Local IHM gathering, Christmas Day 2012When was the last time you were at a party with lots of nuns? For those who’ve had little or no experience with that, here’s the inside scoop based on my Christmas day.

In the morning, I de-iced the sidewalk at the apartment so my neighbor wouldn’t wipe out, then I went to the Motherhouse for Christmas festivities. At brunch, the dining room was a sea of red, green, and silver sweaters. The conversations were as lively as the Christmas colors. We talked about education and how it’s changing; about the global economy; about nieces, nephews, and siblings; about the wonderful sweet potatoes we were eating. With so much great conversation, it was hard to imagine that prior to the 1960s, the sisters often ate meals in silence.

Later, I went to dinner with other IHMs from the local area. One had delivered Meals-on-Wheels earlier in the day. Some had visited people who were ill. Others had prepared our potluck meal for the evening. From mid-afternoon to early evening, we talked about what it means to be faithful Catholics in a world of increasing complexity. We talked about new theological ideas and the expansiveness of God. And we talked about family and friends, parish life, green beans and potatoes, vocations to religious life, the Second Vatican Council, the fiscal cliff, the tragedy at Newtown, and many other things.

By the time I drove home, I was totally talked-out, but I had a lot to think about. I had prayed several times throughout the day, and as I drove, I added one more prayer – a prayer of thanksgiving for community.

What do you give special thanks for as you reflect on 2012?

Image: Local IHM gathering, Christmas Day 2012