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First Profession of Vows - Sr. MaryAnne fcJ
London, England - 30 August, 2003

Photo:  MaryAnne makes her vows during the Eucharist.

The 30th August 2003… what were you doing? It was one of the most important days of my life.

I was surrounded by my family - mum, dad, my sister, aunties, cousins, my grandmother, and my FCJ sisters from all over Europe – and some from further away.

It was the day when I made first vows as a Faithful Companion of Jesus.

I had been preparing for this day for so long… and I had desired with all my heart to make this commitment. It was a beautiful occasion, the sun was shining, all the people I loved were there and I could not stop smiling… all the photos show me with a big grin.

The celebration began on the previous evening with a special gathering of the community during which I was welcomed into the FCJ Society as a vowed member. During this time of prayer each one of the community offered some words of wisdom and advice that would help me as I continued this journey with God! It was lovely to hear their encouragement and to know that they were all supporting me in such tangible ways.

Photo:  MaryAnne cuts the cake at the celebration following the Mass.On the day of my vows I was so excited, and nervous too. Many FCJ sisters had come to celebrate with me, as well as my family and friends.

The vow ceremony always takes place during Mass. I had chosen the scripture reading from John’s Gospel where Mary Magdalen recognises the risen Christ. It reminds me of the presence of God with me even when I don’t recognise it. The reading also gives me the sense of being someone who is sent by Jesus.

Fr Pawlu, a Jesuit priest from Malta spoke very beautifully about the commitment to religious life.

I will close with a prayer by Gertrude the Great that I chose for this day:

Let my soul grow in strength
let me grow in grace.
May the beauty of your love,
find in me a human face.

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