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Saturday, August 22, 2015
Friday, August 7, 2015
Our summer Monastic Chapter concluded with a prayer of commissioning. Within the prayer, called each sister forward and was blessed by Sister Penny, our prioress. Each year the prioress chooses a theme to send us out in service to the community and Church. This year she reflected Pope Francis call to religious:
"I am counting on you “to wake up the world”, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy. As I told the Superiors General: “Radical evangelical living is not only for religious: it is demanded of everyone. But religious follow the Lord in a special way, in a prophetic way”
(Pope Francis, Apostolic Letter to All Consecrated People).
After reading and reflecting on our Holy Father's call to "to wake up the world", Sr. Penny called forward the two newly elected members of our Monastic Council. These sisters were reminded of their role as members of the council in advising the prioress and listening to the monastic community, and then she offered a prayer of blessing over them while the whole community offered their silent prayers.
The commissioning began as each sister was called forward by name to be blessed by Sister Penny, prioress. Her blessings were all based in Pope Francis' call to "Go Out and Wake Up the World!" but were individualized to each sisters' current ministry or service for the Church. It was a reminder to us that while some of our sisters serve the needs of the monastery in care for our home and gardens, others reach out to the local needs of others, and still other sisters serve the needs of God's people while living away from home in other towns and cities...we can all wake up the world to the presence of Christ and love of God in their lives.
After receiving the blessing of the prioress, Sr. Jeanne, sub-prioress, gave each sister a commissioning card with the logo for the Year for Consecrated Life as designed by the National Religious Vocations Conference. This little card calls out to us "Go Out and Wake Up the World!" a reminder for our personal prayer. We encourage you to remember your call to live in God's service as well, your call to share the message of Christ...your call to wake up the world.
Blessings to you,
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
In our monastic life, 'Diamond Jubilee' refers to the 60th, 75th, and 80th anniversaries of a sister's first Monastic Profession. These celebrations reaffirm the joy of life, love of community, and devotion to service and prayer in the Church. We celebrated our Diamond Jubilarian sisters on Friday, July 31st with a Eucharistic Celebration for sisters during our Summer Monastic Chapter. This year the Jubilarians chose Pope Francis' words from the Year for Consecrated Life for their theme: Celebrating our monastic call with Gratitude, Passion, Hope.
"Together let us thank the Father, who called us to follow Jesus by fully embracing the Gospel and serving the Church, and poured into our hearts the Holy Spirit, the source of our joy and our witness to God’s love and mercy before the world... The first of these aims is to look to the past with gratitude... This Year also calls us to live the present with passion. Grateful remembrance of the past leads us, as we listen attentively to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church today, to implement ever more fully the essential aspects of our consecrated life... To embrace the future with hope should be the third aim of this Year"
After the Liturgy of the Word, our Prioress called the sisters forward to renew their Monastic Profession:
"Sisters, the Church rejoices with you today as you celebrate your 60th, 75th, and 80th anniversaries of Monastic Profession. We invite you now to renew the profession you made to Christ and the Church."
The Catholic Church's blessing:
"May the blessing of Almighty God descend upon you to strengthen you in the coming years. May your faithfulness and serenity be a joy to you, an encouragement to others, and a constant witness to the Lord Jesus Christ. And may our loving God bring us all alike to everlasting life. Amen"
We continued to honor our Diamond Jubilarians with a festive meal after the Mass. They were ushered to tables especially set and decorated with flowers, sisters were assigned to serve each table of Jubilarians and their guests. As we gathered in the refectory, sisters took turns pausing at the celebrants tables with a hug to offer their gratitude, prayer, and joyful thanks. The dining room was filled with stories of their joyful service with gratitude for their past, honoring the passion of their present professed life, and praying with hope for all yet to come.
Blessings to you,