Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nunsmenlo Went On A Pilgrimage!

We recently went on a pilgrimage to the lands of our founder St. Dominic.  The best part of the trip was that we didnt have to leave the monastery to do so!  It was totally a virtual and spiritual journey with one of our most charismatic and warm-hearted Dominican Sisters, Sister Ann Willits, O.P. 

Sister Ann is an active member of the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of the Most Holy Rosary in Wisconsin. She has served as a General Council and Vicaress General for her congregation, and as a high school principal and teacher for many years.  Sister has gone many times to St. Dominic's birthplace, Caleruega, Spain.  She traveled to Palencia where he studied, and to the lands where he travelled and preached.  She also went to the spot where he had the vision of the "signadou" or the sign of God indicating where he should establish the first monastery for the nuns of the Order.

Even though we know well the history of our Order, Sr. Ann made the history alive through her storytelling, accompanied by a slide show.  After four days of listening to Sister Ann and engaging in discussions and conversations, our hearts were once again enkindled with the love for truth and the missionary zeal of our holy father Saint Dominic.  Sister challenged us to think about the apostolicity of our  lives as enclosed nuns and ways in which we could strengthen the family bonds with all the members of our Dominican family,  the active Sisters, the Dominican Laity and the Dominican volunteers.  

We were reminded of our former Master General Carlos' hope and conviction that the renewal of the Order will come through the strengthening of the contemplative element of our Dominican life, along with the preaching of the whole family centered on the fraternal bond between the friars and nuns sharing the fruits of their contemplation.  Prayer, study, the vows, and the liturgy are at the center of our life; and by reason of profession, authority is at the heart of Dominican government where each professed member has a share of responsibility in the governmental structure.  This style of governance is very unique to our Dominican Order  We were encouraged to live the charisms of our holy father Dominic, his charity, obedience, trust in Divine Providence and his love for souls.   

We all look forward to our next encounter with Sister Ann, who is truly an  enlightened and joyful Dominican after the heart of our holy father Dominic.  We wish Sister Ann abundant blessings on her many journeys as an itinerant preacher.  

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