The last two and a bit weeks have been busy weeks, with the Sisters preparing for the great feasts of Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, while keeping the girls from the brink of panic before the mid-year exams descended upon them.
On the Feast of Pentecost, it is customary in our Congregation for each Sister to receive a “Gift” of the Holy Ghost and also a “Fruit” of the Holy Ghost. During the singing of the Veni Creator Spiritus during the hour of Terce, the Prioress goes along the choir with a tray with these gifts, and each Sister draws from the stack one “Gift” and one “Fruit” – a virtue to practice and a gift to meditate on.
Work on the building has re-commenced, with glass windows being put in, the cladding attached, and the first coat of paint applied. It is exciting to see the transformation of what is to be the temporary chapel and a few cells day by day.
In the meantime, the mid-year exams have started. Here the fifty girls in St Dominic’s College take their first paper of the day in the Hockey Hall near the school. It is all quiet the first hour or so, but once the second hour begins, the paper rustling and crumpling begins! While the Form 6 and 7 pupils finish their papers in the middle of the week, the younger girls bemoan the fact that their last paper (Mathematics) doesn’t take place till Friday morning.
It is getting quite chilly, so the potted plants have been going “walkabout” – trailing after the sunshine, wherever it may be found. Sr Swarupa’s chilli plants, for one, have been spotted in various places in the convent, trying to catch as much sunlight as they can.
Some have even found their way into the relative warmth of a kindly Sister’s cell – together with other plants that don’t seem to like the frosty weather too much.
Sr Maria Lucia sorts out books in the Convent library. Much of the books from Australia (about 200 boxes worth) are still sitting in boxes in the garage of Nazareth – there isn’t any space to put them.
We’ve also had a bit of excitement this week with the Feast of Blessed Diana, Cecilia and Amata, virgins of the Order of St Dominic. A lot has been written about Bl. Diana (and her holy friendship with Bl. Jordan of Saxony), a little bit about Bl. Cecilia (to whom we owe a very detailed account of St. Dominic’s physical characteristics), and not very much at all about Bl. Amata, except that she was clothed in the habit of the Order by St. Dominic himself and sent to Bologna with Bl. Cecilia to be companions of Bl. Diana.
But we have all three Sisters with us this year, so that was a triple joy and blessing for the community – after the valiant efforts of the Sisters in the kitchen to feed the flock!
More feastdays are coming up – with Corpus Christi, St Anthony’s, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, June is a busy month indeed as the Sisters juggle school-teaching, exam-marking, religious life and choral-singing-practice…
May all the Dominican blessed and saints in Heaven (and journeying to Heaven) help us to trample down and despise the things of the earth – as the Postcommunion of the Mass of Bl. Diana and Cecilia and Amata says – so we may find fellowship with them in Heaven. Deo gratias et Mariae!