Become a Sister Request Prayer Volunteer Donate

Have You Ever Been a Novice at Anything?

  [caption id="attachment_3477" align="alignright" width="200"]Blog by Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP Blog by Sr. Cathy Arnold, OP[/caption] When was the last time you were a novice at something? Recently two of our candidates were approved to become novices, and walking the process with them as they begin to transition to their upcoming novitiate experience takes me back to my own journey. I remember being so excited and so scared.  What would it be like?  I know I wanted to grow in relationship with God through prayer and study and to grow in relationship with the other community members, but I didn’t really know what would be involved.  I had the opportunity to participate in the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate in St. Louis along with novices from three other Dominican women’s congregations.  We didn’t know each other when we arrived, but by the time the year was over, we had come to love and respect each other and our directors, too.  And I came to understand more fully that growing in self-knowledge was essential to growing in relationship with God and others.  I remember the year as one of the most challenging, and at the same time, as one of the most blessed years of my life. One definition of novice is a new member of a religious group preparing to become a sister or brother, nun or monk.  Another definition is a person who has just started learning or doing something new.  Ironically, the women candidates have already been learning or doing something new over these past couple of years.  Maybe a more helpful way to think of a novitiate year is as a very focused and intentional experience centered on personal conversion: putting on the mind and heart of Jesus Christ for the mission of God’s people, falling in love with God and God’s people, and coming to know in a fuller way how much you are loved by God.  The novitiate year is structured around the charism of preaching and the four essentials of Dominican life: prayer, study, community, and ministry. I’ll raise the opening question again, "When was the last time you were a novice at something?"  Throughout our lives, we have opportunity after opportunity to journey into areas of ministry, community, study and prayer new to us, inviting us to be novices again.  Even in our families we become novices each time we welcome someone new into the family.  May we always welcome the "novice" moments in our lives. If you are ever interested in finding out more about becoming Dominican, and maybe in time, becoming a Dominican novice, please contact us for a conversation.        

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *