DES MOINES NUN RUN 2010: A VOCATIONS ROAD TRIP
On Thursday, June 3rd, seven young women of the Diocese of Des Moines piled into a Ford Expedition and hit the road, driving together to visit three religious communities and returning to the diocese on Sunday, the 6th. This year’s “nun run” is the first that the diocese has offered, and hopes are that it will become an annual event. The nun run serves as a new opportunity for young women who are interested in learning more about the religious life to meet those who live it and to receive insight into how they can better discern their own vocations, whatever those vocations may be.
For clarification, a nun run is a vocations road trip meant to provide young women with the opportunity to be exposed to a sampling of different religious orders in the United States. Participants of such a trip travel by car and go from one convent to another, learning about the life of the sisters, their service to the Church, and their spirituality. Along the way, they get to pray, eat, and play with the sisters, Four students from Dowling Catholic High School and three women in their twenties attended this year’s nun run. Their first two destinations landed them in Lincoln, Nebraska. The participants spent a couple of hours visiting with a cloistered contemplative order called the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, affectionately known by many as the “Pink Sisters” because of the carnation pink habits that they wear. It was here that the girls began the first stop of their journey in the Adoration chapel with the Lord.
Following this visit, during which the young women were able to talk with a few of the sisters in a visiting room and to ask them questions about their lifestyle, the participants made their way to the School Sisters of Christ the King, a young order with which the group stayed until the morning of the 5th. The girls were kept busy during their visit, rising early in the morning to pray the Liturgy of the Hours with the sisters and to participate in daily Mass. Between community prayers, the girls’ activities with the sisters included a bonfire, talks about vocational discernment, pulling weeds, playing softball, asking questions, and having time for personal prayer in the chapel.
The last leg of the journey took the Des Moines group to Kansas City, Missouri, where they spent much of June 5th and 6th with the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order whose apostolate is to serve in homes for the elderly poor and whose foundress (St. Jeanne Jugan) was one of the five new saints canonized in October of 2009. While there, the young women were able to take part in the sisters’ apostolate by visiting with the elderly residents of the home, helping to feed them at meal times, and taking them for walks outside. The participants were also able to visit with and eat with the sisters. Their journey ended as it had begun—in Adoration of the Lord (the last day of the trip being Corpus Christi Sunday).
Praise God for the success of this trip and the blessing it has been in the lives of those young women who attended it! They return to Des Moines with new insight into the beautiful part of the Church that the religious life is. They also return with guidance for the discernment of their own vocations from God and for growth in holiness and in love as all Christians are to do. May He bless the young women of our diocese with many more opportunities such as these!