Sr. Maria Teresa's Solemn Profession: the countdown!
Perhaps some of our readers have noticed that our blog has been a bit quiet lately. When this happens it's often because life in the monastery has been more busy than usual! However, this time there is a different reason! Sr. Maria Teresa, our official blogger, is on retreat in preparation for her Solemn Profession next Saturday, September 6th at 10 AM.
Preparing for a Solemn Profession shares some similarities with getting ready for a wedding although everything is much more simple and probably a lot less dramatic! There is the guest list and the wondering if people who didn't RSVP got the invitation. (Unfortunately, in Sister's case more than a few people invited never got their invitation!) New veils are sewn, there are many music practices and the kitchen sisters decide the reception menu. The sacristan starts changing all the linens and don't forget to order the flowers!
However, for Sr. Maria Teresa the preparations are mostly spiritual while the rest of us are more involved with the little and many practical details for this beautiful moment in not only Sr. Maria Teresa's life but in the life of our monastery, the Dominican Order and the Church. Solemn Profession is an eminently Ecclesial event and we are exhorted by the Church that a Solemn Profession should be held on a day and time so that the faithful may participate. This is also why the Profession rite occurs in the sanctuary and not inside the Nuns' choir.
But a Solemn Profession is also a time of reflection for the rest of the community. For those preparing for their own in the near future it is looked upon with much anticipation. At choir practice you might hear, "When I make my solemn profession I'm going to have such and such music, etc." For those of us already professed it is a time of remembering our own profession "until death" and if we have been faithful in not only the big things but the "little things" as Father reminded us today at Mass. Sr. Maria Teresa's former novice mistress, Sr. Mary Catharine, says that these days are a moment of reminiscing. When Sister first came to visit: ("She barely spoke a word all day! I had to do all the talking!); when she came for her aspirancy: ("remember her long red hair?") and her first years in the novitiate. Like many parents Sr. Mary Catharine sighs and says, "How do the years go by so fast!"
Please continue to pray for Sr. Maria Teresa as she prepares to give her life totally to God in a life dedicated to prayer for the salvation of souls and the preaching of the Gospel.