By Sr. Marylou Rodríguez, CCVI
August 15, 2020, feast of the Blessed Mother’s Assumption into heaven, is traditionally observed as a special day by the Incarnate Word Sisters. On this feast of Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word, the Sisters make Profession or Renewal of their Religious Vows.
This year, August 15, 2020, was very special for Sister Christi Sanchez who chose the feast to made her first profession as a member of the CCVI Congregation. This is a three year commitment, an initial step towards a lifetime of consecration to God in the Congregation.
Rev. Guy Blair, S.C.J., served as presider and homilist of the Liturgy for Consecrated Life in the Chapel of the Incarnate Word and presented and facilitated Sister Christi’s proclamation of her vows, before the Congregation and her family members who were present.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, several steps were in place for guest protection; these included temperature checks at Chapel entrance by Sister Chris Stavinoha; COVID-19 questionnaires and forms for traceability, facilitated by Sister Jane Farek; the number of guests was calculated to minimize risk. Following CDC guidelines, Sisters of the same communities assembled toward the left side of the chapel, while the family and relatives of Sister Christi gathered at the opposite side. Each guest, depending on community, was spaced at the social distance required.
Despite the awkwardness of the arrangements, everyone really felt the celebratory joy of the event, prepared by the Congregation for Sister Christi’s first religious profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, following her two year period of discernment in the US Novitiate.
CCVI Founder, Mother Pierre, left the Sisters a special motto to follow in serving the Incarnate Word:“ A Life for God, a Heart for Others”, one which is evident in the Congregation’s life and mission. Together with this Congregation’s motto, another can be added from Sacred Scripture: Ruth 1:16 “Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you stay, I will stay”.
The profession celebration ended with the distribution of To-Go boxed lunches, prepared to include several delicious dietary options. Some guests decided to enjoy the warm weather, along with social distancing, while having lunch together before departing.
Everyone had a big smile beneath the masks!
Following the outdoor lunch, Sister Christi entertained the Village Sisters with a display of her self-made posters along the exterior parts of the IW Village, as a gesture of gratitude for the Incarnate Word Sisters in residence, who were unable to attend her Chapel ceremony. Her self-made posters read:
“Thank you for your prayers and support”,
“You’re in my heart” and
“Praised be the Incarnate Word.”