So we are but halfway through our initial formation time and apparently it’s time to blog. After a few days in Coventry when we first arrived we went straight to Brentwood and the home of Sion (and TOWIE) for convention. I didn’t really know what that meant either, but it turns out that it’s just basically everyone who’s part of Sion community in some way, meeting up for a bit. It isn’t just a reunion though, we spent the first few days having talks from Father Dom Henry whose name isn’t Dom, (that’s some sort of title – I made that mistake!) He translated the New Jerusalem bible and so he knows quite a lot about it, and the context and language of the bible. It sounds duller than it was, because he has a lot of stories and pictures and he may be 80-odd but he’s not bad with the old PowerPoint. During our time in Brentwood we made the most of our proximity to London, and had a great time seeing the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum!
After our return to Cov (apparently that’s what the locals call it), we had a few days just as girls when the boys went off to Worth Abbey for ‘lad time’. We just chatted and had afternoon tea and a nice chilled out time without our boys, but we were glad for their return so the banter could continue. Then we had some amazing talks from Sister Mary Paul, who is a Texan, a nun and a great teacher – What a combination! We also had a great time with the Alpha guys, and a guy called Stuart who taught us how to tell stories and how to hold ourselves and project our voices and stuff, which included some great improvised dramas about the Atlantic ocean and Furbies..
Early mornings and mass everyday are certainly a culture shock for me, but I’m slowly getting used to it, and sometimes I even make it down in time for breakfast! I am really enjoying Mission Prep at the moment, we’re learning dramas and mimes and developing workshops. Learning the dramas and mimes is a bit surreal at times as many are the same ones I watched from the audience as a Year 9 student, and who woulda thought I’d one day be in them?! I’m still learning to perform and speak in front of people, and not fall apart with nerves, which sometimes seems an impossible task, but I’ve got a wonderful group of people around me. I’ve been so pleased to have such fun people in the house, because we get on really well and have such a laugh together, and after a long day of intense teaching – that’s exactly what you need.
So community life is great, and teaching/formation is also really interesting, and our first mission is in less than 3 weeks. I feel totally terrified but also excited to put all we have learned into practice, and to start seeing what the mission part of this year will look like.