This weekend, we will celebrate the perpetual profession of our Sister Bea Tiboldi. It is the final step in a long discernment and formation process. During Mass, Bea will pronounce her vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience for LIFE. Afterwards, we will gather to celebrate with sisters, family, friends and other religious. In our congregation, and in religious life, it is a pretty big deal.
For each sister, whether finally or temporarily professed, it is a time to remember and renew our own commitment to these vows we made and re-make each day in the living out of our religious life. For me, it brings back memories of my own perpetual profession almost 20 years ago and compels me to reflect on how these vows continue to empower me today.
When I live my vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience in the spirit of the Gospel, I am freed to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly (Micah 6:8) with God and all of creation. Embracing poverty, I have learned to share my gifts and to allow others to share their gifts for the common good. I do not hold back out of fear of not having, but share in the faith that what is lacking God will provide. At times, God’s overflowing love has come back to me through people I have rejected or with whom I have a broken relationship. In my poverty, I am open to receive.
Living my vow of celibacy has opened me up to witness how God loves unconditionally. When I betrayed the trust of a close friend, I thought I was never going to learn how to love in the way God wanted me to. It was through that friendship that God showed me unconditional love—a love that is open, life giving and does not take away another’s freedom.
Obedire (ob=to; audire=listen) is the root of the word obedience, which means, “to listen.” We are called to listen to God, to prayerfully reflect upon what we hear and to follow that guidance. In learning discernment, I have had to develop the ear of my heart in order to truly listen, understand, and to follow the voice of God. When I respond to God’s call in this way, I am living my vow of obedience.
On Sunday, this is what Sr. Bea will profess:
I, Sr. Bea Tiboldi, profess the vows of obedience, celibacy, and poverty
to God and in your hands, Sister Patricia Twohill, to be lived in the
light of the Gospel and according to the Rule of St. Augustine and the
Constitutions of this congregation of the Dominican Sisters of Peace,
for my whole life.
As Bea pronounces her vows, we are invited to reflect on and renew our own life commitments, whatever they may be. Come, let us act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our God as people of the Resurrected Christ.
We thank God for the Gift of Sister Bea’s YES and pray for all who are being called to explore life as a Dominican Sister of Peace. If that person is you, contact us here to explore that call.