One more sleep and I’m off. Off on the next step of this journey. To parts unknown and people unknown, and basically, a life unknown. The early hours of New Year’s Eve will find me flying over the U.S. and then across the Pacific Ocean to my new home away from home in the Philippines. For the next year, I will be living in the IBVM Formation House in Quezon City (part of metro Manila) with three other novices. We will live together as an international community comprised of Australian, Vietnamese, and Canadian women.
I’m looking forward to meeting my new companions and I’m also excited to spend the next year learning more about Mary Ward, the history of the Institute, Ignatian spirituality, religious life, and spend more dedicated time in prayer. The anxieties and worries I’ve felt over the past few months have slowly been subsiding and are being replaced by happy anticipation and a feeling of adventure.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been preparing for my move as best as I can. [With a wonderful Christmas interlude, of course, filled with festive fun and recreation – and the requisite happy hour(s)!]
Reading about the Philippines islands, the people, and the culture, as well as Australian and Vietnamese culture and customs, has fueled my excitement to travel and experience a new way of life. I’ve been stocking up on what I will need for the year (appropriate summer clothing – not easy to find in the midst of a Canadian winter!, books, etc.), and taking time for prayer and reflection.
During this time of preparation and transition I have been seeking the intercession of one of Mary Ward’s first companions, Winifred Wigmore, to help me on this journey. Although I don’t know a great deal about her (I hope to learn more over the course of the year!), I admire her spirit. She was a great friend of Mary Ward, she was counted on to undertake difficult tasks, and she was even imprisoned for supporting Mary’s work. I think her pluckiness and deep love for her friend is a good model for me to follow, and I have confidence that she will help me along the way.
I hope to continue my blog throughout the next year but I expect there will be a break of a month or so while I get settled in and transition to life as a novice in formation. I will do my best to update you all as soon as I can. In the meantime, I will be praying for you all and I ask you to please pray for me too!!
Goodbye for now! Paalam muna sa ngayon!