Guest Post by Rick Neumann
Written January 15, 2016
Today marks the 11th anniversary of the weekend my wife and I brought our daughter Christina to enter the convent in Hankinson. We’d never been to Hankinson so I was a bit nervous about what to expect. It was both a happy and sad weekend: happy because we believed Christina was called to religious life but sad because we knew our family was changing and we wouldn’t see her as much.
As I recall I don’t think any of us talked a lot during the four hour drive from West St. Paul to Hankinson. We were all deep in thought. Memories of Christina during her 24 years of life with us dominated my thinking; both the good times and the hard times.
We had met a couple of the sisters earlier when they brought Christina back after one of her discerning visits to the convent. They had both been very friendly so that made going on the trip less scary. Once we arrived things couldn’t have gone better. All the sisters were extremely welcoming and put us up in the “Hankinson Hilton.” The Hankinson Hilton is the suite of rooms they put “esteemed” guests in. It is very nice; quite a contrast to the Spartan type rooms the sisters have.
During the weekend we got to know many of the sisters. We talked, ate, played cards and got the grand tour of the convent. Everything went great for the weekend.
On Sunday morning something changed. While at Mass, I got an overwhelming feeling. I started to cry; not out loud but enough that I had to wipe my eyes several times. I cry very seldom but I did that day. I wasn’t really sad. I was just beginning to realize what was happening. My daughter is going on her life’s mission. I was excited for her, happy for her but also I was very emotional. Overall, it is a weekend I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Eleven years later, Sr. Christina has lived her religious life well. She’s happy with her life and we couldn’t be more pleased.