Although I’ve never studied Latin, and came of age in the post-Vatican II church, I guess I’ve been in the convent long enough to have heard this phrase from Psalm 133 sung and spoken lots of times: O quam bonum et jucundum est . . . or How good it is, how pleasant, where the people dwell as one! This came to mind over Memorial Day weekend when two of our Ursuline Sisters from Florissant, Missouri drove to Chicago to spend the weekend with us.
Sister Mary, who was the first to make her novitiate in our Chicago interprovincial novitiate community, is a CPA. She offered to come and help Sr. Pauline, our community treasurer, learn a new bookkeeping system. Accompanied by Sr. Marilyn, the two made the six hour drive to Chicago on Friday. Fortunately Sr. Pauline is a fast learner! Because the rest of the weekend we traded recipes and did yard work while talking, laughing, praying, learning, working, cooking, eating, and sharing stories. Sr. Mary also enjoys baking. Here you see Sr. Pauline enjoying the caramel rolls I learned to bake. The smell of fresh rolls and coffee filled the house on Sunday morning. Mmmm! We also spent the better part of a day planting eggplant, chard, beans, and broccoli that I started from seed as well as tomatoes, basil and corn. It took three of us to figure out a creative way to improvise a net for the green beans using odds and ends of things we had in the garage and the limited space in our garden.
The weekend ended all too soon. Our guests left Monday in the rain to drive back to Missouri and welcome the third member of their community, Sr. Rosemary, who was returning from her annual retreat. A wonderful part of our Ursuline life is the bondedness we experience with one another in community no matter where in the world we go. These words of St. Angela sum it up for me
Be bound to one another by the bond of charity, esteeming each other, helping each other, bearing with each other in Jesus Christ.