A significant question was asked on July 26th during the first profession ceremony of Sr. Chiara Marie of Jesus, True Light. Father asked: ”What do you ask of God and of His Church?” And our Sister responded: ”I ask for God’s Love and a share in the life of this religious community.” This succinct dialogue between the priest and the novice summarizes the entire vocation of the nun.
A religious vocation is simply a life long response to God’s gratuitous Love. And as father quoted in the profession homily, “the only real love is God’s love”. The consecrated religious truly participates in this love through her total gift of self to Christ and His Church.
Our Holy Mother Clare, who our sister is happily named after, eloquently confirms this reality which sister embraced more deeply at profession:We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God’s compassionate love for others.
Following the profession Mass was the clothing ceremony of Genevieve Rose. Both ceremonies marked the beginning and end of a phase in religious life. For Sr. Chiara Marie, professing the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience for the first time, pronounced publicly her resolve to radically conform herself to Christ. For Genevieve Rose a visible transformation took place as she was invested with the PCPA habit and given a new name as signs of her desire to become a new creation in Christ in preparation for the day when she too will profess vows. The new name conferred on Genevieve Rose, is…Sr. Marie St. Francis of the Crucified One. The name was received with joyful tears! To be named after our holy Father Francis can only mean great things!
We congratulate our two sisters for their generosity in continuing to respond to Christ’s loving invitation to ‘follow Him’ in the religious life.