The following are Carol Kmetz's thoughts on her daughter's first vow profession.
"The experience of a vocation is unique and indescribable, and is only perceived as a gentle breeze of the clarifying touch of grace. The vocation is a breathing of the Holy Spirit, who, at the same time as he genuinely shapes our fragile human reality, shines a new light into our hearts. He instills an extraordinary power that merges our existence into the divine enterprise."
-Ven. John Paul II, Rome, March 17, 1982
The quote above from Pope John Paul II really describes what I see in my daughter Angela (Sister Mary Servant of the Cross) and all of the other sisters I have met in her order, The Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara. Two weeks ago 14 of us traveled to Washinton DC to support her as she makes her “First Vows” as a consecrated religious person in the above order.
She went there as a postulant a little over a year ago. As a postulant, you live with the sisters but are more of an observer than anything else to see if there is a calling to join the order. Some orders require you to be a postulant for one or two years. Angela’s order looks at each applicant on an individual basis. Angela became a “Novice” last December, after only 4 months as a postulant. The purpose of the early years as a sister is to be formed in human and spiritual maturity. The novitiate year is to give them a greater understanding of their divine vocation and at the same time their resolution and suitability are tested. Their spiritual formation takes primacy during this time. They have an intense prayer life. They also begin some of their studies which really intensifies after the first year. They also have some pastoral and missionary experiences by working with the local parishes teaching catechism and working with the youth.
The next step after the novitiate year is making your first vows when you dedicate your entire self to Christ. This first vow is for one year. The next steps would be two more one year vows, then a three year vow and after that a final vow for the rest of your life. The next three years are spent in the “Juniorate” where they focus more on studies, primarily theology, philosophy and languages (Spanish and Latin). After those three years, they will be sent out on mission to anywhere in the world where they have a presence. (They are presently in 31 countries.)
We were able to attend the “First Vow”ceremony at the beautiful Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC on Sunday, October 24. She, along with 10 other women,
professed First Vows. They were all so happy. Since they had all received their habit and veil a year earlier, the only visible sign was a change from the white veil to the blue veil.
She was able to spend the rest of Sunday afternoon and evening with us. Then the next day she was with us again. It was so good to spend some quantity time just talking and catching up. Thankfully, she still has her fun personality, just like always.
|All the sisters served one another,|
family andfriends at the reception
It is really difficult to put into words what it is like having my daughter becoming a nun. It has been and continues to be a journey of acceptance of God’s will for her. I do wish everyone could visit them because you can’t help but fall in love with these sisters when you are with them. They are amazing witnesses to what it means to really dedicate yourself to Christ. Their joy and energy are really contagious.
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