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Sunday, January 24, 2010
Celebrating the 60th Jubilee
of Religious Vows
Sr. Mary Anne Reed, OSsR
Today our community rejoices with the Lord and with our Sister Mary Anne who is marking 60 years of profession in the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer. Tomorrow is the exact anniversary of her first profession of vows in 1950. Even though an American citizen she entered the Order in Toronto, Canada because there was no other Redemptoristine monastery in North America at the time. She entered in 1948 at the age of 21 when the norms of life for contemplative nuns did not allow her to ever visit her family and the country of her birth ever again. But since the Spirit works in its own way, she would find herself back in the United States less than ten years later. I marvel when I think of Sr. Mary Anne's personal history - child of the Great Depression, forward on her high school basketball team, employed in a military tank factory during World War II, entered a contemplative community in a foreign country, among a group of six making a new foundation of her Order, member of a community of contemplative nuns discerning the movement of the Spirit after the Second Vatican Council, and entering with them into 21st century - always faithful and always generous. Today, at the age of 83, she continues to enhance our liturgies with her musicianship at the organ and sees to a myriad of 'little things' that must always be seen to in an orderly household. After many years of sewing habits for Redemptorists priests and and brothers, she patiently taught me some of the intricacies of the work. Her determination and indomitable spirit inject life into our community. It is that life of faith and service which we celebrate today and for which we are grateful to God.
The following is a brief reflection written by Sr. Mary Anne for her page on our website http://www.redemptoristinenunsofnewyork.org/ . Sister is second from the right in this photo of the six founding sisters after their arrival in Esopus, New York on December 8, 1957.
In reflecting on my call to be a Redemptoristine and God’s gift to me of more then 50 years of perseverance, I am convinced of God’s special undeserved care and love for each of us – and by the way THAT is our Redemptoristines call - to become, for the world, a Living Memorial of Gods love for each of us. It is a work of a life time.
We usually do not understand all of the sign posts that God puts along our way. God asks our trust in his love and guidance. For me the Shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupre in Quebec, its atmosphere and the people I met there were such sign posts and though some things seemed impossible or made little sense for me at the time, a young American still green behind the ears so to speak – I listened and I trusted.
I have had the privilege of seeing many changes in the church and in our contemplative religious life. It hasn’t always been easy but it has always been enriching. Perhaps my one claim to fame is to have become our best (and only) organist – I am praying for a substitute! The celebration of the Liturgy and the daily offices have always been important and so the talents I have been asked to develop is a special grace.
If you feel a call to do something special for God, listen and trust! Remember our Lord said “I am with you always – “.