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First Profession of Anouska Robinson-Biggin fcJ
Salford, UK -- Saturday 1st September 2007

Saturday 1st September 2007 – the Saturday when dreams turned into reality and the ‘Yes’ I had said in the depth of my heart, and desired to say for so long, could be confirmed with the ‘public profession in love and worship of my first vows of religious chastity, poverty and obedience’ as a sister Faithful Companion of Jesus.

Novitiate Group

Welcoming Prayer

The celebrations began the evening before the vow ceremony at the prayer of welcome as a vowed member of the Society. This was beautifully planned and prepared by the novitiate community, with the support of FCJs that lived in the local area.

It was held at Katherine House, Salford and was based on giving all the glory to God, for all the wonders he had done in calling me and giving me the grace to respond. ‘Rendons gloire à notre Dieu, lui qui fit des merveilles…’

Photos of the welcoming ceremony.

The Mass of First Profession

I had asked to celebrate the Mass of Profession in Kersal Hill Convent, Salford with our community of more elderly sisters as this was the first community I had ever met in 2002, and it was most definitely the right choice.   I was joined by family, friends and FCJs from across the European Network (the provinces of Britain, the Continent and Ireland) and Agnes Samosir fcJ from the Province of Asia Australia.

Many FCJs and family members present at the celebration.

The opening hymn of the vow ceremony on the Saturday was ‘I am standing on the shoulders’ and I chose this as I believe my ‘Yes’ could only be made due to the ‘Yeses’ of so many courageous women who have gone before and who have faithfully lived their commitment; thanks to them the Society is here for me to make mine.  I was especially thinking of some of those I had worked closely with during my first novitiate experience in Maryville, Limerick.

Photos of the Vow Ceremony.

Sr. Anouska makes her vows.I make my first vows trusting God and the psalm
by Michael Herry fms echoed this:

“You know the way for me, you know the time,
into your hands I trustingly place mine,
your plan is perfect, born of perfect love,
you know the way, your way is love.”

God has blessed me in numerous ways since I first met the FCJ Sisters at a Vocation Weekend in 2002, but the graces I received this day to profess my vows with such confidence are surely evidence of the goodness of God.

The theme that flowed through the ceremony was about being chosen by God, and Fr. Peter OSM spoke wisely yet wonderfully of the utter madness of making a commitment to another in marriage, or religious profession, if we just read the words of the vows. But rooted completely in God, it all makes sense and becomes a reality. Yes, the words are powerful and seen alone without faith, utter madness, but with the profound knowledge - tested and proved - of the unending love of God it all makes sense and I know that the risk is worth it.

Celebrating her first profession.

A beautiful day that all seemed to be over so quickly, yet the living out of that yes continues each day, as I live out my vows in my ministry as a secondary school teacher in London – each day reminded that God calls, helps us to hear and gives us the grace to respond with our whole heart.  It really is all about love.

Nothing is more practical than finding God,
That is, than falling in love in a quite
Absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
What seizes your imagination,
Will affect everything.
It will decide
What will get you out of bed in the morning,
What you do with your evenings,
How you spend your weekends,
What you read, who you know,
What breaks your heart,
And what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love,
And it will decide everything.

Attributed to Pedro Arrupe, SJ

Anouska Robinson-Biggin, fcJ

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Ang aming Samahan ay may layuning purihin
       ang puso ni Hesus
           sa lahat ng kapangyarihan niya.     (Marie Madeleine)