Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nuns Celebrate Monastic Foundation

Left to right: Sr. Lydia, Sr. Maria Paz, Sr. Mary

Deep in December, it's nice to remember,
Although you know the snow will follow.
Deep in December, it's nice to remember,
Without a hurt the heart is hollow.
Deep in December, it's nice to remember,
The fire of September that made us mellow.
Deep in December, our hearts should remember
And follow.

from “The Fantastiks”

This is the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Mother of Perpetual Help Monastery of the Redemptoristine Nuns in Esopus, New York. Six contemplative nuns arrived from Toronto, Canada on December 8, 1957 in response to an invitation from the Baltimore Province of the Redemptorist Congregation. The Congregation was eager to provide a home for this praying presence on the grounds of their major seminary.
Today, for the second time during this anniversary year, we celebrated a special office of Midday Prayer in which three sisters had the opportunity to share their fondest, dearly held memories of their years here. Sr. Mary transferred to monastic life after ten years in a teaching congregation. She has been a religious for over fifty years. She recounted a moment of great trial during her first few months in the monastery. She told the Novice Mistress that it was time to throw in the towel. Then the Prioress gave her "a good talking to" - perhaps a bit of shock therapy - and it was all over. She never had another doubt. We are so grateful. Sr. Maria Paz, a native of the Philippines, recounted the numerous ways in which our Mother of Perpetual Help consistently guided her along the path bringing her to Redemptorist priests, seeing to her entrance into a Redemptoristine community in Canada and finally to the monastery established under her title. Sr. Maria Paz, over forty years a Redemptoristine, brings much grace and beauty into our lives. And Sr. Lydia who, legend has it, came north from her native Puerto Rico in January wearing high heels, a red coat and black pill box hat, reminisced about running out into snow she had never seen before with her Novice Mistress close on her heels begging her to put on a coat! Almost forty-five years in the Order, Sr. Lydia is outstandingly generous in her service to all and our recycling technician extraordinaire.
In between these touching testimonies of courage, perseverance, acceptance, joy and humor we heard the names of many others who came in faith and tried the life but found that it was not meant for them. Yet they too played a part in the life and development of the community as we know it today.

We remember how you loved us to your death,
and still we celebrate, for you are with us here;
and we believe that we will see you when you come in your glory Lord.
We remember, we celebrate, we believe.
Deo Gratias!

1 comment:

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