One of the topics I enjoyed discussing with Sister Mary Catherine was community life. She talked about how, as part of a community, she always knew she had someone to call on for help -- no matter the time of day or night.
I really understood the value of this type of relationship, as I saw similarities to how members of my hockey team interact. My teammates and I have helped one another by pushing cars out of the snow, giving rides all over the city and tutoring each other in our strong subjects.
This help is given not in hope of a reward, but because we know that others would help us if the positions were reversed. I really value this relationship I have with my team. As Sister Mary Catherine described her experience with her community, I could really see the appeal of having this type of bond throughout one’s life.
I also found it interesting that for my sister, the joys and challenges of community life were often connected, almost flip sides of the same coin. While there are benefits to always being around people who are willing to help you, sometimes it can be overwhelming. Sister Mary Catherine told me that when she moved back into the motherhouse after living on her own for decades to be near her ministries it was hard to adjust to always being surrounded by others. She likened it to “living in a fishbowl."
This is the part of living in community I think I would find most difficult. I love the relationship I have with my teammates, but I can’t imagine living with all of them. I’m an introvert, and I need time alone to recuperate. After talking with Sister Mary Catherine, I had a much better understanding of how the Dominican Sisters live. I’m glad I know more about them, since they are so connected to Aquinas.