Monday, February 27, 2012

And the Academy Award Goes To....

For our recreation last night, the postulant community made some popcorn, hooked up our TV to a projector, and played a competitive game of Oscar Bingo while watching the Academy Awards on our "big screen" (i.e., the wall of our study).  The Oscar ceremony was one of the more enjoyable ones in recent years, though I admit I haven't yet seen many of the nominated movies.  Among other things, Billy Crystal didn't disappoint as host, and the performance by Cirque Du Soleil was a pleasant surprise. 
I've sat through many an Oscar broadcast over the years, and I confess that I often enjoy the red carpet festivities more than the actual ceremony: 

"And who are you wearing?" 

Mother Dolores Hart
Last night's red carpet featured an unusual sight in Hollywood: a real, live Benedictine nun, Mother Dolores Hart, who is the subject of the Oscar-nominated short documentary, God Is the Bigger Elvis.  Before she entered the convent, Dolores Hart was best known for playing Elvis' love interest onscreen.  You can read more about her movie career and vocation here.

In a couple of weeks, Sr. Rebecca, Cheryl, Theresa, Chelsea, Carly and I will be heading to Hollywood ourselves.  We won't be walking any red carpets like Mother Dolores (maybe in our dreams), but we will be taking a media literacy course in Los Angeles led by Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP, who is the Director of our Pauline Center for Media Studies in L.A.  We're excited about what the class will entail, especially since one of our pre-seminar assignments was to watch both Witness and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  I can't wait to see how we tie those two movies together in class!

The media course relates to our mission, which includes developing and distributing resources that help individuals and families use and engage movies and other media from a perspective of faith.  Pauline Books and Media's most recent digital newsletter, My Discover Hope News Notes, highlights some of our resources, including How to Watch Movies With Kids

I look forward to reporting back to you when we return from our L.A. trip.  Hollywood, here we come!

God bless,


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Most Popular Girl in School - Not the Catholic Church!

I must sheepishly admit that while Chelsea, Sandy, Carly and Sr. Rebecca were away I was supposed to update the postulant blog. Unfortunately, I was too busy hanging out with Cheryl and enjoying introverted bliss (i.e. reading together in the same room but not talking, quiet dinners in our study and watching Lord of the Rings - ok we're nerds).

Never fear, I have a great post in mind that involves our favorite German and a certain Italian nun brewing in my head.

But in the meantime, for your enjoyment, I will share a post that I wrote that was published on a Catholic web site called Ignitum Today, a social networking site for the JP II generation. The post is regarding the HHS contraception mandate and it is called "Most Popular Girl in School - Not the Catholic Church."

Check it out, tell me what you think - (even if you respectfully disagree)!



Saturday, February 18, 2012

In that country they call Texas...

The Texan Postulant Community
Last week, Carly, Sandy and I became honorary Texans! (Sister Rebecca is already a native Texan, so she just got to reclaim her identity...)
Two weeks ago The first-year postulants and Sister Rebecca pulled out of our driveway at 4am to begin our 16-hour journey to Texas! Thankfully Sister Rebecca, our fearless leader, graciously took the first driving shift. (Because Lord knows that if I had the 4am shift, we might have ended up in Canada instead of Texas!) Thus began our 10-day apostolic trip at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Welcome to Aggie Land!
Why in the world were we in Texas???
At Texas A&M we met up with all 8 of our regional vocation directors from US and English-speaking Canada, for updating and collaboration.
What did we do?
We spent most of our days in meetings, but when we had pockets of free time we got to hang out with the college students at St. Mary’s Student Center on campus. It was such a blessing to meet so many young people on fire with their faith and in love with the Lord.
Even though we were in meetings most of the day, our evenings were choc-full of activities! Almost every evening one of the sisters was giving a talk on campus. On Tuesday evening, the postulants even gave a talk… (I know, scary, right!?) We were able to share some of our vocational journey with the students and gave them time to ask questions. It was such a beautiful and grace-filled evening.
Playing black-light minigolf!
Speaking of evening activities, we even played laser tag with the students one evening! (And yes, believe it or not, this WAS the NUNS’ IDEA!). During the game, two of the postulants, (who shall remain anonymous) received the titles of “most accurate player” and “highest scoring player”. I think some students were taken by surprise. Those who didn’t participate in the laser tag extravaganza, played black-light minigolf. It was a super fun night filled with a lot of joy and laughter!
Just hanging out with the "Pope"
 at the Student Center
At the end of our trip, we had the opportunity to bring our materials to three local parishes to provide book and media exhibits for the parishioners. After every Mass, I was told countless times that they would be praying for all of the postulants (AND the sisters!) especially this Lent. I was just so impressed by how genuinely warm and friendly these people are…never have I been hugged by so many strangers! It was such a beautiful example of faith filled community and it was so encouraging to be able to visit with these people.
This time we spent in Texas was so wonderful. It was such a fantastic experience, filled with a lot of joy and “Howdy’s”. 
We hope that we’ll make it back to Texas soon!

God Bless! 
Gig 'em!