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A Visit to the Noviciate in White Plains, NY

Rebecca McKenna, CND

Some people go south in February. February 1– 4, I went as far as White Plains to visit the interprovincial noviciate (Blessed Sacrament and Visitation provinces). It was a real pleasure to meet the formation community (Sisters Cathy Molloy, Peggy Doyle, Donna Kelly, Maco Cassetta and Libby Osgood) and to experience their hospitality of food, conversation and shared prayer. I was fortunate to be there for Friday morning “class” a thought provoking webinar entitled “Living Mission Inter-culturally,” led by theology and culture professor Anthony Gittins. After the presentation we left for Fordham University where we gathered with a small group for Mass. Libby Osgood (Novice of Visitation Province) went on to her class in Ecological Theology with the well-known theologian Elizabeth Johnson. Maco (Director of Novices) and I had lunch and time to wander through the botanical gardens that border the university. We especially enjoyed the stunning orchid display in the rotunda of the Mertz Botanical Library.

On Saturday morning I shared the Visitation Province Area Gathering process with Libby, Donna and Maco. We heard yet again the call to “Go to the peripheries” and shared stories of how each of us has encountered this reality in our daily lives. This was followed by our travel into New York City, where we sampled some of the city’s best: 5th Avenue, Central Park, the Michelangelo exhibit at The Metropolitan Art Gallery, Mass at a very mixed Dominican parish, some authentic Italian cuisine, followed by an experience of “Catholic Underground NYC.” The latter is a revival of traditional Catholic ritual surrounded by new worship music, ancient Latin motets, and the beauty of sung vespers. We left before the after-hour concert began in the church basement, as it was already after 9 pm and we had to find our way our way back to White Plains.

Our formation house is well attuned to the evolving cultural, theological, and spiritual conversations of our day and feels like a healthy environment for discerning the call to religious life in 2018. Let’s keep this lively CND community in our thoughts and prayers.

Rebecca McKenna, CND



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