Fifty years of Religious Profession requires not just a public celebration with a beautiful Mass and guests but a community "family day" celebration. Due to a busy schedule after Easter we finally feted Sr. Maria of the Cross yesterday.
Jubilee Celebrations in our monastery always follow a tradition that goes back many years. The celebration actually begins the evening before at recreation. Our Jubilarian spends time in Choir while the rest of the community gathers (usually out of breath doing the 1000th last minute thing) in the community room. Our Sr. Mary Rose Dominic always writes a greeting song to a known hymn tune and everyone hastily tries to figure out if she even knows this "known" tune! Then, when all is ready, the prioress escorts Sister from the Choir to her place of honor (the bishop's chair) at the table. Then, she is crowned with either a silver or gold crown which, if truth be told, usually falls off until someone runs to get some pins! However, Sr. Maria must have the perfect head because hers stayed on!
Then, from the oldest to the youngest, the sisters go up to greet sister, pick out a piece of chocolate and receive an envelope or some little gift from Sister.
When we finally finish, and it does take awhile because there is usually a lot of teasing and joking, ice cream and cookies are served. Sometimes there is a short entertainment and sometimes we just talk.
The next day is a recreation day, which means that during the work times we gather in the community for recreation to enjoy each other's company, talk, tell stories, perform songs or skits and of course, snack! Our meals are also in the community with, you got it, more talking!
The evening recreation usually closes with a few rounds of BINGO! Each sister has in her desk an ancient bingo card and a pill bottle of old buttons! (Some of these bottles are so old they are probably antiques!) No one knows just when this started but we have a lot of fun.
Then the Compline bell rings and we sing a closing hymn praising God for our Jubilarians vocation and the wonders of God's grace!
Here's to FIFTY more years!
Who are those 2 sisters in wheel chairs? Well, that happens to be Sr. Veronica Marie who recently injured her knee and Sr. Mary Catharine who is recovering from major reconstructive surgery of her foot and ankle!
The novitiate sisters sing their jubilee song all about a day in the life of Sr. Maria. As you can tell by the photos below Sr. Maria loved it!