Monday, July 21, 2014

The Rite of Transfer: "My heart is ready, O God, My heart is ready."


 Benedictine women and men profess three vows from the Rule of Benedict: Obedience, Fidelity to the Monastic Way of Life (celibacy & poverty are inferred here), and Stability. The profession or vow of Stability reflects the importance of our commitment to one Benedictine community. Stability is about more than the physical place of the Benedictine monastery or abbey. That one group of sisters or monks becomes our family; our life of prayer, community, and service is centered in the life of that community. If a Benedictine nun or monk were to feel called to transfer (move) from one community to another, they would need to officially profess their change of stability from their previous community to their new Benedictine community.

Prayerful environment at the Chapel

Our Sister Lynn began her Benedictine life with the sisters at Mother of God Monastery in Watertown, SD. She promised her first profession on July 29, 1988 and her perpetual profession on June 14, 1992. After some years, she began discerning God's call to our Benedictine community. She began the transfer process in 2011, which included continued discernment, classes in our history and traditions, as well as time to grow in relationship with our Benedictine family.
Sr. Lynn signing her profession document
on the altar.
Prioress of Mother of God Monastery, Sr. Lynn,
Prioress of Sacred Heart Monastery, and
Formation director at SHM.

Sr. Lynn's request for permanent transfer was brought before our June Chapter and the vote was an overwhelming acceptance of her desire to become a full member of our community.  During Sunday's prayer of Vespers, we celebrated the ceremony of transfer. Her theme of "My heart is ready, O God, My heart is ready" reflected not only the Psalms, but also her own readiness to commit fully to our community. Sister read her statement transferring her profession of Stability and renewing her perpetual monastic profession. She then signed the document upon the altar as a symbol and reminder of her life in Christ. 

As a sign of her full membership within our community.  Sr. Lynn received the symbol of our community.  "Sister Lynn, receive this symbol as a sign of fidelity to God and to your profession. May you faithfully adhere to Christ and persevere in your commitment to this monastic community," proclaimed by the prioress as she places the pin in Sr. Lynn's lapel. Sister retained the ring she received at her perpetual profession within Mother of God Monastery.

Please keep our Sister Lynn in your prayers as she begins her role as a full-member in our monastic family.  You can learn more about Sister's discernment and religious life in this reflection from her Silver Jubilee last year.


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