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!
To tell the story of a sister, we need to begin at the beginning. The ritual for the entrance of the postulant may not be as grand as the others, but it is no less significant. Welcoming her in this ceremony, welcomes her into our family. The beginning of our religious life was honored one Sunday evening in August as the whole community gathered at the front doors of the monastery to welcome Sue into the Postulancy. The Rule of Benedict teaches us, “Do not grant newcomers to the monastic life an easy entry, but as the Apostle says. Test the spirits to see if they are from God. Therefore, if someone comes and keeps knocking at the door…then she should be allowed to enter…A senior chosen for her skill in winning souls should be appointed to look after her with careful attention” (RB 58: 1-6).
Sue, the newcomer, escorted by our vocation director, Sr. Clarice, knocked at the monastery door. Prioress Penny received her with the greeting, “Sue, what do you seek?” She responded, “I seek to live in loving service to God in this community.” Each new postulant offers her own response to this question.
After the entrance, Sr. Marietta, postulant director, proclaimed a reading from the Rule of Benedict before Sue and the whole community. Finally, the Prioress called upon the whole community to live as example and share our support with Sue as she begins this deeper discernment of our monastic life.
Finally, Sr. Penny dressed Postulant Sue with a Benedictine medal as a sign of our acceptance of her desire to seek God in our community. The community then processed from this entrance rite to the Chapel for Vespers while singing: “What can be sweeter to us than the voice of the Lord inviting us? Behold in his loving kindness, the Lord shows us the way to life.”
Postulant Sue’s friends joined us for the ritual, Vespers, and supper in the refectory. After supper, there was one last ceremony to the Ritual of Entrance; Sr. Marietta and Postulant Sue stood in the midst of the refectory as the whole community of sisters and friends sang a blessing over them. As the Rule says, “And first of all, whatever good work you begin to do, beg of Him with more earnest prayer to perfect it” (RB Prologue: 4).
Blessings to you,
Return to “One Heart and One Soul”