I'm off to the monastery on Monday. It's the first session of study as I prepare to become an oblate of Our Lady of Grace Monastery.
I've been going to the monastery at least yearly since 2003, but this is my first time not as part of the Eli Lilly Congregational Excellence grants, Women Touched by Grace. It couldn't happen at a more perfect time.
When Sister Antoinette was graciously trying to find a time for those of us who lived away from Indianapolis to come and study, this was the only week that we could all come. When I was made a candidate for Bishop of Connecticut, I thought that there would be a conflict.
Convention starts on the final day of our retreat. In the Diocese of Texas, my experience had been that all candidates were present for the election, and I assumed that I would go travel for the Connecticut Diocesan Convention. I soon learned that most dioceses only have candidates canonically resident in the diocese attend, and that they are separated from the electing body to prevent, I imagine, politicking.
So Ian (from Massachusetts) and I will not be present, and Jim and Mark will be sequestered in the balcony.
On the morning of the election, I'll sing Morning Praise with the sisters of Our Lady of Grace and the 15 or so us preparing to become oblates.
I'll be at the airport as the first ballot is cast, and perhaps while I am somewhere in the air between Indianapolis and Houston, the 15th bishop of Connecticut will be elected.
If I can't be in Connecticut, it's a very good place to be.