Become a Sister Request Prayer Volunteer Donate

Dominican Kentucky Experience Extravaganza

[caption id="attachment_4817" align="alignright" width="200"] Madison Wells, sophomore at Ohio Dominican University & member of the Dominican Young Adult Group[/caption] Truthfully, I never thought that April would come. We scheduled the trip for our Dominican Kentucky Experience Extravaganza in the fall and so much life happened in between the planning and the doing. Alas, the day finally came and all seven of us - three Sisters, two students, one Priest, and one Justice Promoter - squeezed into a van and hit the road. We were finally Kentucky-bound. We had our fair share of bathroom breaks and snack stops before we reached our first destination: The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani. We toured the guest chapel and bookshop before heading in the main chapel to devote a half an hour of Vesper's prayer with the monks. What a truly wonderful way to begin our trip by talking with our Lord in His House! I didn't realize the power of taking 30 minutes to talk with God, especially when it's difficult to find 10 minutes. It was truly a blessing. Afterwards, with it being a Lenten Friday, we found our way to a church with two great pastimes: bingo and a fish fry. (If you're ever hankering for some quality bean soup, that church has it.) Finally, we made it to the St. Catharine Motherhouse. The farm was vast, filled with cows and their calves and a little piece of history around every corner. I could list all of the places we toured and the number of cookies we ate, but I'd rather share with you the feelings we discovered during the heart of our trip. It began with an eye-opening discussion of implicit bias (presented by Justice Promoter Kelly Litt), which really set the tone for how we were to experience our 36 hours with our Kentucky area Sisters. I have never seen a group of ladies more excited to talk to two college students as I did that weekend. There was no room for judgment or assumptions - we were too busy dwelling in the majesty of our Lord and the beauty that God created. For the first time, I experienced a home Mass. A majority of my amazement came from the fact that Fr. Paul was able to fit an entire mass in a to-go pack! There was something so intimate and serene about a nine-person, living room Mass celebration. I'd never felt closer with my brothers and sisters in Christ than I had at that moment. The St. Catharine Motherhouse is like a little piece of paradise amidst a constantly moving, forward-looking subway station. That weekend, we were able to step off of the train and take a break from our 100-mph lives to be in the moment with each other, with God’s glorious creation, and most importantly, our Savior. We prayed for and with each other and we watched each other grow a little bit closer to Christ every hour. Yes, we did eat delicious Kentucky donuts, try our hand at freshly-distilled bourbon, and count how many statues of the Virgin Mary we found in front yards, but the ultimate gift of our trip was camaraderie...camaraderie with each other, with neighboring Dominican Sisters of Peace, and with the Lord. We returned to our busy Columbus lives with a sense of serenity and renewed faith. It was a trip well worth waiting for ultimately an indescribable experience. I know I'm not speaking for myself when I say that we all wished our stay could have been a little bit longer. I suppose that means we will just have to go back next year! (See more photos!)

Leave a Reply

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