Nora Becomes a Passionist Novice

Today is a Monday and we are back to work after a weekend of celebrating the vestition of our postulant Nora. The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven was a perfect day to have a clothing and naming.

As our Blessed Mother was taken body and soul to heaven to be clothed in the resurrection-glory of her Redeemer Jesus, so Nora was clothed in the passion-glory of her Redeemer Jesus. As our Blessed Mother was named Queen of Heaven and Earth in fulfillment of her role as the New Eve, so Nora was named Sister Frances Marie of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, in fulfillment of her response to be chosen a bride of Christ.

Vestition ceremonies have been taking place for thousands of years.  Perhaps we could say the first vestition recorded in the bible was Elisha’s clothing in Elijah’s mantle! Since the time of Christ, unmarried women, who have desired to give an undivided heart to Jesus, have been vested in a penitential garb and veil. Not only are these ceremonies ancient, they are a private affair. The monastic community is the privileged witness of this transformation.

It was not always this way though. Because of the striking visualism of the clothing and the naming, there was a time in the Church when this ceremony almost took precedence over the profession of vows! Even to the point of some communities having the custom of the postulants wearing a wedding gown at the beginning of the ceremony. As striking as this symbolism is it wasn’t true to what was happening theologically.

At vestition the young woman is not yet making vows to her Bridegroom. She is just beginning the most intense part of her formation to prepare her to make that complete gift of self in vows. She is a novice (“new”) and in our community, officially begins her “novitiate” which lasts for two years as she studies our five Passionist vows.  To keep the vestition from overshadowing one’s day of profession of vows no guests are invited and the private celebration afterwards is not quite as lengthy.

Now for some pictures! (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

More to come in the next post…Mother Catherine Marie’s exhortation given during the Vestition and some more photos of the new novice.

19 thoughts on “Nora Becomes a Passionist Novice

  1. Pingback: 10 Delightful Surprises in 2015 | Aleteia.org

  2. Congratulations, Nora! You look absolutely beautifully radiant! Much love and many hugs to your family and the Passionist Sisters.

  3. Congratulations and blessings to Sister Frances Marie, her family and all of you dear Passionists! What a joyous occasion indeed! Thank you for sharing the beautiful pictures of her special day. Praise God for the gift of the Passionist vocations. We give Him thanks.

  4. What a wonderful day! Thanks be to God! Thank you so much for the explanation of why past and present! Congrats Sr.Francis Marie!

  5. Congratulations, Sister Frances Marie. You are a beautiful Bride of Christ! May God be with you as you continue your journey as a Passionist Nun.

  6. Congratulations to Sister Frances Marie. Sister looked so beautiful and so happy. Love all the photos and look forward to reading Mother Catherine Marie’s exhortation. Thank you for posting and letting us share a little of your lives as Passionist Sisters.

  7. Congratulations Dear Friends and Sr. Frances (Nora for friends:) With prayers and gratitude Fr. Marek

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  8. Beautiful! And congratulations Sr. Frances Marie! I’m just curious, do the novices have input into the choice of name? May God bless her and your whole community!

  9. Wonderful news! Beautiful pictures of the Vestition and beautiful Sister Frances Marie! Looking forward to the next post of Mother Catherine Marie’s exhortation given during the Vestition as well as additional pictures. Sending prayers for the Passionist community! Thank you for this terrific blog!

  10. What joyous news! What a treasure for our world. “Thank you” to Nora’s family, your gift of self will do much to heal a wounded Society. I would like to offer a spiritual gift to Nora’s family in appreciation for another prayer warrior: I shall say the rosary for the next 10 days (during what would be the honeymoon with an earthly spouse) to honor their generous hearts.

    • Mary Ann,
      Thank you so much for your spiritual bouquet for our family. Your prayers are indeed a gift to us. We celebrate with you the treasure of Sr. Frances Marie’s vocation. Gratefully, The Wenke family

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