September 21, 2016

Praising God "no matter what" for 25 years...

Sister Marie-Therese shares her gratitude
and joy as she celebrated her Silver Jubilee
 on September 17.
On Saturday, September 17, 2016 Sister Marietta, Sister M. Margaret, Sister M. Seraphica and I had a grace-filled Silver Jubilee celebration at St. Francis Convent in Alton. It was a great joy to celebrate together since in recent years, members of our group were in faraway Cuba and Oklahoma! My fellow jubilarians came to the Friday evening faculty recital at the college where I teach to support me as I  performed with our piano trio. When we returned, our doors were decorated with silver balloons and silver “25’s!” We were blessed to celebrate our Silver Jubilee on the Feast of the Stigmata of St. Francis, reflecting that the wounds of Christ should always remain imprinted on the hearts of Franciscans. 
Many Sisters came from other convents to join us for the special Mass Saturday morning. My favorite hymn was the chant Ave Verum, which asks “sweet Jesus” to “be a foretaste for us of the heavenly banquet” and “to have mercy on us.” When singing or hearing chant, I remember learning that the lack of regular meter symbolizes heaven, where time is not measured as it is on earth. 
Between festive meals, we spent some time together gratefully remembering the last 25 years. We also shared memories with the Sisters at supper, laughing about events like the time my right eyebrow was accidentally shaved off in a convent postulant haircut. We all remembered the class on praise many years ago, when our postulant mistress exhorted us to praise God “no matter what” and to especially praise Him in the difficult times and struggles, as this helps us to keep our eyes on Him and to give us better perspective. We praise Him now with hearts overwhelmed with gratitude for our vocation as brides of Christ in this Franciscan community!
- Sister Marie-Therese, FSGM

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