The First Profession of Sister Lucia Marie OP.
It was possible that no one would be able to attend. With escalating spread of the coronavirus, new travel restrictions, and “social distancing,” it was even probable.
Only a few days before the Sr. Lucia’s First Profession, they learned that her brother, a seminarian in Maryland, couldn’t come. Her parents couldn’t come. And her relatives from Indiana couldn’t come.
But the celebration of public Masses hadn’t been suspended yet, so things would go on as planned.
At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 14, in the presence of a dozen or so, in the company of the nuns in the cloister, the Eucharistic Celebration and First Profession of Sr. Lucia Marie of the Visitation began.
It was a milestone on a lifelong journey. Sr. Lucia entered the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in June 2017 to begin her discernment and formation. Having passed through her Aspirant, Novitiate, and Postulancy stages, she would now make her First Profession, the last step before taking her Solemn Vows.
This profession includes taking vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity. “By profession, the nun dedicates herself to God, following Christ and leading the Gospel life in the Order. This profession is the fuller living of her baptismal consecration, and it achieves its effect more completely. The years in temporary vows (for a total of nine years of formation) enable her to prepare for her total consecration (Solemn Vows).” summitdominicans.org
“What do you seek?” asked prioress Sr. Mary Martin, as Sr. Lucia prostrated herself on the floor of the Choir (Nuns Chapel). “God’s mercy and yours …” she replied. And with that, the rite began.
Fortunately for those who could not attend, the nuns of the cloister had worked frantically to set up a live stream. And the world was able to witness this landmark occasion on Facebook Live. One relative relayed the joy of her family back home and described the scene: “They have a big screen, and they’re all gathered ’round … as if they had been watching the Super Bowl!”
The joy of the day prevailed. Through laughter, tears, and hugs, friends gathered to greet Sr. Lucia in the parlor, a room joining the cloister to the world outside.
Despite today’s fears and uncertainties, hidden away in the small corners of the world, the Faith carries on. Men and women called by Christ to a deeper union with Him, continue to respond. And in this, regardless of the storms we face, we can rest assured in God’s abiding love for us and His Church.
For more information about the Dominican Nuns of Summit please visit their summitdominicans.org