On Sunday, September 13, eight Sisters celebrated their Diamond Jubilees with Eucharist and the renewal of their monastic promises of stability to this Community, obedience, and fidelity to the monastic way of life. Seven have served the Lord as professed Sisters for 60 years; one, Sister Melanie Gagne, for 70 years.
The Eucharist opened with a procession and the hymn Lord, When You Came to the Seashore. Its refrain sums up their decision to live as a vowed Benedictine woman: “O Lord, in my eyes you were gazing; kindly smiling, my name you were saying. All I treasured I have left on the sand there; close to you, I will find other seas.”
Together the eight Jubilarians sang the Suscipe, the vow of confidence and trust from Psalm 119 that Benedictines proclaim at their Perpetual Monastic Profession: “Receive me, O Lord, according to your Word, and I shall live and do not fail me in my hope.” The Community responded, “We have received, O Lord, your mercy, in the midst of your temple.”
(from left) Sister Beverly Raway, Prioress; Sister Marie Therese Poliquin; Sister Mary Josephine Torborg; Sister Agnes Fleck; Sister Mary Christa Kroening; Sister Sarah Smedman;Sister Clare Marie Trettel; Sister Barbara Higgins; Sister Melanie Gagne
Together they read the written renewal of their monastic promises. Each Sister came forward to the altar to sign her copy, and Sister Beverly Raway, Prioress, countersigned it.
Throughout the Eucharist, eight oil lamps burned on the altar, symbol of the light of Christ that shines in us when Christ transforms us through his Word.
In the Gathering Space was the Rule of St. Benedict that guides our daily life; and the Baptismal font, a reminder of the life of the Holy Spirit which filled us at our baptism and which we proclaim each day as we live our Monastic Profession.
May the Sisters enjoy years in good health and firm faith before they are called to join the saints in Heaven, and see God face-to-face.