On September 15, 1966, I entered the Immaculate Heart of Mary Sisters in the Philadelphia area. 90 young women, many right out of high school, walked over a wooden plank (to avoid sinking in the mud) into a new motherhouse at Immaculata, PA. Construction on the building was ongoing and workmen who were busy sawing, banging, and drilling provided a wonderful distraction for our new postulant band!
Most of us were 18 years old and filled with enthusiasm and energy. It was quite an adjustment to settle into the routine of convent life especially the long hours of silence.
Before retiring each night we prostrated on the floor for night prayers. I will never forget my first night. I apparently missed the instructions on the proper direction for prostration. Our rooms were separated by partitions and in rows. There were about 10 inches open between the floor and the curtains so you could see the floor across the section.
Before bed when the bell rang, indicating sacred silence had begun, I laid on the floor and prayed. (No talking was permitted during sacred silence unless there was an emergency.) As I laid on the floor there was an outburst of giggles in my section, and I wondered what happened. The next day I found out that I had prostrated in the wrong direction. No one in my band has ever forgotten that hilarious first night of convent life!
I give thanks for every day that I learned the basics in living community life and the years that I served God's people as an IHM.
In 1995, after prayer and discernment, I became a Sister for Christian Community, an ecclesial community whose charism is building nurturing community and living Christ's prayer "that all may be one"
It is a non-canonical community, not under the control of the Vatican or the hierarchy.
Bridget Mary Meehan, SFCC ARCWP, www.arcwp.org