NOTRE DAME — Years of discerning, learning, experiencing and praying came to completion for Holy Cross Sisters Jacinta Katusabe, Lillian Nyakaisiki and Verónica A. Fajardo when they prayed at the vigil, walked in procession with their sisters of Holy Cross and then professed their perpetual vows in the congregation on July 16.
The internationality of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross was woven throughout the celebration in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto at Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame.
At the vigil the evening before, Sister Mary Louise Full, first councilor, reflected on “the sense of mystery” surrounding the call to religious life and the meaning of the vows. The three sisters then shared their individual journeys to Holy Cross.
The next morning, African drums summoned the sisters to begin the festive procession to the church. Led by a ribbon banner, bells and tambourines, the sisters processed singing “Ave Maris Stella” and formed an honor guard on the walkway to the church alongside the flags of the eight countries in which the congregation ministers.
Following the second banner, Sisters Jacinta, Lillian and Verónica approached the church steps, vows in hand. They were flanked by Sisters Joan Marie Steadman, president, and Margaret Mary Nimo and Ruth Marie Nickerson, area coordinators of Africa and North America, respectively. All were welcomed at the church entrance by Holy Cross Father Michael Connors who presided at the celebration.
Sister Sharlet Ann Wagner, general secretary, offered the reflection on the Word in Spanish and English, with greetings to the families of Sisters Jacinta, Lillian and Verónica.
She said, “Jesus gives all of us a promise in today’s Gospel ‘Those who remain in me and I in them will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.’ But if it is true that without Him we can do nothing, it is also true that with Him, we can do all things.”
To the three sisters making final profession, Sister Sharlet said, “If you continue to take to heart and live the words of the Gospel and the vows that you make … you and Holy Cross together will have produced fruit in abundance. By this is God glorified.”
After the three sisters prostrated on Ugandan prayer mats during the Litany of Saints, each read her vows, which were accepted by Sister Joan Marie.
In the blessing, Father Connors prayed, “Today it is right that your house should echo with a new song of thanksgiving for these sisters of ours.”
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