What Do Vows Mean to a Newly Professed Franciscan Sister

Paul Keggington

June 05, 2011

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Pamela Catherine Peasel professed for the first time vows of chastity, poverty and obedience on Ascension Sunday, June 5, 2011. Our Franciscan Community, Bishop Robert Banks, Diocese of Green Bay, her parents Sharon and Richard Peasel, sister, Diane, brother, Tim, and Godmother, Linda,  witnessed Sister’s profession here at our Motherhouse in Manitowoc, WI. Read what the vows mean to Sister Pamela Catherine on this truly ‘uplifting’ day.

The vow of chastity conserves a love solely devoted to God and through this stems a love that reaches out to others.  God becomes one’s sole focus, a spousal love in which He gives His all to His beloved who in return gives his/her all unto Him.  Every action and every word should hold its aim in pleasing the Father, offering Him all glory and honor

The vow of poverty is two-fold.  There is the material level in which a detachment from goods must occur.  There is also the spiritual level, in which a growing dependency on the Lord must occur, recognizing that all is gift and must be returned to the Father.  In further reflection, God humbled Himself in the person of Christ who in turn emptied Himself out of love for us.  In view of the vow of poverty, a daily emptying of oneself must occur, making room for God and allowing His love to continually spill over in the lives of others.  As I decrease, it is the Lord, within and without, who must increase.

The vow of obedience is the giving up of my will, what I want and desire, for the will of the Father, what He desires of me.  I do not do this begrudgingly or sorrowfully, but joyfully, out of love and trust.  Through this loving act of obedience, an inner freedom takes root, allowing one to grow into one’s truest self.  My desire is, as was of Saint Francis, to be God’s instrument, to bring glory to His name, continuously seeking His will, spreading His goodness to others, no matter what the costs.

Click here to read Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director, Sister Louise Hembrecht’s comments on Sister Pamela Catherine’s First Profession.

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