On Trinity Sunday, June 11, 2017, Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity welcomed three Novices: Sister Colleen, Sister Clare Rose (Tricia) and Sister Cecelia Joy (Megan). The Community celebrated the Rite of Initiation into Religious Life in St. Mary Chapel. Novice Directress Sister Mariadele Jacobs is responsible for teaching the Novices the essentials of Religious Life and providing experiences to learn the spirit and life of our Congregation. Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie addressed the Novices and our Community of Sisters at this awesome occasion. Her reflection follows.
Novices’ Reflection by Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie
Sister Colleen, Sister Clare Rose and Sister Cecilia Joy, welcome to the Community of The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. Sister Colleen, you asked for your Baptismal name and will celebrate your feast day on March 6th, the feast of St. Colette. Sister Clare Rose, your name is after St. Clare of Assisi and St. Rose of Lima. You will celebrate your feast day on August 23rd. Sister Cecilia Joy, Cecilia is your grandmother’s name with whom you share a birthday and are very close. Joy reflects the joy to be aspired to as found in the life of Jesus and St. Francis of Assisi. You will celebrate your feast day on November 22nd, the feast of St. Cecilia.
In the letter each of you wrote asking permission to enter the Novitiate, you stated how the Postulancy was a time of discernment and identifying your need for growth and greater understanding of Religious Life. This process will continue in the Novitiate. You will deepen your relationship with Jesus. You will continue to experience living life in Community and learning our Franciscan customs and traditions.
Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working through each of you, you chose “Lanterns of Merciful Light” as your Group Title. The image of Jesus knocking at the door with a lantern in His hand and Jesus’ words in John 21:15-19 echo what you wish to do as Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. You desire to follow Jesus and “feed His sheep” in the various ministries you will be called to. Each of you is a lantern and Jesus is the fiery light that burns within you. You desire to share Christ’s light with others as well as spread His mercy. The Eucharist serves as a fuel in your lanterns. You yearn to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, for it is this Daily Bread which provides strength and graces in your journey with Him. This image will serve as a great reminder as you walk in formation and become the woman Jesus is calling each of you to be.
Sister Colleen, Sister Clare Rose, Sister Cecilia Joy, as you enter the Novitiate today, please be assured of the prayers and support of all your Sisters. In a few minutes, please listen carefully to the words we will pray for you after the Our Father. We walk this journey of Formation with you. Always remember that God is with us every step of the way.