This is what I'll do...I'll write a little synopsis/reflection; I've included a link to my photobucket slide shows with a more in depth annotated photo-tour of the celebration! Okie dokie?!
As soon as I get the DVD from the videographer I will put up some clips of the ceremony! That'll be exciting!
So...profession day....August 11....it was phenomenal! I still am floating 6 feet above the ground! Let me try to describe the day...
I had the best friends around me for the rehearsal...a great party was had by all the evening prior. Then Sr. Erin (my young and hip Ursuline Sister friend) suggested that we go BOWLING! I couldn't think of a better idea the eve before I vow away. Of course Sr. Mary Ann joined us...we bowled three games...one for each vow. I was consistent in my scoring of poverty and obedience and I slightly excelled in celibacy! :-) Then we shot a game of darts which got out any last minute jitters or frustrations. Then we went home to get a good night's sleep.
I was pretty tired from the rehearsal the evening before and of course I was a bit wound up.
I had the most powerful dream that night. One of our famous artist sisters, Sr. Helena Steffensmaier appeared to me in a dream. I have heard many many stories about Helena and I always wished I had met her, but she died in the early 90's. I woke up and I said to the Sisters, "I MET HELENA LAST NIGHT"...it was truly amazing here was my dream:
I was walking through a park, very vigorously. This petite woman was happily and peacefully walking toward me. When she got closer I stopped and said, "You're Sister Helena". She smiled and replied, "Yes I am." I just stood there staring at her in shock. She smiled and said, "Take time to sing and dance with God today!" And then she kept on walking.
The sisters I live with planned a really fantastic prayer blessing for me. It was really moving. All of the sisters blessed and anointed me...it was very humbling actually. It's always much more comfortable for me to give the blessing/anoint someone else...but receiving is sometimes difficult. To humbly accept the blessing from each of my sisters as they anointed my head, heart, hands, and feet was very powerful.
Then we had a nice breakfast and I was just trying to stay calm. At the rehearsal I didn't proclaim my vows because it just didn't seem right. So people were asking me if I wanted to practice then. I tried, but I just couldn't do it; I wanted to wait until it was the real thing I guess. Then I think partly just being anxious, excited, wound-up...whatever...I kind of freaked out (internal freak out...I'm not sure that people knew this! :-) ) So I went upstairs and put on some music and tried to calm myself down a bit. I thought about meeting Sr. Helena in my dream and what her message was to me. I tried to figure out what was going on in my head and why I was having this little freak out. So I just sat and had some quiet time and then I read my vows out loud for me and for Sr. Helena. I asked her to be with me that day. I guess I hadn't thought about the emotions that were running through my head with what this day meant for me. It was good that I took that space to center myself; that's not something I normally do.
Then it was get ready time...and then we were down in chapel. The liturgy was magnificent...full chapel, family, friends, colleagues...such support and affirmation! Sr. Mary Ann gave the homily and it was really wonderful. She wove in the readings and had messages for the congregation and a few for me! I moved between places of, "oooh I love her" and "oooh....I can't believe her!" I'm sure that's a feather in her cap...as she likes to torture me into GROWTH opportunities. Actually...it was touching on many levels, I was honored to have her in that role. My witnesses were Sisters Toni and Judeen; they started this religious life quest with me...and I couldn't imagine having anyone else in that role. Sr. Liz was my provie and that was special too. All of the Sisters whom I asked to be a part of the liturgy are so special to me in so many ways.
Making vows...it was really a profound moment for me. It sealed a commitment I have been discerning for 9 1/2 years and have known in my heart that I wanted to make. It was an outpouring of love that I have to give, but also asked me to open myself up to receiving love as well. The full chapel was such an affirmation of all of the support I have and people that I hold dear. My family...uber supportive and happy. My mommy made my beautiful dress; soooo special... Seriously...it was the "happiest day of my life"...I'm so grateful for an experience of true connectedness and contentment.
And now that you have endured a short reflection....I reward you with visual stimulation:
A big thank you to the photographers, Sam Lucero, Sr. Judeen Schulte, and Peg Flahive. Muchas Gracias...the pictures are awesome!
There are 5 slide shows (I could only have a few pictures for each) and I pasted them in chronological order...ENJOY!
Before the Liturgy Slide Show
Part 4--Final edition :)