One as Body of Christ….
Before I entered the Novitiate, I usually went on retreat twice a year. I love going to a retreat as it is a time to deepen relationship with God, time to reflect and learn, time to gain new insights, and to grow in spirituality and self-knowledge. It felt like a mountain top experience and I usually didn’t want to leave retreat.
As of now, I am in the ICCN program as a canonical novice almost 3 months. I feel as though I am living in a retreat all the time. We are continuously learning, continuously getting new insights and continuously getting closer to God. There is one major difference, I am in Chicago living in an INTERCONGREGATIONAL community with other novices from different congregations, and from different cultures. We are not just learning intellectually, but we are also putting our experiences and learnings into practice as we live in community together and challenging times arise. We have a safe place to learn and we are growing in love and trust of each other – we are in this experience TOGETHER!
Our time in here is full of BLESSINGS & GRACES. We share community, and like these stones that smooth each other out at the shore’s edge, our community life and prayer help to smooth out our rough edges. We need community to help us to grow in awareness of self, others and our loving God. It is where we learn to truly be One as the Body of Christ.
Article & Photos by Sr. Maisie Ng
Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities