In text messaging parlance, “YNT” means “Why Not?” So, on a sunny day in March, 240 girls in Grade 11 at four Dominican high schools arrived on the campus of Caldwell College to consider the question “YNT?” The teens entered the gym to the music of “God Is Here” provided by the Lord’s Chords of Mount St. Dominic Academy and settled in to the musical peace of Sister Elsie’s “singing bowl.”
The Dominican Sisters asked “YNT” in the framework of God’s call to join Dominican life and mission: “Why Not YOU be a woman called by God to become a Dominican Sister?” Through various activities during the morning, the sisters offered reasons to consider how and why God is indeed calling women today to become Dominican sisters. (One sister, in a casual conversation with a group of teens, offered another meaning for “YNT”: “Young Nuns in Training.”)
The morning activities sparked interest and active responses from the teens, who participated in a reflection on the “Call of Disciples” in Luke’s Gospel, a ritual blessing by a student from each school to the four directions on Earth and prayer for the world, a dramatic presentation of “Call” performed by Feather the Clown (Sister Luke Dworschak, OP). The students and sisters gave high praise to a media presentation of photos of the students and Caldwell sisters coupled with the songs “100 Years” and “My Wish.” They eavesdropped on a “Tell All” chat by two Caldwell sisters who are blood sisters: Sisters Alice Uhl, OP and Eleanor Uhl, OP. A Letterman-style “Top Ten List of Reasons to Be a Nun” and a “Did You Know…? sharing of interesting but little-known facts about sisters ended in time for lunch.
Lunch tables were the setting for “Nun Talk,” a Caldwell Dominican version of “speed dating.” Each table of students was visited by a sister who answered any and all questions the girls asked before Sister Elsie’s “singing bowl” signaled time for the sisters to move to the next table.
Wrap-up included open mike led by Sisters Peggy Ann Clinton, OP (Caldwell) and Nancy Richter, OP (Sparkill). Sister Peggy Ann commented, “I know that I came to our congregation because of the spirit of our women that I saw. Future Dominican women will come for the same reason.” Departure at 1 p.m. included the music of “Marching in the Light of the Lord” led by the Lord’s Chords and distribution of “YNT” bookmarks.
For more information about the Dominican Sisters of Caldwell, visit their web site.