Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Fake Religious Vocation Pt. II

Life in the convent is very busy, and varies from day to day, but I'll try to give a good description!  I also don't remember every single detail of the schedule anymore. Warning-this will probably be a very, very long post. lol

Each of us had our own little room called a "cell" (which comes from the Latin word for Heaven-caeli) which was pretty small, but contained a closet, dresser, a desk, a bed, a nightstand, and a rocking chair (which I loved SO MUCH).  In each cell was a picture of Our Lady (mine was of Mary following Jesus while He's carrying the cross) and a crucifix.  We were allowed one pillow, one thin blanket, and a thicker one if it got too cold.  The window had shutters on the inside that you shut at night and opened in the morning; mine faced the woods and I had SUCH a beautiful view in the fall!

The sisters wake up at 5 in the morning and have to be in chapel at 5:25 (it might have been 5:30, I can't remember).  We were silent until Mother started prayers.  We prayed the Morning Offering, the Angelus, and renewed our consecration to Our Lady (not necessarily in that order, and there might have been more lol), and then prayed the Office of Readings for that day.  After the Office of Readings, we had half an hour of meditation (all of this is in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament), and then Morning Prayer and Holy Mass.  After Mass, if you didn't have breakfast duties, you had time for silent thanksgiving.  If you DID have breakfast duties, you left right away and started getting breakfast ready for the rest of the sisters.  

Meals (and most of the day) were usually silent , unless it was a sister's feast day or some other big feast day.  While the rest of us ate silently, a sister read out loud. :)  During breakfast, some news was read to us, but during lunch and supper we were read to from a book.  When I first entered, we were reading Treasure in Clay by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. :)  Being read to during meals is one of the biggest things I miss about the convent.  It was really heavenly. 

After breakfast, the postulants and novices cleaned up and the professed sisters went to teach or to their college classes (the sisters are teachers).  Then we started on our household duties.  I got SO lucky with my household duty.  I was a chapel cleaner!  EVERYONE wanted to be chapel cleaner because you got to spend extra time with Jesus.  

After duties, the postulants and novices had classes right in the novitiate.  My superior taught most of our classes, and they were excellent!  We took Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican II Documents, Convent Living, Dominican Spirituality, Choir, Sacred Scripture (my favorite class-it was taught by a bishop!), and a class that I can't remember the name of but it had something to do with being a catechist. :)  Of course, we didn't have all of these classes in one day. :) We had a (much-needed) coffee break at some point, and then had Afternoon Prayer and lunch.  After lunch and cleaning up, we chanted the Litany of Loreto in Latin (that was one of my favorite times of the day-it was so beautiful) and prayed our first rosary.  

After the rosary, we had recreation! :)  We took long walks, played ultimate frisbee, soccer, lacrosse, and other games I can't remember.  Recreation was often a great time to offer things up, because I hate running and I hate soccer. :)  After recreation I think we had free time (again, I'm getting a little fuzzy on the details of the schedule) to do homework, finish our duties, or get supper ready.  

At 4:30 we had spiritual reading in the chapel, then Evening Prayer and the rosary.  By this time all of the sisters were home. :)  The postulants cooking that evening had to leave during the 3rd decade of the rosary (they made up the rest on their own later), and then we ate supper.  The fact that we had a supper on the table every night was seriously a miracle. lol  5 inexperienced postulants cooking IN SILENCE for 80+ women...it's a recipe for chaos.  

While the sisters who had kitchen duties that week cleaned, the rest of the novitiate would fold the laundry and chat.  There were VERY SPECIFIC ways to fold things, and if you had one of the superior's clothes, you had to be SURE they were perfect.  I was always really intimidated by that.  Anyway, after kitchen duties, we had evening recreation, which was usually a game of some kind.  Sometimes we had "Be Nights", when we got out some kind of project we were working on (some sisters sewed, some made rosaries, I journaled) while a sister read "Ann.e of Gree.n Ga.bles" to us.  My favorite game to play was C.lue-I even beat my superior once!  Oh my goodness, I was so excited. lol  

After recreation was Compline, or Night Prayer, and the procession to Our Lady.  We chanted the Salve Regina (it's so beautiful...ugh I miss that!) and a prayer to St. Dominic.  After that, the novitiate had Study Hall for an hour.  You had to do your homework or an independent study.  By this time, it was very, very hard to stay awake.  Study Hall was over at 9:15, so I would practically run to get a quick shower in before bed.  I would read in bed for a half an hour or so, and made sure my light was out by 10:00. :)  Between 9:15 and 10:00, a sister went to every cell and sprinkled the door with holy water, whispering, "Ave Maria", and if you heard her, you were to whisper, "Gratia plena!"  

I will be extremely surprised if anyone gets to the end of this post. lol  Sorry it's so long and poorly written!


  1. Oh my goodness, I loved reading every word of this post! It brings tears to my eyes to think about the beauty and simplicity of religious life!
    I taught with the Dominicans of Nashville, and they are amazing!
    Okay, please, please, please write part 3! :)

  2. DON'T STOP! Give me more!!! I love the Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Ahh I want to do that!

  3. Beautiful post! Wasn't long enough! :)

  4. Wow! That's all so interesting to read! Don't worry about it being too long.. I wouldn't mind more detail even :) Can't wait for part 3!