A day in the life…

“This is a guest post from Sr. Christina M. Neumann, a Franciscan Sister of Dillingen – Hankinson, North Dakota Province.”

Is there any such thing as a “typical day?” I guess the best answer might be “yes and no.” 

No two days are exactly the same, and each one’s a gift. However, I’ll take you through what a typical day in my life might look like if there were such a thing…Keep in mind, though, that in your own life, any one of hundreds of variations might change things up completely. We never know what (challenges and blessings) lie ahead of us when our feet hit the floor in the morning. The description below is not meant to be comprehensive and leaves a fair amount out. 

* * *

It’s 5:22 a.m., the buzzing of my alarm stirs me to consciousness. “It’s morning already?” my reluctant body seems to ask. After a few seconds of persuasive efforts, I convince myself that I really do need to get up, NOW! I dress and make preparations for the day before walking upstairs and out the door over to St. Anne’s, the home for the elderly and disabled where I work. 

After greeting the night staff, I head into the chapel, where I spend some time praying with the scriptures for the day’s Mass. By a little after 6 o’clock, I light the candles and make preparations for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, which will take place in a few moments (We host Eucharistic Adoration, and I’m a sacristan). I sit back down, say some prayers, and begin the rosary which I will finish as I walk to Mass a little while later.

At 6:30, it’s time for Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours, which I pray with the two other Sisters with me as well as a couple of guests. 

After finishing “lauds” and greeting my co-workers, I head over for morning Mass, though twice a week we have it in our own chapel. After Mass, I enjoy a quick, ten-minute walk back, probably praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I find walking and praying a good combination and use of my time.  

I pick up breakfast from the dining room where our residents eat and meet up with the other two Sisters as we eat breakfast. This is not a set or scheduled thing, but we often end up taking this first meal of the day simultaneously.

We have our meals in what is called the “Conference Room,” and also serves as a meeting space for care conferences, staff meetings, and other gatherings.

While eating breakfast, I remember that I left my “embroidery bag” over at the convent, having used it the night before during evening recreation with the other Sisters. I go home to get the bag and catch up on a couple of things over there. Jesus is also present in our convent chapel, so I “have to” stop in and see my Friend upon arriving and before leaving again.

I head back to St. Anne’s to give the receptionist a morning break, and then head into chapel to check on a couple of things.

I have some time left this morning to work on a few things in the office. I help with PR/Communications for our facility and have a variety of little projects I’m involved in this role. 

By 11:15 a.m., I need to return to the reception desk again to give my co-worker her lunch break. I use this half-hour either embroidering or doing more office work (or a combination of the two), along with answering the phone and assisting residents with business or other needs.

By ten to twelve, I am in the Conference Room again, on time to have lunch with my Sisters here. 

The first part of the afternoon is free. I might help our bookkeeper with something, work on a project for our administrator, or find something to keep me out of trouble. Weather permitting, I’ll try to take some of our residents out on a walk. 

By 3:30 p.m., I come back to the reception desk for my shift, which lasts until 10 p.m. If it is my week for leading Office (common prayer), I will be relieved for suppertime and prayers; if not, I stay at the front desk over supper and pray Vespers privately. I spend the evening hours, embroidering, doing other office/communications work, and visiting occasionally with residents. I pray Compline or Night Prayer at the desk before my shift is over. When the night staff arrives at ten, I am then free to hurry home and get ready for bed.

It’s nice to have “catch up” days like this with no unexpected happenings. They don’t all go so smoothly and uneventfully, especially if I’m filling in as a care aide, helping with activities, or baking cookies for our residents to enjoy.

Here are links to learn more about the sisters and to follow Sr. Christina’s blog : Our Community Website (Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen, Hankinson Province):http://ndfranciscans.org/index.htmlOur Franciscan Fiat Blog, which I write: https://ourfranciscanfiat.wordpress.com

A day in the life…
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