Monday, October 26, 2015

A Tale of Two Sisters

I walked into the locker room, my stomach in a tangle of excitement and trepidation.  It was my first swim practice as a high school freshman.  A girl sporting a swim t-shirt and a smile waved to me.  “Hi, I’m Kristin,” she said.  I laughed.  “I am, too!”

Kristin and I quickly discovered that we had more in common than our names, and we became good friends.  Eventually we both entered religious life.  She entered a different Dominican congregation, and shortly afterward I came to Sinsinawa.  We gradually fell out of touch.

At first glance, our lives look different.  She chose a congregation whose sisters wear full traditional habits all the time; I didn’t.  Her name has changed; mine is still Christin, with a “Sister” before it.  She taught in a Catholic school and is now studying philosophy; I live on a farm and promote care of creation.  To be honest, these differences often made me feel uncomfortable.

Recently, our other novices and I had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to travel to Washington, DC, to see Pope Francis.  As we were leaving the venue after Mass, I turned around to see a familiar face.  Amid the thousands of people present, I had spotted my old friend!

Our encounter was brief- just long enough to exchange a few hugs and take a photo together- but it was one of the most poignant moments of my trip.

As we embraced among the crowd, it finally dawned on me: it is GOD who has called us to live our Dominican charism in different ways, and that’s inherently beautiful, not inherently problematic!  There will always be tension in diversity; that’s part of what drives evolution.  As a global church, which is a member of the Earth community, this is our reality.  Isn’t that part of what Pope Francis came here to preach?

Although we no longer share the same name, we share the journey of sisterhood.  And although we travel that journey differently, the goal is the same: to follow Christ, to love God and to serve neighbor as well as we can.

When have you encountered polarities or false divisions?  Is God inviting you to live in the tension?

Sr. Christin Tomy
Racine, WI


  1. I sent a comment but it was probably not sent....Congratulations to being a part of a long wonderful Congregation of Veritas/Truth to tell the Love of the Lord and the rosary showing the power of prayer. I love the traditional Dominican habit and it looks so unifying and says who you are. If the Moslem women can wear what they wear, where is the sacrificial beauty I used to admire in the summer and the winter all seasons with a smile and pure beauty... the same in all seasons....and the ease of not having to wonder/choose what you're going to wear, hair-do's and the look of sometimes poverty and sometimes of worldliness wondering who it is not different from anyone else. We are all sisters from our Baptism and I hope a consensus may come to Fr. Samuel's Sisters to once again love the habit of being a Dominican, a bride of Christ in the modified for driving but to not be afraid even in these times to be proud to show a Dominican in the flowers of God's religious congregations of vowed commitment to His service. Venerable Fr. Samuel Charles Mazzuchelli and all of the Sinsinawa Sisters with you in the company of the Most Holy Trinity, pray for us all in this so special Anniversary beginning Nov. 7th..... all year long, and today.!

  2. well said Christin...praying for both of you...Fr. Vu

  3. Congratulations Kristin! What a beautiful article. Just goes to show God calls all of us to serve him in our own way...
    The path he has chosen for us.
    God bless you on your journey!
    Your friend from the Mound
    "Nurse" Donna.

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