Marian Convent: Living the Word in Community

by Sister Santina Deluca, OP

The 14 sisters who live at Marian Convent in Chicago Heights, Ill., strive to do what we say in the Springfield Dominican Constitutions: “Preach the Word out of the depth of our communion with God and with one another.” We live our Dominican preaching charism as we minister in a variety of ways at Marian Catholic High School. Sisters who serve at Marian are involved with teaching, tutoring, administration, finance, parents, support services, campus ministry, and development. Two sisters minister outside the school. One is a full-time student at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and another teaches religion at St. Kieran’s School in Chicago Heights.

The works we do are energized by the life we share in community. During the school week, our rising and private contemplation are quite early. We gather in the chapel at 6 a.m. for morning prayer and the Eucharist. Spiritually strengthened, we share a quick breakfast and direct our attention to our ministries.

As the school day ends, we return to the convent to prepare for the next day’s classes, do housekeeping, read, or just relax. Evening prayer is sung at 5 p.m. and supper follows. Five days a week a cook prepares our main meal. During supper we share the events of the day and catch up on personal news. We all pitch in to clean up the kitchen and dining room after dinner. Depending on our responsibilities, we might return to school for evening commitments or stay home for conversation and other favorite pastimes, such as cards games, puzzles, studying, or watching television. Before long, we drift off to our rooms for private prayer and preparation for a restful night.

As we support one another in community, we grow individually and spiritually, and are better able to give our talents and labor to serve the church.

This was first published in JUST Words, Vol. 6, No. 3, Summer 2006. The author now resides at Sacred Heart Convent, Springfield, Ill.

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