Vacation Note about the Sinsinawa Dominicans
For the past several years, my sisters and I have made one or more small trips a part of my vacation. Every summer I travel to Peoria, IL where I was reared and where my sisters live, and the three of us plan some excursion together. Since their families are grown, they are free to travel. This year is no exception.
Yesterday the three of us drove to the Mother House of the Sinsinawa Dominicans. This community of Sister taught us in grade school and have been a part of our family ever since I can remember. We had called ahead to see if Sr. Madelyn would be available and found that she was. Sister taught my younger sister and me in the first grade. She is now a very healthy and spry 90 year old. (She and I are pictured above.) We arrived just before lunch and visited her and other Sister that we knew until almost 5:00 p.m. We even unexpectedly met with my elder sister's first grade teacher who is 92.
Visiting the Mount, as the Sisters' Mother House is referred to, is a bit of nostalgia but it is also a bit of who I am. The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa helped form my faith and helped me develop into the man I am today. They were also very, very instrumental in my discerning a vocation to the Religious Life and Priesthood. While I did not end up joining the Dominican Friars, the spirituality and faith of the Sisters gave me the foundation upon which to build my faith and my vocation.
We sometimes hear horror stories about the "nuns" of the past. I don't know if they are true or not. I can testify with out a doubt to the love and hospitality, the gentleness and care of the Sinsinawa Dominicans. I somewhat miss the days when they were the center of our school days. But I am even more convinced of the gift that they were to me and my family.