With a heavy but hopeful heart I am sending word of a change of address both in formal title and place of residence. As of Sunday, November 8, I am no longer a member of the Redemptoristine community now located in Beacon, NY.
My decision to withdraw from vowed contemplative life has been a long time in coming and was not finally arrived at without a great deal of pain and prayer. Many of you are aware that much has happened in the life of the Redemptoristine Nuns of New York and in my personal life in the last few years. Beginning in 2012 the community was forced to leave its monastery, endured a seemingly endless search for a new home and a period of temporary housing, and finally, by the grace of a last minute generous invitation from the Carmelite community in Beacon, found a new home. During these years my father died, my mother's dementia required her placement in a nursing home, and her younger brother became my responsibility. After his death there were the usual financial matters calling for attention. I report all of this not as reason for my departure from the community but as context for the stress and the process.
Old difficulties combined with the struggles of changes within the community as well as the new living situation were taking their toll in body, mind and spirit. In the past I had thought I was too old to make such a change. I am now 70 years old. But in August I realized that it was the only healthy direction in which I could go. Because I love my sisters there was excruciating pain in the process of discernment. There is and will continue to be the experience of something dying. But there is also hope for resurrection.
After a discouraging search for affordable and appropriate housing I was offered an apartment in subsidized senior housing about 10 minutes drive up the road from the original Redemptoristine monastery. Two of my sons live in Kingston about 15 minutes away. Each has a child and I cannot pretend that I am unhappy about having more occasions to see one year old Harrison and two year old Matilda. My oldest son lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two boys. All of my sons have been marvelously supportive and helpful to me. I could not have moved without their help. The Redemptoristines too have been very generous. Our many moves yielded an excess of furniture and I have been blessed in their donations to this new household.
Please do pray for the community of Redemptoristines in Beacon and for me as I make this huge adjustment and on-going discernment of God's will for me in this time of disorientation. I am trying to discover a new contemplative path.
With appreciation for you all and trusting in our loving God,