Last night I heard the bells loudly ringing from the Carmelite Convent. The Order moved from New Jersey to build a convent in Spokane Valley. They ring their bell softly for call to prayer because of the neighbors surrounding the convent. I sometimes hear the bell on a summer morning when my bedroom window is open. The community is still slowing rising. Normally they are drowned out by the diesel truck warming up, dogs barking at people walking dogs before work, and high school students talking on their way to school. I am transported to being in a small town in the Tuscan hills.
Last night, just before 10 P.M. they were raucous. I thought at first, “Were the sisters in danger and trying to alert the community?” But then I thought, “Even if they don’t have a cell phone, they must have a way to summon help if someone was invading their privacy or safety.”
I read this morning the Raul Castro met with Pope Francis yesterday and was so impressed that he said, “The Pope and I are both Jesuits. I will start going back to church.” After 50 years of Communist persecution of Catholics, I understand why the sisters were ringing their bell with joy last night to share the news with the community, the only way available for a community of cloistered sisters!