One time, in passing, I mentioned to my FOCUS missionary that I wanted to visit the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. I literally just said it because I thought it would be cool, not because I had any real intention of going.
But somehow my beautiful and holy missionary heard that as,
“We should plan a Spring Break Nun Run”
If you don’t know what a Nun Run is, I will tell you:
It’s an excursion that involves young women running around and visiting convents in order to better discern. Or they aren’t discerning and they just want to have an awesome Spring Break.
So that’s what we did.
We started by driving 8hrs to Des Plains, IL to visit the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth:
Then we drove 4hrs to Ann Arbor, MI to see the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist…the Oprah nuns. The nuns-where-we-almost-left-Hannah:
Talk about incredible. Most of their postulants enter right after graduating from high school. Their order is exploding and is a true testament to the beautiful of truth and tradition, more on that later. Also, Hannah is going to write about them because she loves the crap out of them.
Then we drove 10hrs to Philadelphia to visit some more FOCUS missionaries, St. Katharine Drexel’s order, and our friends at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.
St. Katharine Drexel is an amazing saint, and you should definitely take some time to read up about her.
Unfortunately, her order has fallen into the lie that they need to become more “modern” in order to survive. The women don’t live in community, are not habit-ed, and have not had new vocations in a loooooong time. They were the sweetest and kindest women but we left feeling sad. Pray that they (and the many other religious orders who have drifted away) will see the beauty in Truth and return to it.
And then. The whole reason the trip started. The Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal.
So we drove 2ish hrs to New York, into Harlem to Our Lady Queen of Angels Convent.
It was great. We spent time in their beautiful little chapel, went to the postulant house, had Adoration and Confession (by Fr. Lawrence, who heard my Confession barefoot, LEGIT), and helped with their Venerable Solanus Casey soup kitchen.
I could write a million words on how much I love the CFRs (and maybe I will, who knows) but I mostly want to impress how incredible this trip was.
Things We Learned
1. Truth and Love: our generation is drawn to intense Truth. The orders who follow the Church very specifically have the most vocations.
2. Regardless of your vocation, nuns are great: Not all of us were/are discerning religious life, but spending time with beautiful Brides of Christ is an incredible experience for everyone.
3. 12 days in a Suburban is a long time, but it’s worth it: if you want to learn how to barely survive, get in a vehicle with no extra space, minimal money for supplies, and a FOCUS missionary who loves the crap out of you.
4. This trip should not have worked: Seriously. We should not have been able to drive all over the country, never have car trouble, never run out of gas, never run out of money (which we probably did, who knows), and somehow make the 24hr drive back to Lincoln in time to make it to a sibling’s musical.
Literally, I could start a whole new blog and write solely about the Nun Run, and if you have more questions, ask me!
Hooray for counter-cultural-Spring-Break-trips!