This was originally posted in July and was lost during the blog crash earlier this month…
Our Sister Mary Andrea is preparing for the great day…a truly awe-inspiring event! On October 19th at 1:30, within the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, Sister will make her perpetual profession of the five Passionist vows. Please keep her in prayer as she prepares for this momentous occasion. And please pray for all those women whom God is calling to Passionist cloistered life.
In this blog post Sister takes you back to her first day as a postulant in the monastery. Truly, it reads like an Abbott and Costello comedy! Enjoy.
The Day I Thought I was to Enter the Monastery
After nearly a year of corresponding with the Passionist Nuns (including visiting them several times), completing my 3-month aspirancy (an extended live-in experience) with them, followed by spending 2 weeks back home with my family as part of the discernment process before entering the Monastery to begin my postulancy, the date for my return to St. Joseph’s Monastery had finally arrived. At least I thought it had.
Andrea at far right during a Passionist discernment retreat
The date was October 17, 2004. After saying some final “good-byes” at my niece’s first birthday party, Dad, Mom, and I drove to the Monastery. (As a side note, some of my friends from home were at the Monastery on this day to walk the grounds and to pray the rosary together – not because this was the day that I was returning there.) When my parents and I arrived, I carried a few items into the entrance area and rang the doorbell to the cloister while Dad & Mom continued to carry items into the entrance area for me.
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph be praised. Is someone there?” said the Sister who answered the doorbell over the intercom system.
“This is Andrea,” I said, expecting her to be aware that I was coming that afternoon.
“Do you need Mother Catherine Marie?” asked the Sister.
“I don’t know.” I replied, since I only knew that I was to arrive that afternoon.
“Is someone expecting you?” Sister asked me.
“I think so,” I said, a little confused.
By this time, Mom & Dad were on their way into the entrance area and Sister, realizing that she needed to come see why I was here and what I needed, had come to the door and opened it. Until this point, Sister had not realized that my parents were with me. I think Sister thought that I was just here with my friends who had come for the day to pray. Upon seeing my parents and luggage, Sister said something about Mom & Dad having just brought some of my things a little early. Now I was really confused.
With all the confusion, now some of the Sisters, on their way to Chapel for Evening Prayer (Vespers), and Mother Catherine Marie, had come to the door to help the Sister who had answered the door to solve her and my confusion. For some months, I had been using a large exercise ball for an exercise routine for some heath issue (now resolved). I had taken this ball back home with me to use during my stay at home. I had decided to just leave the ball full of air (instead of letting it out and having to pump it full again) for my return to the Monastery. I was sure glad I did because this helped to speed up solving our confusion. When Mother Catherine Marie came to the door and saw the ball, thinking that I was here to drop off some items a few days early, she asked, “Do you think you could do without the ball for a few days?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, “I’m here to enter.”
“You are?” came the reply from Mother Catherine Marie.
We quickly found out that what had happened is that the other young woman, who was to enter the same day as I, could not get airline tickets for October 17, so our entrance date had been moved to October 20. Sister Novice Directress had informed Mother Catherine Marie and the other young woman, but had failed to inform me. Mother asked me if I wanted to go back home with my parents and return again on the 20th. “No way.” I said.
In the end, this confusion and laughter really helped my parents through the difficult time of supporting me in my desire to follow God’s call to the cloister.
Sr. Mary Andrea with her parents on the day of her First Profession of vows