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‘You will pray for those who do not pray’

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

September 19, 2018

Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood makes her Perpetual Profession

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

Sister Mary Catherine Pham made her Perpetual Profession as a Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood on Sept. 14 at St. Patrick’s Church in Watertown. Bishop LaValley’s homily for the occasion follows:

What a fitting day on the Church calendar for us to witness Sister Mary Catherine make her perpetual profession as a Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood, on this, the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross.

Sister Mary Catherine, through much discernment and intimate prayer, today, with a heart that is overflowing with love, you are responding to the Lord’s call for you to commit perpetually to a different way of living your life from most of the rest of us.

Sister, in this sacred space, you are declaring, before your family and friends, before the Church, before this local community of Precious Blood Sisters, your complete surrender to Jesus as a Sister Adorer of His Precious Blood.

This radically different way of expressing your love for the Lord is a powerful and much needed sign of hope for the Church. Your “Yes” to live a life of adoration and reparation is a tremendous gift to the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. We are so grateful.

As I was reflecting on the spiritual legacy which your foundress, Venerable Mother Catherine Aurelia left to you, her daughters, I couldn’t help but think how beautiful and relevant her words are for all our ears to hear today. I’m sure you’re familiar with her thoughts, but I know we will all find them so inspirational.

Allow me to personalize them: “Sister Mary Catherine, Jesus has cast upon you a long and loving look. Impelled by love, in the cloister, you will hide yourself from the too often icy winds of the world.

We need solitude and seclusion, peace and silence. We need and value so dearly the walls of your monastery on Pratt Street here in Watertown, where freed from the cares and solicitude of the world, you and the sisters of your community, can labor with all your strength for the glory of Him who spent Himself in the work of our salvation. Like Jesus, through Jesus, in Jesus, you will pray for those who do not pray; for those who hurt, for those who risk their eternity for perishable things.

You will pray for ungrateful humanity who ignores and forgets the Divine Crucified One and who crucifies Him anew each day.

You, my dear Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood will pray for the sanctification of peoples around the world. You will obtain the grace of repentance for sinners.

You, devoted virgin of reparation will pray also for hearts torn by suffering and haunted by discouragement and despair. Pray that we bishops and priests be more holy, that the flame of our zeal may be more vivid, and that we may be more worthy dispensers of the Divine Blood.

It's all about love isn’t it? God’s love for us and your response, steeped in love for him.

Today, here at St. Patrick’s Church, a new chapter in the love story of the Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood is being written as Sister Mary Catherine commits to perpetual vows of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.

These counsels will provide the rich soil from which you will continue and even grow in your love for God with an undivided heart.

In our Gospel, St. John depicts Jesus lifted onto the cross as a sign of final victory, an act prefigured by the account of the healing serpent being lifted up, as we just heard from our first reading from the Book of Numbers. Completed by resurrection, this lifting up forms the central core of the Paschal Mystery of our salvation. St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians uses a form of the Greek word kenosis (a self-emptying), making clear that this lifting up is the humblest of acts. Jesus’ life on the cross is given up not as an act of self-assertion but as the best of humanity—a gift of self to and for others.

We thank you, Sister Mary Catherine for today making such a self-emptying personal gift of your life to and for others.

We congratulate the Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood. Sister Mary Catherine, as you make your perpetual profession today, travel in the joy of Christ as you follow Him Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

We thank God for your vocation and thank your parents, family members, friends and the Precious Blood Sisters who have touched your life and encouraged you in faith and love.

Mary Immaculate, pray for her.

We adore You, O Christ, and we praise You, for by Your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.

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