Recently, I visited the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, OH. Among the exhibitions, there is a hands-on, thought-provoking activity where the curators invite visitors to contribute to a “community hive.”
In the exhibit, they describe this activity in this way: “Each block features a word or icon that represents an aspect of community. Choose the blocks that you think are most important. Connect the blocks to build your ideal community. Think about how you can improve your community to reflect your ideals.” The picture represents what other visitors created. I invite you to look at each block on the picture of the community hive. Which one speaks to you? Which ones would you use to create your own? If you would add a tile, what would you write on it?
The community-hive activity made me think about: what makes a community? Because community is only as good as the members make it. Also, why would someone join a religious community? Is it seeking a deeper relationship with God? Is it praying in community? Is it the passion for the mission? Passion for justice and peace? Is it empowering the neglected? The little ‘wheels’ in my brain came up with more and more questions.
When I saw this ‘community hive,’ my thoughts went back to our most recent community gathering, where we revisited what has been in the last ten years, and we also had table discussions about what our hope for the future was. Those conversations at our Tenth Anniversary articulated some of the same ideas that the ‘community hive’ exhibit evoked in me: how our community reflects our ideals, our passion, and our mission. Sr. June Fitzgerald recently wrote a blog about community.
I am not here to tell you why someone would enter our congregation of Dominican Sisters of Peace. However, I invite you to pray with these thoughts:
- If you are a Sister or an Associate, what were your reasons to live out God’s call with the Dominican Sisters of Peace; what ‘keeps’ you here; and what are ways we could ‘spice up’ our community to better reflect our Chapter Commitments?
- If you are discerning living vowed religious life as a Sister or becoming an Associate, what are your motivations to join a religious community?
If you think you would like to talk to someone about your vocation or you would like to check out our community, contact us at email@example.com, or join us for a ‘Come and See’ retreat in September.