In this issue...
*The Eclipse and Religious Life *Final Profession of Vows *First Profession of Vows *Reception of the Habit *Postulant Entrance *Recommended Reading *Preparation for the 2018 Synod
Botticelli. ST. DOMINIC. 1445-1510.
The Path of Totality On Monday, August 21st, St. Cecilia Motherhouse had the privilege of being in the path of totality for the solar eclipse. This event brought visitors from around the world to Nashville, and it also provided an opportunity for the Sisters and their students to study and witness a beautiful natural wonder. For Dominicans, whose Founder is the patron saint of astronomers, such a phenomenon also sparks theological reflection. As consecrated religious women, we have been invited to follow perpetually the path of totality. This call bears an inverse relationship to the path of totality in which we briefly walked on August 21st. During the solar eclipse, the great and distant light of the sun was eclipsed by the comparatively tiny and non-incandescent moon. A small object, meant to reflect the great light, managed for a brief time to block totally the light it was created to reveal, plunging the world into darkness. Something similar can happen to each one of us: we can allow the goods of this world, created to manifest Godâ€™s glory, to block Godâ€™s light. We can so cling to the small goods that are close to us, things that are manageable and safe, that we allow those things to eclipse the great God, whose light we cannot yet bear and whose mystery we cannot yet fully comprehend.
The Path of Totality, cont.
Every Christian is called to love the goods of this world in such a way that they reflect God’s light rather than block it. However, just as the small and weak moon has the power to block the large and powerful sun, so, too, the legitimate goods of this world can easily become idols which eclipse God. The vows of religious life aim at preventing just such an eclipse. In discussing religious life, St. Thomas Aquinas says, "The religious state may be considered...as a holocaust whereby a man offers himself and his possessions wholly to God." (II-II, Q. 186, A. 7). In surrendering the goods of this world, including the tremendous good of marriage and family, the religious sister makes of herself a holocaust. In the Old Testament, the offering of a holocaust meant that the animal being sacrificed was burned up, with no parts kept back for any other purpose. In religious life, the sister offers herself totally to Christ, and thus becomes a holocaust, entirely at the disposal of God’s all-consuming love for each human person. On August 21st, people flocked to Nashville, along the path of totality, and donned protective glasses so that they could gaze on the eclipse without having their eyes burned by the rays of the sun. Over the past 157 years, hundreds of young women have come to Nashville pursuing a different path of totality. Rather than protecting themselves from the fiery heat of the sun, they have sought to allow themselves to be consumed by the light of the Son, the “Love that moves the sun and the other stars” (Dante).
Eclipse 2017 Clockwise from bottom left:
Sisters at the Motherhouse watch the eclipse; Sisters teaching at St. Cecilia Academy watch in awe; a student at one of our schools in Virginia, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, has some extra protection from the sun; and new novices from the St. Joseph Province visit with the Sisters while watching the eclipse
Perpetual Profession of Vows 2017
The Sisters exchange the sign of peace, a sign of welcome from the perpetually professed Sisters.
Sister Rose Miriam signs her vows on the altar.
Front row (l tor): Sister Ann Dominic, Sister Susanna, Sister Jacinta, Sister Anna Sophia, Sister Rose Miriam, Sister Maria Thuan Back row (l to r): Sister Rose Catherine, Sister Anastasia, Sister Victoria Marie, Sister Mary Agatha, Mother Ann Marie, Sister Anne, Sister Josemaría, Sister Anne Thérèse
The perpetually professed Sisters make the prostration as the Litany of Saints is sung.
First Profession of Vows 2017
Sister Maria Lucia signs her vows.
Sister Maria Beatriz receives her black veil.
Below: The Sisters before and after making their vows and receiving the black veil as a sign of the offering of their lives.
Reception of the Habit 2017
Postulant Pinning 2017
Recommended Reading Vita Consecrata
by Pope St. John Paul II
Published in 1996, this post-syndal apostolic exhortation was Pope John Paul II's document following up on the 1994 Synod of Bishops on Consecrated Life. In it, John Paul II eloquently explains the radical totality to which consecrated religious are called .
"It is the duty of the consecrated life to show that the Incarnate Son of God is the eschatological goal towards which all things tend, the splendour before which every other light pales, and the infinite beauty which alone can fully satisfy the human heart. " Pope St. John Paul II. Vita Consecrata, #16
Buy a hard copy, or read online at goo.gl/RGyfLK
Preparation for the 2018 Synod In October 2018, 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will convene in Rome. Pope Francis has chosen the theme: "Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment," and has invited all young adults to participate in the Synod by their prayers but also by making their voices heard through a survey that seeks their personal comments and observations.
Learn more about the Synod: http://youth.synod2018.va/ content/synod2018/en.html
Take the survey (for ages 16-29): https://surveysynod2018.glauco.it/limesu rvey/index.php/147718
Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service (Jeon Han)
"Proclaiming the joy of the Gospel is the mission entrusted by the Lord to his Church.... In keeping with this mission and introducing a new approach through a Synod with the topic, “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”, the Church has decided to examine herself on how she can lead young people to recognize and accept the call to the fullness of life and love, and to ask young people to help her in identifying the most effective ways to announce the Good News today." From the Preparatory Document of the Synod