Fall / Winter 2019

Fall / Winter 2019


That is the description that comes to mind about the visit of our Father General. Our Provincial called in October to set up a date for that visit and November 9th was chosen. But it didn’t happen on that day! The night of November 5th, we were told the General was coming on the next day for Mass &a visit! BIG PROBLEM! One of our ongoing formation days was scheduled for the 6th and it was too late for us to change that engagement. But all’s well that ends well, and it did! We had both events without any clash. We had a very lovely and enriching visit with our General, Fr. Saverio, ocd, who is very warm and open. And when he left, we had a very enlightening class with Fr. Andrea Vicini, S.J.


Yes, the baseball season is over. But we are borrowing the phrase to mention something else. Our Sr. Eileen Mary had two events to celebrate this year: the 60th anniversary of her entrance into religious life (Sister was a Sister of Charity before coming to us) and 25 years as a Carmelite. Liking parties and celebrations, we had these jubilees on two different days. These were not public events as her desire was to celebrate just with the community. In between these two dates, an unplanned event took place. Sister had a fall and had to be taken to the hospital! We were so grateful to God that she was able to return the same day, her only injury a very painful broken toe, which is healing very well.


You have heard of synonyms and antonyms. Want to guess what alphabetyms might be? Well, actually no name has been given this phenomena that we know of but maybe a dictionary of sorts will come out about it someday. What provokes this thought? You may have noticed it.It has grown in society and reading materials abound with it. As you are reading you come upon letters of the alphabet whose meaning you are supposed to know but don’t! And technically, they are not acronyms. It can make one feel illiterate!We have become familiar with abbreviations like GPS, ASAP,….but are you ever stumped by some initials you encounter? The phenomenon has invaded the cloister too! Sometimes on a note posted on our white board the letters GRY is written. Want to guess what it means? (Give up?) Actually, it is a monastic way of saying “thank you” and it stands for GOD REWARD YOU. (Isn’t that a nice way of saying thank you?)Another one we use is VDQ which is easier to say than VULTUM DEI QUAERERE! This is a recent Vatican document given usto update our way of life and is often part of our current vocabulary.(It is keeping us on our toes in many ways!) Anyone know if anyone has claimed to be the authority behind this abbreviating of words or phrases or if a dictionary has been composed to help the “illiterate” in this area?And to have some fun, what would you suggest asa possible name for such a handbook?


Wonder of wonders! We have a rabbit in our garden! Only God knows how he/she got in or came from. We are happy to have one but may change our minds if the flowers of spring start getting chewed up! Bats are an endangered species–we wish them no ill, they do good things for us all, but they are also frightening! We have many bat stories.

Three flew into our lives recently on different occasions. One we were able to release to the outdoors. Two just disappeared into where, we know not. Then one Sister found a dead one on a window sill behind the shutter. One is still missing. We are not notifying the police that it is missing! BUT we do hope that the bats keep to their domain in the great outdoors and limit their role to diminishing the mosquito population! Oh, yes, we still have visiting raccoons!And Mr. and Mrs. Red Hawk are still with us, but have not introduced us to their new offspring, if any.


We are contemplating starting a Carmelite spirituality/prayer group. Helped by some Professors and leaders at BC’s School of Theology and Ministry (you may like to add STM to your Alphabetym list, they use those initials!) we invited some students to come for a visit. We had a very nice get together with those who came on October 18th. The meeting was very encouraging to us. We are still in the planning stages of this. Will you join us in praying to the Holy Spirit to help us in this venture?


Temperatures have dropped and only one of our 4 furnaces is on the job! It is the oldest one and we are thanking God it has been working–and very hard with the cold days we have had. But it needs help! We are getting new ones, thanks to some gracious benefactors who have provided offerings to us, but our plumber has been quite ill, hence the delay. Patience attains all things as St. Teresa reminds us. So we do not lose hope and wear extra sweaters!


This is not Ripley’s column by that name, it is Mt. Pleasant Avenue’s! Our street has been dug up over and over and over for years! Now it has finally been paved! And it happened on the heaviest rain day! What a relief!


Like the rest of the human family we have to go to the dentist and the doctor. Some of us use public transportation, sometimes Uber or Taxi. But we also have some generous friends who are willing to drive us to appointments when it is possible for them. We have another unique way. Some of our friends who do the door and phone for us have cars and insurance that allows others to use their cars. Four of our Sisters have licenses and they drive themselves or another Sister to their destination. This saves so much time and is such a blessing for us. For buses and trains, cars and friends, thank you, Lord!


Our needy first floor corridor is almost finished now with fresh paint, looking bright &clean without chips and cracks. We signed up for an incredible deal with our energy source company. They will save us money on our energy bills by updating our lighting fixtures and electric appliances for a very small part of the actual cost. It seems they owe some payback to their customers and this is how they are fulfilling that obligation. The work has not started yet as sickness intervened in this case, too!


On October 15th our Sr. Maria renewed her vows to continue her formation process. A happy occasion for us.+For some, science and religion don’t get along, but a young neuroscientist, Harvard/Cornell trained, has come into our life. He is doing very interesting research mapping brain networks involved in spiritual and religious experiences. Part of his research includes study ofSt. Teresa & St. John of the Cross. We were very honored to have Fr. Iain Matthew, OCD give us our retreat and public lecture this year. Before the lecture, other Carmelites joined us for a family-type get together which was an extra blessing. We were gifted with a DVD (alphabetym!) about St. Oscar Romero. How much suffering there is in our world and how courageous he was in bringing love into the horrors happening in El Salvador! May God help us be blessings to one another—near or far.


Our church, our country, our world & planet are in great need. May the Babe of Bethlehem make us all His bearers of love & hope to each dark place this Christmas.