The "Fourth" Novice

You may remember that in October Sr. Mary Amata came to our community from the Dominican Contemplative Sisters of Mt. Thabor Monastery, Ortonville, MI.
Today, on this glorious feast of the Annunciation we formally welcomed Sr. Mary Amata of Jesus, OP into our community! The Rite of Reception of Novices was held in the Chapter Hall during which Sr. Mary Martin presented Sister with the crucifix which we wear over our hearts under our scapular.
According to the constitutions of the Nuns of the Order Preachers any Sister transferring from another institute must observe a novitiate year so today's ceremony was the formal welcoming of Sister Mary Amata into our community.

Although Sister is in the novitiate she retains her Perpetual Vows which is why she isn't wearing a white veil.

The simple ceremony was beautiful and warm hugs were exchanged as we sang the Ubi Caritas at the end.
Please join us in giving thanks and praise to God as Sr. Mary Amata once again echos Mary's FIAT as she begins a new chapter in her life.

Then, after the requisite photos the novitiate sisters headed up to the novitiate for a joint party for Sr. Mary Catharine of Jesus on her feast day and for Sr. Mary Amata. The sisters outdid themselves with treats, origami flowers, spiritual bouquets and an original song for each sister. Below are the words for Sr. Mary Amata's song.
O Mary Amata
(to the tune of Hakkuna Matata)
Words in Italics are spoken.
_____ Mary Amata, what a wonderful name!
_____ O Mary Amata, we’re so glad you came!
_____ It means “beloved” and your smile says the same.
All : We sing joyfully to welcome thee,
_____ Our Mary Amata.

_____ She took a new name?
_____ Yeah, it’s Amata.
_____ What’s “Amata”?
_____ Nothin’; what’s amata wit you?
_____ You see, every new name marks a new beginning. The story’s very simple; you see…
When she heard a call from God…
_____ Very nice.
_____ Thanks.

_____ She thought our monastery had a certain appeal,
So she came for a visit and she liked the feel.
_____ She’s a beautiful soul and she fit right in,
_____ But she found there was already a Cath-a-rine.

_____ She felt no shame…
_____ Why should there be shame?
In changing her name…
_____ To a beautiful name!
Even though she’s professed…
_____ Who knew what was in store?
She came in as a guest.
_____ But not anymore!

_____ She’s Mary Amata, what a wonderful name!
_____ Our sister Amata, we’re so glad you came!
_____ (jazzy) It means “beloved” and your smile says the same.
All: We sing joyfully to welcome thee,
Our Mary Amata.

Sister Judith Miryam's repeated injunction, "OPEN YOUR EYES!" was responded to by Sr. Mary Amata and Sr. Mary Catharine with a little goofiness!