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Lynne Baron - Faithful Companion of Jesus

Perpetual Profession - September 16, 2002

"This is the first of all the commandments: Listen Israel, the Lord our God is the one, only Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbour as yourself."        (Mark 12)

Sr. Paula receives Sr. Lynn's final profession.This passage from scripture has been a source of inspiration for me for a number of years, and in many ways it captures the commitment and calling which has lead me to make Perpetual Profession as a Faithful Companion of Jesus.

During the celebration Fr Ian spoke of the building of a personal relationship with God, and of the outpouring of that relationship into all other relationships.

In the liturgy, I had chosen to use readings and hymns which highlighted both aspects...; that of the call to justice which is so integral to the Christian message; and that of a close relationship with the God who is present in every moment of our lives, calling us and guiding us.

The ceremony and Eucharist for my Perpetual Profession were held at Gumley House School on the 15th September 2002. It was a great joy to see so many of my friends and family at the celebration,, as well as almost one hundred of my FCJ sisters present from many parts of the world including sisters from each of the Provinces in which we live and work! It was a real reflection of our internationality! There were pupils and staff from each of the FCJ secondary schools in England. It was also the first time a group of the Companions in Mission had joined us for a celebration of Profession - it was wonderful to experience together the joy and commitment of our different expressions of commitment to God's call within our lives, and to be part of such a wide FCJ family. The Eucharist was celebrated by Fr Ian Tomlinson SJ and girls from Bellerive FCJ were altar servers.

Sr. Lynne with Srs. Margarita and Ruth.The ceremony began with a moment of quiet and reflection as Sr. Ruth played music on the recorder. Pupils from Gumley House School helped the FCJ community with the music during the ceremony, and lead the communion hymn, Everyday God. There were some lively hymns too, and it was lovely to hear my one-year-old niece joining in with the music and clapping to the rhythm!

The vow ceremony itself was very beautiful, it began with a hymn to the Holy Spirit, calling down God's blessing on us as we came to celebrate the call to dedicate ourselves unreservedly to all that God asks of us. During this hymn, Sr. MaryAnne and Diah did a beautiful liturgical dance representing the movement of the Spirit in our lives.

Sr. Lynn cuts the cake at her celebration of final profession.Sr Paula, our General Superior, then received my vows, which I read aloud. I felt so privileged and happy to say in front of so many people: "Loving and eternal God...; I make forever to you, the vows of religious poverty, chastity and obedience...;" It was a very special moment!

Then, as I signed the register of my vows, one of the pupils from Bellerive School, Liverpool sang a beautiful solo; "Take me Lord, use my life in the way you wish to do...;", and the FCJ sisters each came to welcome me as a full member of the Society, many sharing a word of wisdom as they came forward to greet me!

So, it was with great joy that we moved from the Eucharist, singing "Every tongue sing of justice, sing to the world of God's liberating power!"

We continued the celebration for many hours afterwards as we invited all who had come to the ceremony to a buffet meal afterwards...; and I had the opportunity to meet the friends from so many different moments of my life!

Many, many thanks to all for the support of your prayer, for the Mass cards, faxes, emails, and messages...; may God who has begun this work grant each of us the grace to fulfil all that is asked.

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