On 6th June 1812 Mary Aikenhead started her Novitiate (religious formation) at the Bar Convent in York, England. This year each Province and Region was invited to celebrate the 200th anniversary of this momentous day for the Congregation. Here we read an account from California/Venezuela.
On Sunday June 10th, 40 friends of Mary Aikenhead gathered for a prayer service and barbeque to remember her entrance in York. Our associates, benefactors, volunteers, former Sisters of Charity, spouse, friends and some sisters in the region met at Caritas to celebrate!
At the start of our prayer, we entered into an Ignatian exercise by imagining how Mary and Alicia must have felt on the boat having left their country, their families and their culture. Music helped our imagination as we listened to a contemporary musical interpretation of the Suscipe. (“These Alone Are Enough For Me” by Dan Schutte.) We imagined that being steeped in Ignatian spirituality, it was likely that Mary Aikenhead expressed her trust in God with this prayer. Marianne Loewe Garvey, formerly Sr. Mary Augustine RSC, processed to the front with the photo of Mary Aikenhead and placed it on the mantelpiece. Margaret Farrell shared the story of a homeless man whom the Huron community befriended and eventually buried. The local newspaper published this story, “A Community Brings a Homeless Man Home” about our sisters at Huron Ave.http://www.culvercitynews.org/
Each person was encouraged to remember someone who has been labeled or lives on the margins. At dinner we shared how our lives have been enriched by these particular people.
The Caritas Community with the help of our visitor, Miriam Hennessey and Connie McGhee, friend, prepared a barbeque meal. Marsha Moon and Francis Maria Monsimer barbequed. Kathleen Bryant made margaritas; a drink made from the agave cactus plant and fresh limes, and prepared the prayer service.
It was a joyful celebration of gratitude for the woman who began a daring journey to another country, leaving all behind her, and who has encouraged us to take similar risks in our lives.