It was a joyous day for our Congregation on Saturday when Sister Nancy Rose Gucwa, OSB made her Final Monastic Profession!

Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist, OSB (left) opened the ceremony with an admonition then asked Sister Nancy Rose a series of questions related to her bond with God, her vows of stability, conversatio and obedience, and her promise to spend her life in generous service of Christ, her Sisters and God’s people.

Sister Nancy Rose then read aloud her profession document, placed it on the altar and signed it.

“She dates her promise in a document drawn up in the name of the Saints whose relics are there, and of the prioress general who is present. She writes out this document in her own hand and lays it on the altar. (Rule of Benedict, Chapter 58)

Sister Nancy Rose performs the Suscipe where, in verse, she begs God to receive her offering in response to the promise of eternal life. She repeated the verse twice more.

“After she puts the document on the altar, the sister begins the verse, ‘Receive me….’ The whole community repeats the verse after her, and after the third repetition, is added the Glory Be to the Father.” (Rule of Benedict, Chapter 58)

 

After the third time, Sister Nancy Rose and the community sang together, signifying incorporation into the community.


Sister Nancy Rose prostrates before the altar. Then the community read Psalm 51, asking God to create a pure heart and steadfast spirit, the monastic ideal.

 

 

After Conception Abbey’s Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB prayed the consecratory prayer, he blessed Sister Nancy Rose. Then Sister Pat placed the ring upon Sister Nancy’s finger.

The ring is a symbol of her permanent bond to God and to her community, to remind her that neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come, not anything at all can ever separate her from the love of Christ. (The letters IHS are a standard shortcut of Greek letters meaning “Jesus.”)

 

Sister Pat, carrying Sister Nancy Rose’s profession document, lead the procession from the chapel.

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