Young people I meet often want to know where I live and seem surprised to learn that it’s together with other sisters. Community is one of the hallmarks of religious life that doesn’t just happen but takes effort to develop and nurture. It’s not simply 5 or 6 sisters living under the same roof. We commit ourselves to quality presence, sincere communication and shared responsibility. Community is not all pie-in-the-sky either! We have to work things out, like sharing the car or who’s going to meet the plumber when he comes to do repairs. Sometimes we must do serious discernment together, to figure out how best to expend our time, energy and money to advance our Ursuline mission.
The evening meal, prepared by us in turns, is valued time for enjoying not only good food but conversation about the day, from funny happenings to the weighty issues and events of our world. And everything converges when we take time to pray together. With phones turned off and activities slowed down, we gather silently around a lit candle to listen humbly to our God. These are sacred moments of gratitude, prayer for the needs of our world, and recognition that we live community because of and in Jesus. It is he who calls and binds us to one another. We know it is only in him that are we able to live this meaningful and joyful relationship.