The Kitchen Crew – Keeper of the Keys

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Beyond food, our cooks nourished our souls by listening to our stories as we came and went
Cholewinski Elise Sr 2016-400px

by Sister Elise Cholewinski

In our former motherhouse the kitchen was located on the lower level, not far from the entrance to the garage.  In addition to the stoves and counters and all the other equipment that goes with the Community’s kitchen, there was a special rack on the wall, just inside the door.  It contained the keys for all of the vehicles. This meant that as Sisters came and went they always had to stop in the kitchen.

Stopping in the kitchen to get or return keys was not just an ordinary act; it was a moment of reprieve and rejuvenation.  The dear Sisters working at preparing, cleaning up from meals, or processing vegetables from the garden, really wanted to know how a Sister’s day was going.  Was she on her way to a celebration or to a special commitment in her ministry?  Was she coming home from an exciting experience or bringing disheartening news?  It was in the coming and the going that Sisters shared their stories with other Sisters who offered them support, encouragement, and affirmation.  Their stories were received and honored.

The month of November is a time to remember.  We celebrate the feasts of All Saints and All Souls, and recall those people whom we have personally known in our lifetimes.  When I think of the Sisters who have gone before us, it isn’t always those who were in leadership positions or made outstanding contributions to the Church that comes to mind, although their work was surely significant.  I often picture the Sisters in the kitchen.  They were the keepers of the keys, the keys to love and acceptance, joy and peace.  They radiated the warmth that made us happy to be a part of the community.

Kitchen -near -garage
Car keys hung behind the wooden door seen here on the left.