Today on this glorious Solemnity of the Ascension, feast of our Lady of Fatima and Blessed Imelda, Sr. Janlyn began her novitiate and received the habit of the Order of Preachers. And of course, she received a new name!
You can find Sr. Mary Martin's moving homily below!
Sister Mary Cecilia of the Annunciation
HOMILY FOR THE VESTITION CEREMONY
OF SR. JANLYN JOY RATHGEBER
My dear sisters,
The Lord said to Abram: “Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.” Today Sr. Janlyn takes the next step in a similar pilgrimage at the Lord’s bidding. She has left her kinsfolk, her parents’ house and the land of her birth,
“Abram went as the Lord directed him.” Sr. Janlyn comes now to this moment as the Lord has directed her, and she asks to receive the habit of the Order, black for penance, white for joy, loins girt with leather in imitation of John the Baptist, and feet shod in order to proclaim the gospel of peace. From now on she will be asked to live out fully both the joys and the austerities of our way of life, the feasts and the fasts, the tears and the laughter. From now on she will take up the rosary as a weapon in the battle against the Evil One and she will wear it proudly at her side. She has already tried these things for nine months as a postulant, long enough to know that she wants to go on and for us to know that we want her to go on.
Above all, Sr. Janlyn is now entering more fully into community life. “If you keep my commandments,” Jesus says, “you will remain in my love…This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” This is the real test of vocation for all of us: can we learn to love one another and can we persevere in that love, day after day, for a lifetime? Such a test is, of course, not limited to the cloistered, contemplative life, nor to religious life in general. But we, as Dominicans, have made charity the goal of our profession. Can we live it out? Are we serving as examples for Sr. Janlyn, so that she can learn to live it out with us and want to do so?