Being Made New... Destined for Eternity

On Monday night, while the world went on as normal, something profound happened here in our chapel.  Four young women, to the confusion of the world, took another step towards a life of obedience, celibacy and poverty, a life of radical self-denial.  Myself (formerly Victoria) and the three other postulants, entered novitiate, receiving veils and new names.  

The ceremony was simple, as we Franciscans like to keep things.  We asked to be received into the novitiate and to be taught our gospel way of life.  Then Mother Mary Ann gave us the TOR Rule and our community’s constitutions which we’ll be studying.  Next we received our veils as a sign of our dedication to God.  Lastly, came the moment that everyone was waiting for: the unveiling of our new names.  We have some say in what these will be, but the ultimate decision is in the hands of the Holy Spirit.  I know this was a huge moment of surrender for all of us, but with joy we exclaimed, “Thanks be to God!”

Novitiate can be a confusing stage of religious life. 
Sr. Magdala Marie receiving the veil
We wear a veil and are called “sister”, yet haven’t taken vows or become a member of the community.  Yet, I can honestly say that I am a different person after what happened on Monday.  Why is this?  I could walk around with my hair uncovered last week and now suddenly seeing me without a veil would make our priests blush! Why is this?

I am living in the mystery of “already and not yet!”  My veil tells the world that I am destined for total consecration to the Lord.  The reception of a new name indicates a new identity, again something I am destined for, but have not reached the culmination of.

Sr. Agnes Maria receiving her name
The truth of discernment is that at some point we have to jump in and try something out to know if it’s right.  In the Church’s wisdom she established this period of novitiate to “try out” being a religious while maintaining the freedom of discernment.  Being called “sister” will change my relationships, will change the way I interact with others.  People will look at me and see the community and the Church.  During this time of continued discernment I will see if God is calling me to be Sister to the whole world and to represent the Church as a bride of His Son. 

God gives a new name when He establishes a new covenant with someone, or gives them a new mission.  In moving from postulancy to novitiate, in being called sister, we are being introduced to a new mission, a mission that is bigger than ourselves.  During novitiate we will study the specific rule and way of life of our community, to discern if God is calling us to join in the mission to glorify God and make known His merciful love as a TOR Sister.  Please pray for us!

“…If they are found to have a vocation, they are to be initiated into the life of the fraternity.  Let everything pertaining to this way of life be explained to them…” (TOR Rule 5)
-Sr. Magdala Marie (formerly Victoria Clarizio)
welcoming our new sisters!

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  1. Grazie per tua testimonianza, per la tua trasparenza nel raccontare, per la tua donazione nel cammino di vita vocazionale. Prego per voi...

  2. Congratulations Sister Magdala Marie and all the new Sisters. May God's wisdom guide you in your discernment and may you find peace and joy in serving Him.


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