Friday, January 4, 2008


January 4, 2008

ROME – 11:18 AM

Blogging early today… I need to begin an intimate relationship with my books this afternoon. I find myself missing Bristow today. All the hymns at Eucharist were in German today. I hummed with the familiar melodies and just listened to the rest. It’s funny how the liturgy is universal and at the same time quite particular. I miss our hymns…our circle…hearing the Rule first thing in the morning. There are some very beautiful aspects to the liturgy in this house. The environment is very simple and, I’m guessing, reflective of the European aesthetic. I’m in love with the baby JESUS in front of the altar. He’s smiling and reaching out to us…and tucked into the stump of a tree for his bed. It reminds me of the hymn we sing at home – “wood of the cradle, wood of the cross…” All the Christmas decorations are natural or homemade (except a string of white lights here and there.) I’m wondering how our Bristow tree is faring…
I miss our LOH. The sisters here pray the Roman Office – lots of antiphons, few pauses and six ribbons to keep it all straight. The biggest challenge so far was our choir practice with the Graduale Romanum for the Epiphany liturgy on Sunday. Most of the sisters from other countries have been taught to sing Latin chant. The American sisters are only slightly better off here, than we were with the German hymn texts! Much to absorb…
We have our first study group this afternoon. Sister Veronica and I are partnered with Sister Maria Goretti from Fort Smith, AK. Sister has visited Bristow several times and sends greetings. She has been in formation ministry for many years and also runs the Gift Shop. There are only eight Americans here. Communities represented are Yankton, Fort Smith, Ferdinand, Christ in the Desert, Our Lady in the Desert, Clyde and Bristow. Six of us have planned our first day in the city tomorrow. We will spend half a day at the Vatican and then move to the Piazza Navono for the Epiphany festival. I am in charge of finding a place for our main meal – yippee!
I am catching up on sleep slowly but surely. Sister Veronica had a bad night. One of our neighbors does a fine impression of a buzz saw. I seem to be oblivious to the noise once I fall asleep. My Dear Old Dad snores so, for me, that’s the sound of safety and home. For Sister Veronica, on the other hand, it’s like trying to sleep in a woodworking shop. I hope tonight she’ll be too tired to be disturbed. Our “free day” will be full so don’t look for a posting until Sunday. Until then, sisters…friends…family…students…you remain in my love. – Sister Vicki