The weeks have flown by! I have been hustling and bustling about the end of the school year, celebrating my parents 40th wedding anniversary, cleaning-packing-moving our sister from the apartment convent back to the monastery, visiting my family on the western edge of Nebraska, and whew...celebrating one of our own junior sisters!
Sister Junior has gone through many steps in preparation for her Perpetual Monastic Profession (aka Final Vows). After four years of temporary monastic profession, she wrote the Prioress her letter requesting permission to profess her final vows. Then Junior Sister met with the sisters who are members of the monastic counsel.
This weekend she will take the final step in being accepted to full, perpetual membership in our order is to come before the whole community. This is one of the most amazing moments we share in our Chapter Meetings...the Junior Sister stands before us and shares her desire to live perpetually as a Benedictine sister in our monastic family. Some state it simply, others tell a story, some laugh, and others cry as they share their hopes and dreams. After she makes her request, we discern, pray and then solemnly vote on her acceptance. If she is accepted, the Juniorate Director brings the Junior Sister back to the Chapter and she is received with applause, hugs, and tears of joy.
To celebrate our upcoming joy, all the sisters who have been missioned to serve in Nebraska gathered for an F.P. Party. That would be a Final Profession party...all done in fuchsia pink : ) We shared a meal of favorites brought from each sisters best recipes. Played some games...a word search based on our Junior Sister, Apples to Apples, and a few hands of rummy! After our game playing, we shared gifts based on the "F.P." letters of her celebration: flashy prayer beads (hand knotted rosary), flowery push-pins, finger paints and the like. We wrapped up with some Festive Prayer...some celebratory Psalms, readings that illustrated our Profession of Stability, Obedience, and Converstatio, and a sung Magnificat. All in all a wonderful community celebration was had by all...we love her dearly and it will be wonderful to have her as a perpetual member of our monastic family.