School Sisters Gather from Across the Province

FernA Beautiful Experience Blooms on Zoom

Sisters and Associates from Ontario, New York, Connecticut, Chicago, Massachusetts, Florida, and Baltimore - recently gathered for a mini-retreat presented via Zoom by the OPDIC committee. "Spring Growth" explored the wisdom of plants, inviting attendees to prayerful reflection on their own experience of nature.

Sisters greeted each other with joy and updates as they gathered by Zoom on April 9, 2024. Their delighted conversations lasted about 15 minutes, when Sister Ginny Brune, SSND, set the stage for the hour-long "Spring Growth" mini-retreat.

"We will look for new growth and deepening of growth," she said. "Plants have so much to tell us."

A plant's seasons of growth and rest, for instance, look like life and death. They seem to die in the fall, but actually do not. "The tomb is empty," Sister Ginny said, "and new life is emerging."  

"We are so interrelated with all creation," Sister Mary Heather MacKinnon, SSND, said. "Thanks to Laudato Si', we understand that what's happening within the earth is in relationship to ourselves."

Sister Sharon Wall, SSND, shared a prayer set to music and illustrated with beautiful spring flowers. Small groups discussed two questions:

  1. What can we learn about our growth from the life of plants?
  2. How/Why are planting and gardening important to all of us in the world today?

The large group reconvened to share their reflections.

Sister Rose Federici, SSND, reported that the Stella Maris Sisters had planted oregano and lettuces during small group sharing, and planned to make a salad when they grew.

One group talked about the rootedness of plants, and how their stability and mutual dependence recalls the connectedness of SSND life. 

Another group observed that plants must surrender to the weather, a lesson of enduring wisdom. Like plants, they said, we don't always get the rain we need, but can make adjustments and thrive again.

Another group likened the deepening gained while sitting in nature to the sense of unfolding experienced during Centering Prayer or Lectio Divina.

Finally, the eclipse was remembered as an intense and awesome experience of oneness with the universe.
It was an inspiring and nourishing mini-retreat for all who attended!

Spring Growth was held again in the evening for all who were unable to attend the morning session. This story covers the morning session.

Post Type: