For now, however, I want to do a quick post on what happened this weekend. On Friday I drove down to Lymington in the New Forest where we had planned a Vocations Retreat for women considering Religious Life. I got to St Dominic's Priory late because an accident on the M3 delayed us over an hour, but neverthless was able to celebrate Mass for the sisters whose chaplain is currently sick.
Nine girls joined us for what proved to be a lovely weekend. If anyone blanched at the prospect of a 5.45am start in order to be in chapel for 6.30am Meditation, they didn't show it. We joined the sisters for the singing of all the hours of the Office. I was very impressed by their chants. Not only because they sing well but also because they use some Dominican tones I am unfamiliar with.
Friday was the Feast of Bl Jordan of Saxony. It is said that when he went into a town the mothers would lock up their sons, so effective was he at winning vocations. In fact he used to travel with a collection of ready made habits for the new recruits to put on immediately. On one occasion, the twenty spare habits were not enough and the brothers had to swap bits of their own in order to make up some extras! When he went to the university of Paris or Bologne there would be a general wailing among the students as he left: some with joy at having found their vocation, the others with sadness at having lost their friends...
Whether there was wailing or not at St Dominic's I cannot say. But I hope that in time Sr Julie will have to get her sewing machine out!