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Saturday, April 19, 2008

"Nuns from Ann Arbor Township convent head to New York to attend papal events"

Something tells me that the sisters in my previous post, the ones who were unfazed by the precipitous decline in the number of vocations to their communities, will not be traveling with much joy and enthusiasm to see Pope Benedict XVI.


Nuns at the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist convent in Ann Arbor Township pick up snacks for their bus tripvFriday to see the Pope in New York City.

For days, the sisters in the convent off Warren Road had watched the television news for word of Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the United States.

Before sunrise this morning, all 56 of the sisters living at the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor Township planned to board a chartered bus to travel to New York City, where they will attend two of the big papal events.

Other members of the convent on missions elsewhere in the country will join them.

"Each time we hear him and see him the excitement grows," said Sister Teresa Benedicta.

On Thursday evening, the sisters were busy packing lunches and snacks for the trip. Bags of popcorn and boxes of games stood ready to go by the door.

"They won't even sleep tonight," said Sister Mary Samuel.

They'll stay with a parish in New York City, sleeping in a school, retreat center and a parishioner's home. They'll return home to Michigan on Sunday.

This is Benedict's first trip to the United States, where he'll spend six days in Washington D.C. and New York. In New York, the sisters will attend a massive youth rally with Benedict, and then the Mass in Yankee Stadium with the pontiff. The sisters said Benedict is bringing a message of hope.

"He's very gentle," said Sister Maria Guadalupe. "He has a reputation of being very harsh and extreme, but he just comes across as very fatherly."

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