Letter from St. John in Montana, 02/2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By the beginning of February, the two leadership teams of Notre Dame de Sion shared on how to be Sion in our collaboration and partnership and the living and sharing of the Sisters and Brothers together here at Ein Karem.

We, the group living in EK consist of the Apostolic Sisters Community, the Brothers’ Community and the Novitiate Community an we explore together of how we can envision Sion’s Charism and in living Sion’s identityby living togetherness.

On the World Day for the Sick the whole Novitiate Community went with the union of Religious to participate in the Sunday Eucharist held in the Holy Family Church in Ramallah. The blessing of rain continued pouring down on us during this visit which was a celebration of both engagement and joy with the Catholic Church of Ramallah. The Parish had prepared a delicious lunch for us and between the rain and dry moments, we explored a little of the city and very soon we were taking shelter in one of the many pastry coffee shops. So there we had a Cappuccino and pastry and gave thanks for the blessing of the rain as well as just being together.

For this month our engagement is on the prayer life of our constitution. Since people of all traditions always prayed and sought help with prayer, so too the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. It is still the first requirement of those who want to live their faith seriously.

Sr. Maureena shared with us the meaning of Sabbath and why we, as Christian should remember Shabbat which is one of the commandments of the Decalogue. She began with the question – when were the NT writings written? St Paul is one of the first writers who never knew Jesus in person. Does this knowledge make you think, reflect…?

We celebrated the feast of Tu Bishvat (the festival of the trees) with an explanation of the feast by Anne Catherine. Then along the convent walls in our Novitiate garden, we planted the following tress – an Apricot and an Beach tree, a Nectarine, grapes and a sweet Lemon tree. She also helped us to understand the feast of Purim as well as explanations on the symbols in Judaism like the zizith (fringes of thread) and the reason for using a tallit (a prayer shawl). This was all very interesting and helpful in our understanding of many Jewish practices.

Greetings and blessings from Juliana for the Novitiate Community