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A Saturday With the Sisters

alec vanderboom

We just returned from a fun "Family Day" with the Sisters of the Servants of the Lord. Family Day is a chance to visit the sisters at their novitiate house in rural Maryland, play carnival games, eat food, go to Mass and pet some horses. It's a beautiful thing about Sisters. You befriend one and suddenly you're considered "family" by all of the Sisters in the order for the rest of time!

Because of our lack of a car, we haven't seen the Sisters since they received their veils in December at the National Basilica. (If you have the chance to watch a Sister receive her veil or make a promise it's such a moving experience. This year an 18 year old woman from our local parish joined the order and we all cried so many happy tears at her Profession Mass!) Today, however, we had our new ZipCar so we were able to travel to the rural convent with ease. It was beautiful to catch up with the Sisters with their new names and their new blue habits. All the Sisters rubbed my "bump" and gave me updates on their prayer life.

I heard the most amazing story. Sister Servant of the Cross is a twin. When I spoke to her in October she asked me to pray for her twin brother, named Anthony, who might be discerning a vocation to the priesthood. Today, Sister Servant of the Cross told me that things were going amazingly well. Her brother is currently in the Air Force and he was able to make a brief visit home to the States to stay with his Sister in the convent for a few days. She set Anthony up with a priest in her order and he told Anthony to pray the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and visit a seminary in while he was stationed in Rome.

The twin brother just finished an amazing retreat in Rome. It was so insightful that he elected to stay for five extra days! He recently called his twin Sister to say "you've been praying for me! Exactly what have you been praying for?" Sister told me joyfully, "I just told my brother, I've been praying for your happiness and that you find peace in your life . . ." Sister laughed and told me "I didn't tell him that I've prayed hard for him to become a PRIEST in my same ORDER!"

So sweet. I've nicknamed the twins St. Scholastica and St. Benedict in my mind. Please pray for all vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life. It is absolutely amazing to see all of these young girls from all of America, shining with happiness in their new lives.

There is no better place to have a picnic when your pregnant and the mother of many small children than at a convent. I kept losing Alex and Maria among the acres of farmland. Every time I mislaid a kid, there would be a cheerful voice calling out "He's over here Mrs. Benjamin!" At a convent, there are forty pairs of hands to help your brood and forty pairs of eyes to smile at your big belly. I wish every family gathering was as relaxing as Family Day with the Sisters.