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“I have called you friends.”

~ John 15:15

Hello and goodbyes have often been difficult. On my 20th birthday of September 8, 1962, I said goodbye to my boyfriend at my front door and left for Marywood by the back door. When my parents dropped me off, they were in tears, and I was in fear. What was going to happen to me after I finally answered THE CALL? My parents called my uncle, a parole officer, and he reassured my parents that I would be sent home in two weeks…and that was some 60 years ago.

A second major goodbye was after my fantastic trip to the Lands of Dominic with 40 Dominicans from twelve different communities! To pray in Dominic’s home, travel the road he walked, and share common heritage, was a holy experience, but Lourdes was the holiest I ever felt. Yes, it was difficult to say goodbye to my “Dominican Experience,” but I received a much deeper appreciation of my Dominican Family.

My new world community was formed by a sabbatical trip to the Holy Land with CTU students from around our world! We prayed, ate, studied, and traveled together while seeing many digs and holy sites. My most moving holy site was in Ein Kerem standing at the foot of a flight of stairs looking up at the two bronze statues – Mary greeting Elizabeth. Two pregnant women sharing joy and understanding over the God within.

Yes, I have a blessed communal life, and I give thanks to a most loving, gracious, and compassionate God who is ever within, ever guiding and ever friend.

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