Mutual Enrichment

During the stay of our nuns in Trinidad, there were many experiences of mutual learning among the Sisters. Each sharing her gifts, knowledge and talents. One evening, our Sister Mary Jeremiah gave a lecture on St. Catherine of Siena to members of the Dominican Family who had been meeting every first Monday of the 800th Jubilee Year celebrating the founding o the Dominican Order. All the entities of the Family-friars, nuns, active sisters, laity and youth-exist and collaborate on the Island.

On several days, our Sister Mary Christine taught their sacristan, Sister Elizabeth, how to arrange flowers for the chapel. There is no shortage of flowers or greenery on the monastery grounds for fine arrangements. The Sisters often put 5 different arrangements in the chapel: beside and in front of the tabernacle, in front of the altar, by the statue of our Lady and one by a statue.St. Martin de Porres.

Sister Mary Christine and Sister Mary Jeremiah both taught the sisters in formation how to make cord rosaries without the use of a tool. The postulant, Jasette, was particularly eager to perfect this skill and she practiced every evening at recreation.

Naturally, our Sisters learned a great deal about Trinidadian culture, food and the healing properties of some of the countless plants. They saw the expansive \”savannah\”, or large park area, not far from the monastery where much of Carnival takes place. People are already gearing up for that festivity which takes place the two days before Ash Wednesday, beginning of Lent. Trinidad and Tobago are the birthplace of calypso music and the steelpan, which is the only musical instrument created in the 20th century.

The Sisters also learned about \”sorrel\” a red flower that grows on a bush and is made into a drink. We even used its red juice to dye some coconut to celebrate Vietnamese New Year. We were able to bring some home and our Mexican Sisters were thrilled because in Mexico they call it \”Jamaica\” and make a similar drink. In fact, they have already used half of the package for a delicious and refreshing drink containing chopped apples and pecans.

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