September 21 - An entrance, a vestition and a novitiate surprise
Our novitiate sisters are usually very quiet, but things have not been quiet in the novitiate over the past month!
On September 19, we welcomed Denise into our community as a postulant. During the ceremony, the postulant is led into our Chapter hall by our novice mistress. After two cantors sing "I rejoiced when I heard them say: 'Let us go to God's house" (Psalm 122) and the community responds, the prioress gives her a handmade postulant cross, a copy of our Constitutions and a rosary, “as a reminder of continual prayer.” Then, of course, there are hugs!
On September 21, the feast of St. Matthew, Sr. Olivia Marie received the habit of the Order of Preachers and the name Sr. Maris Stella of the Trinity. Originally from Trinidad and St. Lucia, Sr. Maris Stella grew up surrounded by the ocean, so “Star of the Sea” is very fitting! It is a joy to now have three white veils in our community. Please continue to pray for the perseverance and joy of all our young sisters in formation. As one sister remarked after the vestition, our novitiate is now large enough to form a real Canadian hockey team, if only we had someone to play against (perhaps the bears or elk?). God is good, and we are grateful.
Finally, a novitiate surprise! For the birthday of our novice mistress, whose mystery is “of the Holy Spirit,” the novitiate wanted to do something special to celebrate. “How about a new song by fr. André Gouzes?” said one sister. “Yes, and we could sing it for her in French!” said another.
Taking advantage of the novice mistress’s rest after our St. Dominic’s day picnic, the novitiate staged a covert raid on the liturgy room. A quick trip to the photocopier, and the books were slid back into the liturgy room with no one being the wiser.
Thus commenced a few weeks of practices—not an easy feat when the walls are thin! Our novice mistress accidentally walked in on two of the practices (which quickly became discussions of…other matters…resulting in some very crumpled hidden sheet music), and at least one solemn professed sister was perplexed at hearing sisters covertly humming a new Gouzes song without it being taught in choir practice. Meanwhile, the non-Francophone novitiate sisters were trying to master the French “r”, and other such linguistic foibles.
Finally, the big day arrived. “Surprise! Happy birthday!” In the end, the novitiate sung the song for the community as well, and brought so much joy we thought we’d share it with you.