Probation, our group preparation for perpetual vows, took place at or by our motherhouse from when the programme began over 200 years ago until the early 1970s - except during those years when war prevented travel. Then came several years of different locations before it finally found a home, from 1981, at the Villa Lante, a huge edifice on the edge of Trastevere, which for many years was Sophie's on-off home in Rome. This was where I made my own probation in 2003, and where I spent last weekend, my first time back there after nine years.
I spent the weekend in Rome, celebrating the perpetual professions of twelve RSCJ from eleven countries. I already knew a few of them - especially one who lived with me in Oxford, and two others who have also spent time in this Province - and during my few days with them I was able to interact with the others; hitherto unknown to me but not strangers, as they were already my sisters. They are all now in the process of returning to their home Provinces, radiant and full of joyful energy for their new missions.