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Mercy Hospitality and Vows

November 6, 2009

By Sister Sheila 

Have you ever had the experience of days of rising excitment and anticipation of something big happening???  Maybe it was a major life event for you or a family member or close friend.  Well that is surely what has been happening in the Mercy Community where I live.

You see for the past few weeks we have been preparing for the Profession of Perpetual Vows Ceremony for Sister Pat and when you are part of a community, as in a family, everyone gets in on the preparation and excitement.  People come to the profession from near and far, both Sisters Pat’s family members and friends and the Sisters of Mercy whom she has come to know over the years in her Incorporation Process into the Sisters of Mercy.  So our communities here are busy cleaning their homes, making beds, preparing food for gatherings with the out of town guests and one another over the weekend.

In a sense we are living the charism of hospitality in a special way during this time.  Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy had as her special hallmark, and that of her community, the gift for hosptality to strangers, to those in need, to friends and family and to one another in community.

So this weekend we welcome Sister Pat’s friends, family and our Mercy Community from around the country with the “hospitality of Mercy” as we celebrate another woman’s choice to commit her life to the vows of poverty, celibacy, obedience and the service of the poor, sick and uneducated in the Mercy tradition.

Sister Pat’s life has taken her on quite a journey through married life with children, divorce and a Church annulment, to Mercy Association and now to Vowed Membership in Mercy.  Her Incorporation process to become a perpetually professed sister has taken 8 years; 2 years of Candidacy, 2 years of Novitiate, and four year of temporary vows.  Sister Pat has been “trying on Mercy” during this time and the community has been accompanying her and seeing if the “fit” seems right.  It has been a mutual process and one that has blessed and encouraged not only Sister Pat but each of us in Mercy, as well.  It has been a both a difficult and a joyful journey at times but we can all agree that it has been a blessed one.

Please pray for Sister Pat this weekend as she commits her life to God through Mercy forever. And maybe extend hosptiality to someone in a special way this weekend.  It is a great way to connect with someone you know or a stranger.

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