Experiencing God and My Sisters at Nunapalooza
I had a fantastic time at Nunapalooza. It was nourishing to the soul, delightful to the heart, and an absolute joy! Over 300 of our IHM sisters and associates gathered for Community Days and for Jubilee.
It's difficult to put into words fully what the experience was like personally. For me, it was both an experience of intense sisterhood and also an encounter with God. It was at once deeply communal and deeply personal. At no moment did it feel like a "mob" where one loses one's individuality and get subsumed into the crowd. And never did it feel individualistic in such a way where one alienates oneself from the group.
Being with my IHM community both prayerfully and socially was like being fully alive, celebrating all that we are corporately and personally, struggles and joys, and renewing our dedication to the liberating mission of Jesus. Our time together was perhaps best symbolized by the celebration of Jubilee of our IHM sisters who together have 1,415 years of service to this mission! In celebrating their lives in God, we simultaneously celebrate all of our congregation and each of our lives.
We see in our Jubilarians faithfulness, perseverence, commitment to prayer, zealousness in mission, and tender care for community. We see women who are at once fully themselves and fully community women! It is remarkable to me that this can occur because being oneself and being in community can sometimes be juxtaposed as opposites. Yet here in full color are women living this out -- and I see this not just in my community but in other religious communities of women and of men. It is amazing how the Spirit creates this in us!
As I move into this week, I'm trying to very consciously take each and every one of my sisters with me, to remember their stories, their expressions, and to continue to live -- in all that I do and am -- the liberating mission of Jesus.
Here's to Nunapalooza!