Today, my family and I had the great honour to attend the ceremony establishing the Queenship of Mary as a “private” association in the Catholic Church where four brave women professed their temporary vows, and received their habit and new religious names. My own personal connection with this religious community involves being a long time friend of one of the Sisters, then Madeleine Thomson now Sr. Marie Madeleine de la Misericorde. The particular charism of this association is evangelization and service. (Read their January Newsletter: part 1, 2.)
The event was truly momentous because it shows that the Catholic Church’s religious vocations are really starting to grow and spread. With the institution of this private association (which in time will become a “public association” with all of the canonical rights and responsibilities), it also shows that the Holy Spirit is moving amongst us and giving us hope in the spiritual war in which we are embroiled.
The thing about Religious Sisters is that their formation strikes against the “professionalism” that has crept into the Church over the past 40 years. This “professionalism” sought to make priests more like social workers, shrinks, and media celebrities instead of spiritual fathers of our Catholic family. Now with the nascent growth of communities of religious sisters with habits, it begins to undermine and ultimately destroy the model of the Church and the Priest that our Enemy was trying to establish.
Professionals, after all, don’t sacrifice. They do a job and they get paid with money or recognition.
These Sisters and growing communities like theirs (i.e. the Sisters of Life who were showing their support at the Mass today, joining in the celebration) stand as a rebuke to that thinking because they call the Church and Her priests back to poverty, chastity, and obedience through their humble service.
You see, folks, when the Nuns threw off their habits and cried out for liberation, “respect”, and power in the 60s and 70s, they became little more than social workers with a cross. They were played by the Devil and the Devil flipped them a bone for their troubles. Little did they know that, instead of gaining power, they were throwing it all away when they threw away those habits and what those habits represented. Real power, true power, only comes through the Cross of Jesus Christ and Faith in Him and in His Church.
If you want to know who has the true power in the Catholic Church, don’t necessarily look at the bishop with the mitre or the priest with the collar. Look at the Sister with the habit because through her humble submission, she’s a woman who’s moving heaven and earth.
Salvation, after all, did come through a woman.
The Sisters have found their first temporary home at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Metcalfe while they search for some land to build their permanent home. Rich Catholic benefactors should take the opportunity to reflect on Purgatory and how sacrifices and penances on this side of heaven may lessen their time there, provided, of course, they make a proper sacramental confession and have true contrition.
Presentation of the Habits:
Presentation of the Sisters to the Catholic community assembled:
Wide view in the beautiful little Chapel of Ottawa’s Notre Dame Cathedral:
Upstairs awaiting Mass, enjoying the splendor of our rich Catholic architectural heritage:
Profession of temporary vows:
Downstairs at the Reception. Archbishop Prendergast can be seen in his slick burgundy. He was taking pictures. He’ll probably have something up on his blog about this great event tomorrow. Had a chance to say hello to him as he met my family. “Uh, so what’s your name again?” “John Pacheco, your Grace.” “Oh, yeah, we’ve me before, haven’t we?”
My girls presenting Sister Madeleine with roses for her new vocation in Christ.