Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the story of one of our new members or Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life!
Becoming ‘Sister’ at the celebrating of First Monastic Profession is the next key step to be remembered during this week of celebrating sisters. At her First Profession, Novice Peggy chose a line from Jeremiah for the theme, “For I know the Plan I have for you, says the Lord.”
The dialogue within the rite of profession reminds us that while the community tests and receives the new member, the initiative must be hers. Sr. Penny, Prioress, asked, “Novice Peggy what do you ask of God, of the Church, and of this community?” And Novice Peggy responded, “Mindful of God’s merciful love, I ask to share in the life of this community by making my first Monastic Profession.”
Following the instruction of the Rule, she was then invited in the name of the Church to declare her promise of profession before God and His Saints. After this, Sister Peggy and our Prioress signed her profession document on the altar as an offering to God where it remained throughout our Vespers prayer.
“When she is to be received, she comes before the whole community in the oratory and promises stability, fidelity to the monastic life, and obedience. This is done in the presence of God and the saints to impress on the novice that if she ever acts otherwise, she will surely be condemned by the one she mocks. She states her promise in a document drawn up in the name of the saints whose relics are there, and of the prioress, who is present. The novice writes out this document herself…puts her mark to it and with her own hand lays it upon the altar. After she has put it on the altar, she begins the verse: Uphold me, O Lord, according to Your word that I may live; and let me not be disappointed in the hope I cherish. The community repeats the verse three times, and adds the ‘Glory be to the Father'” (Rule of Benedict 58: 17-22).
As a sign of her Profession and commitment, Sister Peggy received the symbol of our community. The Benedictine cross with the Sacred Heart of Christ in the center, and the flowing love of His mercy and our ministry of prayer and service. This pin (and pendant) stands as a uniting sign of her membership in our community and a reminder to her of our life together in Christ.
As a vowed member of our community, Sr. Peggy will continue to discern God’s call in her life throughout the next four years of temporary profession. She will continue to engage in lighter schedule of monastic classes while returning to her service as a nurse in ministering to the needs of God’s people. Follow this link to read more about Sister Peggy.
Return to “One Heart and One Soul”