On Friday last, 2nd February, although otherwise quite a cold Spring day, the sun shone all day in a beautiful blue sky – symbol of the Sun which was shining in Sr Mary Cathy’s heart and which was visible in her eyes and smile as the day of her Solemn Profession had at last dawned.  She had prepared and longed for this day for many months and now was the moment to make her final commitment as a Dominican Nun until death.

 

Sr Cathy & Fr Ger

Sr Cathy & her Family

It was a day of joy and thanksgiving for our whole community, Sr M Cathy’s family and our Dominican Family in Ireland.  Fr Gerard Dunne OP, vicar of the Master of the Order for our monastery, officiated and Fr John Harris OP preached the homily, Fr Eamonn McCarthy director of Radio Maria Ireland (a close friend of Sr M Cathy’s) was one of the chief concelebrants at the Eucharist  with 16 other of our Dominican Brothers;  Sr M Cathy’s family participated in the Readings and Prayers of the Faithful, many of her friends attended – several of whom are members of the Legion of Mary.  Many of our local friends joined us for the Eucharist. The Dominican Sisters, Cabra Congregation were represented by Sr Marie Cunningham OP and our friends from the local community of Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal joined us.

Being the 2nd of February, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple, the Eucharist began with the usual blessing of candles in the cloister and then the community and concelebrants processed to the church.

More Photos available at this link, with thanks to Fr Luuk Jansen OP for his services as a photographer.

The Dominican rite of Solemn Profession is quite simple – the sister making profession places her hands in the hands of the prioress and pronounces the words of profession:

I, Sr NN, make profession, and promise obedience to God, and to Blessed Mary and to Blessed Dominic, and to the Master of the Order of Friars Preachers, and to you Sr NN , prioress of this Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda; and to your successors, according to the Rule of Blessed Augustine and the Constitutions of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers that I will be obedient to you and to your successors until death.

The priest officiating then says:

Sr NN by this solemn profession you have given yourself to God and to His will: God Himself therefore has consecrated you to Himself through the ministry of the Church, to be associated through a life of prayer and penance, with the ‘holy preaching’ of St Dominic, so that you may be His own heritage and that He may be your heritage forever.

Then the veil is blessed with the following beautiful prayer:

Lord bless this veil which Sr NN wears for love of you and your blessed Mother Mary, ever Virgin, as a sign of her consecration to you.  Through your help and protection may she always preserve the purity of heart that it mystically signifies.  In wearing it may she be recognised as a house of prayer and temple of intercession for all people.  Clothe with your grace her entire being, so that she may love you with all her heart.  May she always live in this love and be introduced one day to the joy of your kingdom, through Christ our Lord.

Then the ring is blessed and presented to the newly professed:

Receive this ring as a sign of consecration and fidelity pledged to God, so that wearing it, you may be defended by the power of heavenly protection, and keep true faith with Him until you come into everlasting joy.