We will be on an irregular schedule in the final days of novitiate at San Lorenzo. Our formators tell us to be ready for impromptu adjustments to the schedule as the occasion requires. To the outsider that sounds like a no-brainer, but consider that we have been fixed to a schedule unyielding in its consistency since our arrival 50 weeks ago. We have been asked to "remain approachable, available, adaptable, and above all fraternal" until the conclusion of novitiate and the hour of our departure.
A quick look ahead:
Sunday the 7th: Mass followed by a breakfast from the benefactors and friends of San Lorenzo Seminary who worship with us every weekend. We will not have our hour of Eucharistic adoration, but evening prayer will follow immediately with our Sunday social and evening meal; and, following night prayer, personal and fraternal time.
Monday the 8th: From this day forward, we get to sleep in! Morning prayer at 7:30, not 6:30, with Mass following a period of meditation. By 10 o'clock everyone will be doing a deep cleaning of the bedrooms and guest rooms, an activity that will carry us through the morning into the evening. We will have our regular hours of prayer, but we will forego the hour of prayerful silence after the evening meal and opt for fraternal recreation after night prayer. It is, after all, our final week together as a community, and we will choose to remain in each other's company as often as we can.
Tuesday the 9th: After Mass with morning prayer, a day trip to the beach, probably Refugio, although that is subject to change. Returning to San Lorenzo for late evening prayer and evening meal, followed by night prayer and personal or fraternal time.
Wednesday the 10th: Following Mass and prayer, a turn to our house jobs, with additional chores thrown in for teams on particular detail. One of my last days caring for the trees and bushes grounded in our thirsty earth. More deep cleaning of the friary, especially all the common spaces, in the afternoon.
Thursday the 11th: This Thursday will be like a regular Thursday in that we will get the day for offsite personal time. Mulling over whether to go out or make of the day a final day of hermitage. Both options are appealing in their own way.
Friday the 12th: Final work projects after Mass and morning prayer. Looks like I'll be washing windows! On this, the last night of novitiate, the evening will close with solemn night prayer and fraternal recreation.
Saturday the 13th: We will head for Old Mission Santa Ines for the profession of vows of the two novices of the California province. Around two in the afternoon I will be driven to the airport in Santa Barbara and board a shuttle bound for Los Angeles shortly after four; then, by 9:30 in the evening I will be up and away, heading non-stop for JFK.
Let the week begin!