Sister Minona Anne makes her Perpetual Monastic Profession
Saturday, June 27, 2020
Sister Minona Anne D’Souza, O.S.B., made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in a joyful celebration at Sacred Heart Monastery Chapel on Saturday, June 27, 2020. Sister Tonette Sperando, O.S.B., Prioress of the Monastic Community, led the Rite of Perpetual Monastic Profession and received Sister Minona Anne’s vows. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, family and friends of Sister Minona Anne from the U.S., England, and India joined by live-stream video.
Her Perpetual Profession marked the conclusion of seven and a half years of Sister Minona Anne’s Initial Formation in the monastic way of life. Through her Profession, Sr. Minona Anne made a permanent commitment to monastic life within the community of Benedictine Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman.
We share with you here some photos from the joyful occasion. A copy of Sister Tonette’s reflection that she gave during the celebration can be read here.
The chapel, quiet and ready before the Profession.
The ring that is received at final profession is a sign of our vocation in the Benedictine Community of Sacred Heart Monastery.
The opening procession, with the cross of Christ leading the way.
Sister Minona Anne enters the chapel holding her Profession Candle.
The Sisters were social-distanced in the chapel. Open doors, good ventilation, and a careful zig-zag seating pattern allowed for singing.
Sister Treva reads the first reading.
Sister Therese sings the Responsorial Psalm.
Sister Veronica reads the second reading.
Sister Tonette reads the Gospel.
Following the Liturgy of the Word, The Calling of the Candidate.
Sister Tonette: Sister Minona Anne, what do you seek?
Sister Minona Anne: I seek God’s presence and love in this way of life, and I desire to proclaim Christ’s mystery all the days of my life.
In the foreground is the pall which will soon drape Sr. Minona Anne.
Sister Minona Anne, her Profession Candle having been lit from the Paschal Candle, listens to the Instruction by the Prioress and responds to a series of questions.
During the Instructions, Sister Tonette also questioned the community, seeking affirmation of their commitment to support Sister Minona Anne in her search for God through this monastic way of life.
Sister Minona Anne reads aloud her hand-written profession document.
Sister Minona Anne signs her profession document upon the altar.
Sister Minona Anne sings the traditional Suscipe, "Receive me, O Lord, as you have promised that I may live; disappoint me not in my hope."
Sister Minona Anne prostrates and is covered by the pall representing her death to self and her rising to life in Christ.
As she lies under the pall, the Monastic Community chants the Litany of the Saints, calling on all the saints in heaven to help Sister Minona Anne give her life totally to Christ. The Litany is followed by a lengthy prayer of consecration by the Prioress.
The profession document after it has been signed by Sister Minona Anne and witnesses.
After the presentation of the ring, Sister Tonette addressed the newly professed Sister, saying, "Sister Minona Anne, receive this ring, the seal of your faith in Christ Jesus and the sign of your vocation in the Benedictine Community of Sacred Heart Monastery. May you persevere in this Community until death, always seeking the God who first loved you. In all that you do, may you give glory to God."
As a sign of acceptance, the community offers Sister Minona Anne the Sign of Peace, a sign which seals her permanent acceptance into the Sacred Heart Community. This year, the sign required distance between Sister Minona Anne and the Sisters.
Sister Madeline offers the petitions in the General Intercessions.
Following the liturgy, the Community welcomed Sister Minona Anne in our traditional hallway greeting in Ottilia Hall, with social distancing as a new feature.
Family and friends joined the celebration by way of live-stream. Here, after the liturgy concluded, Sister Minona Anne greets her family gathered online.
A display board and gift table in the Ottilia hallway.
The Profession liturgy was followed by a festive meal in the monastery dining room. The social-distanced table settings did not detract from joyful camaraderie.