In January of 1955 I left New Orleans to enter the novitiate in Rosaryville, I was twenty years old, and said goodbye to a secretarial job that I loved, and a fiancé that I loved to become a Dominican Sister. On that cold afternoon, I left behind a comfortable home, a closet full of clothes, and my freedom, to enter another world—one of discipline and poverty, and above all, peace.
You can imagine a city girl’s excitement of being surrounded by acres of majestic pines, and an actual barnyard like the movies. The construction of a brand-new building—Rosary Hall—was being added to the old wooden, three-story structures built by the Benedictine monks in the 1800s.
In our new chapel we prayed, sang, and chanted the daily psalms in the midst of a panorama of postulants’ black attire, white habits, and veils of the novices, and white habits and black veils of the sisters who had professed their vows.
Our work in the gardens and the outdoor processions to our various shrines reminded us in a special way that our feet were truly standing on holy ground.
The old buildings are gone, as are the barnyard and the numerous young sisters, but what does still remain for the thousands who continue to be drawn here each year is that “peace which the world cannot give,” which I myself discovered many years ago.
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