marion Agnes. Today is a beautiful day, a day of transition between winter and spring, transition in who lives and works here, transition in how we work with the lay missionaries here. A transition between the first hundred years and the next hundred years.

Father Judge said something right to those five women he called to St. John Perboyre Chapel one hundred years ago. Words were seeds that fell on fertile ground and were nourished. Today, we sit in our little chapel, still able to see across the land to the distant hills because the white birch in front of the window has not yet got its leaves. Today, we light a stub of an old altar candle given us by our dear parish church down at the bottom of Town Hill. This is the light we get from our parish, the light we get from our Church, and the light we fan into flame.

Next week, that stub flies to Holy Trinity Alabama in my suitcase. We will all toss our candles together, and the mingled light will melt them and reform them. Soon, in this little chapel, we will not be able to see beyond the beautiful spring leaves of the white birch outside the window. And burning here will be a new candle, for the next one hundred years, made up of all the wax of all the candles of all the missions.

What a wonderful thing to be a missionary.