Monday, October 29, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Autumn in KY will always be the mountains, the sisters, and the teachers and students of the Adult Ed department. Kay Ross the director, has organized a terrific programs to help adults in the area fulfill their education goals, whether strengthening math and reading skills, completing their GED preparation, or preparing to enter college. The teachers, Ron, Stephanie, Nancy, Lynn, Cindy, and Wayne, as well as Lisa, who keeps all running smoothly, are intelligent, compassionate people who make everyone feel that "they can do it," including one NY visitor. Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome, helpful advice and instruction, many great lunches, and the perfect gift of What's Cooking in Kentucky. I miss you already!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Sr. Jan is a wonderful traveling companion, and I was so grateful for her companionship. Sister Jan is hard to fluster, however. The following story is rated PG-13, so young ones should not read this! I'll space down now.
So, Sr. Jan & I were heading south toward the Breaks, and I stopped to refuel and use restroom. In the bathroom, I did a double-take b/c they had a vending machine that sold scented condoms. Thinking I could shock Sr. Jan, and knowing she has a good sense of humor (and was married), I said to her, "Sr. Jan, you're not going to believe this. They actually sell scented condoms. They have chocolate, strawberry, mint, and banana." Well, without missing a beat, she asked, "And which one did you choose?" Ha! Whose face was red then?! No, I didn't buy a condom, so don't even ask.
Waiting for the parade
A phalanx of firetrucks
Floyd County Emergency & Rescue Squad -- Sr. Judy in front passenger seat. You go, girl!
Yes, and a monster truck
Festival -- Bull ride in foreground, musicians in back
Somebody needs an ice cream
Festivals are exhausting. On a side note, red hair is common in eastern KY.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sr. Kathleen takes client Charles out for a birthday breakfast.
As a tough-talking young woman from
For two years, beginning in 1979, she worked as a volunteer preschool teacher and then director. After being hired as an employee, she also became volunteer coordinator. CAP workers live in dorm-like housing, and after three years, she’d had enough of community living. She moved into a two-bedroom apartment in a converted barn. She took on a roommate who, she found out, was considering a vocation as a nun. She urged Kathleen to meet these sisters. You go ahead, Kathleen told her. Yet, before long, Kathleen did meet them and found herself spending most weekends with them. She even found herself considering a vocation. No way, she’d tell herself. Yet, she continued to feel the call. Hearing the scripture, Fear is useless; what is needed is trust, convinced her. The next weekend, she told the sister she’d decided to join their monastery.
Then, her longtime friend, Jack, proposed. That very weekend. Well, we could explore that, Kathleen told him. After all, she’d have her noviate year to consider. So, she considered, and Jack came to visit. He observed her with the sisters and said, I think this is what God wants you to do. Sr. Kathleen joined the order in 1985.
After teaching kindergarten at
- Running the David Appalachian craft center with its numerous crafters and volunteers and logging in thousands of road miles taking these crafts to shows around the country. Last year, the mission earned over $30k, most if it going back to the artists and crafters.
- The mission also assists in building and repairing homes for the needy and distributes food and emergency funds.
- In addition, they run a secondhand store, which today offered coats, used and new, for $1.00 and $2.00.
- Education programs
If this weren’t enough to fill her time, Sr. Kathleen is a member of the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth—the local chapter is working to see that coal companies abide by regulations and serves as board member for both Our Lady of the Way Hospital and the Low Income Housing Coalition.In her off time, you’ll find this type-A personality watching a Steelers game, relaxing in the hot tub, or humiliating her opponents in cards.
Sr. Carolyn and guest Sr. Judy teach the daycare providers the dulcimer.
Although she attended mass each Sunday, Carolyn wasn’t a particularly religion child. She didn’t even attend CCD because she was offended by being stuck with first graders when she was in second grade. In seventh grade, she and about twenty others were called out from their classes (in the public middle school) to be met by two Franciscan Friars, who told the kids that it was time to prepare for confirmation. Fortunately, these were “nice guys,” so Carolyn and the others sat through the instruction and were confirmed. In high school, Carolyn began to attend an Episcopal Church that was transitioning to a Chaldean Syrian denomination. The faith of the parishioners, as well as the music program, drew Carolyn in. It was in this church that she felt her faith come alive.
After various paid and volunteer experiences, in 1979 Carolyn came to
Carolyn moved back to the northeast to earn her degree in early childhood education, living first with her folks and then in a lay community that was part of a French Catholic Order. Once she earned her degree, she entered the religious community. Within two weeks, she realized she had made a mistake, although she stayed for eleven months. Carolyn explained that the community wasn’t right for her because it was very strict and straight-laced. The novices had to wear stockings and skirts whenever they left their bedroom, even on the community property. Articles not on the “to bring” list were taken from their rooms and stored. Food gifts from families were confiscated to be saved “for guests,” although sometimes food would spoil before anyone could eat it. The novices were not allowed to go into town, although that rule was broken as frequently as possible. One afternoon, meandering through town on a forbidden outing, Carolyn and the two others with her spotted a group of older nuns coming toward them. The younger three thought their ship was sunk because they stood out in their matching skirts, white blouses, and vests. They ducked into the nearest store, which they realized was a liquor store. We’re safe here, they said in relief. The sisters wouldn’t come there. And the senior sisters didn’t. Whew.
Carolyn and Kathleen kept in touch, but because the novices were not allowed to receive personal phone calls, their contact was limited. One day, Carolyn was summoned to the phone for a call from the Prioress of the Martin, KY monastery. It was Kathleen—not even yet part of the KY community, who said she figured that they’d put the call through if she said she was a prioress.
After Carolyn left the N.H. community, she returned to work for CAP. By this time Kathleen was part of the