Danielle and I met at Eureka College. She was short, beautiful, kind, and a lot of fun to be around. As our involvement at the Salve Regina Newman Center grew so did our friendship, and by our senior year at EC we were best friends. My friendship with Danielle was very special to me because she was the first best friend I had who was Catholic like I was Catholic. Daily Mass, frequent confession, adoration - these things were part of what we did together just like going for ice cream, watching movies, and talking about our futures.
Our junior year Danielle, a cradle Catholic, was confirmed. Our senior year we visited the Nashville Dominicans several times as she discerned her vocation. And while most of our classmates applied to grad school or for the job of their dreams, Danielle applied to the convent. The summer after we graduated we sewed labels on her socks and she gave me her blow dryer, which she would no longer need.
|The altar in the sisters' chapel.|
I cried when she left. I mourned her like she had died. It was hard to be supportive while feeling so alone.
|Top and center in the program|
When Danielle, now known as Sr. Marie Noelle, professed first vows my then-fiance and I went to watch and eat wedding cake. It was beautiful and I was so happy for her. And then we waited five more years and finally - finally! - I got the letter that she was to profess final vows with the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, Tennessee.
|Sr. Marie Noelle is on the far left.|
I spent my 31st birthday, the feast of St. James the Greater, watching my short, beautiful, kind, fun friend prostrate herself on the marble floor of the Cathedral. I heard her choke up while she vowed to live a life of poverty, chastity, and obedience for the rest of her life. And I cried because I am so happy for her and I feel so blessed to have been able to tag along for parts of the journey.
|Professing her vows.|
Life is filled with joy. Our faith is so beautiful. God is good.
|We're both so happily married.|
You might also like this piece, Mother Mary, where I talk about my friendship with Sr. Marie Noelle, another nun I'm friends with, and our blessed mother.