Saturday, Sept. 8, was a day of great rejoicing in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary in Sparkill, New York. Sister Mary Murray, OP, president, welcomed the sisters, associates, and family and friends of Sister Christine De Anna who made her First Profession of Vows as a Dominican Sister of Sparkill on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Reflecting on the Scripture readings of the Mass, Sister Joye Gros, OP, co-director of the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate proclaimed, “Mary’s canticle praises God for the kind of salvation that involves concrete transformation. That deep transformation is the desire of our hearts when we commit ourselves to God within the Order through our vows.” As she continued, Sister Joye’s powerful words challenged the entire assembly to embrace God’s invitation and agenda for the transformation of the world: “Your response to God’s love is to bind yourself to God’s promise and God’s agenda; and in community you find that solidarity, not to turn the world upside down, but rather to turn the world right side up. As strongly as Mary said “yes” in the Annunciation, Mary says a firm and fervent “no” in the Magnificat: “no” to oppression, “no” to injustice, “no” to the hungry not being fed, “no” to arrogance, “no” to the rich ignoring their brothers and sisters in need.” Watch video of Sister Joye’s reflection
The Rite began with the formal examination of Sister Christine as to her readiness to commit herself to faithfully professing the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience (watch video).
“As a Dominican Sister of Sparkill, it is my intention to be Christ for others. I pray that I will always be open to God’s plan for me as I grow to love God above all things. In the journey that is within me and before me, I trust that God’s Spirit will guide me, and I will strive to listen to the wisdom of my community and the truth we share as together we respond to our Dominican call to praise, to bless, and to preach.”
Supported by the prayers of the gathered assembly, Sister Christine made her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience “…to the honor of Almighty God, and under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of our holy father Saint Dominic.” Sister Mary Murray, president of the congregation, received Sister Christine’s vows as all present burst into joy-filled applause.
The Rite continued (watch video) with the blessing of the ring by the celebrant, Father Aedan McKeon, OP. Sister Mary placed the ring on Sister Christine’s finger. Referring to the constitutions of the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, Sister Mary prayed that they would be “an instrument of God’s grace, mercy, and love” for Sister Christine as she lives her vowed life in community.
A native of Windsor, Ontario, Sister Christine is the daughter of Mario and Patricia De Anna. She earned her RN at Missouri Baptist Medical Center (St. Louis), a BSN at Chamberlain College of Nursing (St. Louis), MPH from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, and a BSW and MSW from St. Louis University. Prior to entering the congregation in 2010, Sister Christine was a home health care nurse.
Sister Christine explains that she was initially attracted to the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill “…through their warm hospitality, and committed life of prayer and ministry.” She expressed gratitude for her formation experiences during which she has found herself “…continually supported in my relationship with God, love for ministry, growth in community and desire to learn.”
Story and photos submitted by the Sparkill Dominicans