U.S. National Novitiate Moves to Kentucky, Covington, USA
September 4, 2015
Left to right: Sr. Marla Monahan, Mayra Martinez, Nicole Varnerin, Sr. Mary Rose Moser
on the front porch of the new National Novitiate
In August 2015, Sr. Marla Monahan (Covington), Sr. Mary Rose Moser (Toledo), Mayra Martinez (Los Angeles), and Nicole Varnerin (Cleveland) packed their belongings and headed to their new home: the National Novitiate in Covington, KY.
Previously located in Long Beach, CA, the National Novitiate is where the three-year program of initial formation occurs. This is where a woman more formally continues her journey of becoming a Sister of Notre Dame.
Mayra and Nicole took their first steps on this journey in 2014 when they became SND postulants. Now, they will continue their formation under the guidance of Sr. Marla, who recently became the Novice Director, and Sr. Mary Rose, the new Assistant Novice Director.
Sr. Marla, reflecting on her formation experience, said, “The program of formation today is much more individualized than it had been when I was in formation. Over the course of the years, we have grown in our appreciation and understanding of scripture, theological reflection, our SND charism, and the meaning of the vows–all of which enriches our formation program.”
She added, “It is very enriching that the four of us living in the National Novitiate are from each of the four U.S. provinces. It is exciting for us to have Mayra and Nicole here. Their openness to God, to doing God’s will, their spirituality and commitment to service in the church have been a blessing.”
Sr. Mary Rose echoed these sentiments, “It is an awesome privilege to walk with our two postulants as they continue their discernment in religious life. Living each day in the spirit of a Sister of Notre Dame will help them to deepen and clarify their own calls. Many experiences of community, prayer, sharing in the work and fun of setting up a new house have already marked our days since the beginning of August and their arrival August 10. Their eagerness and joy in embracing our life is an inspiration.”