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Friday, December 10, 2010

A special person A special story


I remember seeing the movie, The Nun, staring Audrey Hepburn, years ago but I have never attended a real profession of perpetual vows. How many of you had attended such a ceremony?

Last week, thirteen members of my family headed to the boonies of Texas, and a place called Prayer Town built in the desert. Prayer Town is home to a Franciscan Charismatic Religious community. We stayed at the convent to attend the celebration of vows of a lovely opera singer who left the glitter of a promising career and became a humble nun.
Baskets of flowers decorated the big chapel as if a wedding was about to take place.
Her face radiant, Sister RM walked toward the altar between her mother and father, wearing her usual gray robe and navy chasuble and holding a bouquet of flowers. A beautiful corsage contrasted with her severe outfit.
While the music played, the guests sat on the left side of the church, and Sister RM sat on the right side with the congregation of nuns.
A bishop had traveled to Prayer Town to celebrate the special Mass and bless the new nun.

During the Mass, Sister RM knelt in front of the bishop and answered his questions. At some point, she lay down on the floor while everyone knelt and prayed.

The bishop blessed her. Her face glowing with happiness, she stood and pronounced her vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

Then the bishop slid a silver ring on her finger.

After the religious part, came the civil one. Sister RM signed official papers in which she renounced all her possessions and inheritance. Two witnesses signed the documents that would be sent to the county.

A catered reception followed the ceremony attended by the family of Sister RM, the nuns and about fifty friends from the neighboring areas.


After the buffet lunch, Sister RM cut her cake, a sumptuous cake decorated with a cross, and then the entertainment started.
Some of the nuns and family members related anecdotes about Sister RM. The nuns played music and sang. But at the general request, Sister RM sang a scene from Romeo and Juliette, and another from La Traviata. Her incredible voice filled the place and gave me goose bumps. Here is a sweet young woman who has dedicated her life and talents to the service of God and the needy.

18 comments:

P.L. Parker said...

Thanks for sharing. Very interesting. I never knew. . .

Marianne Evans said...

Mona, I'm a life-long, practicing Catholic who has never quite understood, nor "bought into" the chiched image of harsh, bitter nuns. In actuality, they are the minority, not the norm. More the norm is the lovely story you relate, and I loved this post very much! What a lovely ceremony, and what blessings she will share with the world - which is, after all, what life is all about. Thanks for sharing!!

Judy said...

Lovely, Mona! Thanks for sharing this special time...

Molly Daniels said...

Thanks for sharing this Mona and God Bless Sr RM:)

Mona Risk said...

PL it was a first time for me too. Glad you enjoyed it.

Mona Risk said...

Marianne, I agree with you. I think the convent life is by far too harsh. Heck, I tried it for two days for the ceremony and wondered how they could live in the middle of nowhere, but they radiate such faith, such happiness. And they often say, 'The Lord will provide.' They don't know our continuous state of anxiety, our useless worries.

Mona Risk said...

Judy, it was a nice experience and a beautiful time.

Mary Ricksen said...

I think that Nuns have changed quite a bit since I got my knuckles rapped with a ruler by an elderly one as a child. Now they are more human and less iconic. Which is exactly as it should be. I have never seen a Nun take the vows except on TV. So I imagine it is a very emotional time for all.
There are some very special people in this world, and she is one. May her life in the service of God be all she needs it to be.

Mona Risk said...

Mary, I am sure nuns have changed. We all did. Time is different now.

Maeve said...

What an admirable young woman to dedicate her life to serving others. Such courage and faith is so rare in this chaotic world.

Mary Marvella said...

Awe inspiring and I'm Baptist. You must have been filled with pride.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Mona,
Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful moment. It must have been very special for all of you.

Regards

margaret

Mona Risk said...

Maeve, you should meet Sister RM. She's my niece. Very sweet, but a strong personality who knows exactly what she wants.

Mona Risk said...

Mary, when we first learn about her decision, I have to admit we were devastated. She was throwing away such a glamorous career that was already successful. But she convinced us it was the right thing for her.

Mona Risk said...

Margaret, it was a gorgeous ceremony, and my sister, her mom, made sure it was as beautiful as a wedding with flowers, cake, entertainment.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Mona,
I would be like you and your family and I don't even know her--I would just be devastated that she was giving up her future as a singer. But if she feels that convicted about it, it must be right for her. What a hard decision. It makes you think of all the other nuns that perhaps have had to make such huge choices in their lives as well. Reminds me of that movie The Trouble with Angels--wasn't that the name of it--with Haley Mills and Rosalind Russell? Thanks so much for sharing this with us--it sure gave me food for thought.
Hugs,
Cheryl

liana laverentz said...

Ahhh, I wondered if that was you sitting next to her at the head table, but it must be your sister. What a wonderful experience for your family. God bless all of you!

StephB said...

Mona,
This was amazing. Thanks so much for sharing. I, too, am a Catholic, so this was wonderful to see. It goes to show how God touches our lives in so many way. I can imagine it was inspiring spirtualy.

Smiles
Steph