This is really the "S. Katy Talks about Giving Voice" Installment, but I need to include some of the Christmas concert photos from my school, because they are too cute for words...then it'll be down to business!
A couple things to note in the photos:
1. CUTENESS factor (you totally forget what they did a few hours earlier...ha ha).
2. Any Nativity should always be done by people under 7--they take their roles very seriously (even the child who cried because he really wanted to be Jesus and said how he was "jipped" when they told him they were using a doll.).
3. The lady in the red jacket, waving her hands around--she hadn't conducted a thing since 1999 when she took a semester of conducting and picked a Sousa march for her final (an infant trying to grab for mom's hair is essentially conducting a Sousa march) exam--co-conducted two songs with the music teacher--240+ kids in a 2 part chorus--sometimes a principal disciplines, sometimes gives out ice packs, sometimes conducts during a concert.
"Responding to the needs of the times" is one of the School Sister Foundress sayings...OH YEAH...Take that Mothers Alexia and Alfons! (and I was so stinkin' proud of my kids...they really struggled with this song and they NAILED it. I don't know if I was happier or if they were.)
4. Two people with green papers--one is my 4th grade teacher the other is a 5th grade student who is an extremely talented little singer. Yeah...Sr. Katy had the worst case of laryngitis ever (like was not AUDIBLE AT ALL) and was supposed to sing a song with all of the kids at the end. Yeah, not happening...so my teacher and student subbed for me--they were great. :-) Takes many hands to make this community work!
Okie dokie...I just couldn't resist...
GIVING VOICE--20's and 30's Young Religious Gathering
(or the gathering of the other "Fun Nuns" in the US)
I've written about GV (Giving Voice) tons of times. It is the organization for Women Religious who are under 50. We have a National Conference (At Alverno College, MILWAUKEE, this June 11-14th) every 2 years and a gathering of the nuns in their 20s and 30s every MLK weekend.
The weekend is such a great balance of prayer, sharing, support, and socialization (with people who know who Punky Brewster is, probably listened to Pearl Jam, and get Wii's and Rock Band for final profession gifts). It's always re-energizing for me. These women are my good friends in religious life around the country. We're intercongregational, ensuring the future of religious life and supporting each other--us crazy cats who have responded to the call of the Sistahood. We were in Tampa, FL, at the Franciscan Retreat Center--niiiiccceee. (When Sr. Vicky, CSA and I left Milwaukee the piolet announced that without the windchill it was -20 degrees with windchill it was -60; school was cancelled two days! It was an 80 degree difference when we landed in Tampa.)
We had 21 Sisters together, 7 of whom were Giving Voice 1st timers! Sarah (a Dubuque Frannie), one of my novitiate girls came too! That was awesome to be with her!!
This year, my friend Jeannie (an Ursiline from the Bronx) and I were the planners. We decided to preface our June conference with prayer, reflection, and sharing centered on our experience of community life. For our process, we used an excerpt of a piece called The People Gathered by Sr. Mary Fran, an IHM sister. We opened Friday night with sharing of symbols and a bit about our congregations to create the space of: "we come from our individual communities to form community with one another." The discussion was profound and energizing. Many insights about our unique challenges, how important it is to support each other as peers, and where we see community life going for the future.
There was a retreat going on of Young Adult Catholics at the same time as us and they enjoyed playing football in the yardspace. Saturday night, after Mass we walked over to them and said, "Ya wanna take on the nuns? There are 12 of us and 10 of you!"
They accepted...and much laughing ensued...with some "I can't believe they are nuns" comments and although we lost, we gave a good showing. Crazy enough, there were people from Milwaukee there who recognized my Alverno College T-shirt. Small world...great times...Witness to the call of religious life, one completed pass at a time. (Our team was the one that didn't have guys on it, in case you had trouble figuring it out. ha ha)
We played two really awesome games tool, well into the night on Saturday. One was called, "My Family" and the other "Mafia"--both thinking/strategy group games. I've played Mafia before (we used to play in the intercommunity pre-novitiate) that was way funny. My Family was cool too, I think my nuns at home would like that game.
Both teams...pose for a picture. :) There was one injury...Lisa came out as QB for one play, stepped wrong and her knee went out. We have the before and after shots (before the ER and after the ER...imagine the retired sisters faces when I came to the door asking if we could borrow a wheelchair from the retirement home! Yeah...we're the young nuns.) The backpack was a bonus...Lisa needed a backpack for her laptop for the flight back home. Maria and I debated between My Little Pony or Little Ms. Giggles...it's dangerous when you send your friends into Target and say, "I just need a cheap backpack, I don't care what it looks like." Let's just say...Little Ms. Giggles is still entertaining us.
Once again, I came home renewed and revitalized...in my own spirit and the spirit of my call to this life. I love connecting, seeing, and meeting new friends. I miss them already, but I get to see them in a few short months at MY COLLEGE!
By the way...If you are a YOUNG RELIGIOUS (Under 50) or you know some Young Nuns...please encourage them to come to GV in June...it will be an awesome conference! Just visit the GV website for more info!