Female religious cause for joy across Ireland

Female religious cause for joy across Ireland New postulant Bindhu, centre, is pictured with Srs Gabrielle (left) and Lucy (right).

A spate of activity on the female religious front has been warmly welcomed by sisters across Ireland, with new sister, Elizabeth, for the Knock Carmelites, a new postulant, Bindhu, for the Drumcondra Redemptoristines, and profession formation taking place with the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master in Ireland (PDDM).

Speaking to The Irish Catholic newspaper, new Carmelite Sister Elizabeth said it was “good to be fully a part of the community,” and that she looked forward to being able to “fade a bit more into the background” after her August 6 Solemn Profession.

She said the biggest step for her was receiving the habit, as she “gave her yes to God” then.

“My happiest reaction was when I received the habit,” Sr Elizabeth said.

“I know it’s not as important in monastic life, but I know myself I wouldn’t have gone forward for the reception of the habit unless I’d already made the commitment to stay here for life. So, for me really, that was my happiest moment, as that was when I said, ‘Yes’ to God.”

She said the profession itself was “lovely” and that the prostration stood out to her, reminding her of “how you’re really uniting yourself to Christ’s offering and for the rest of your life, everything you do is all united to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”

She encouraged other young women considering religious life to “definitely” discern it, and to “go and look” if it suits them.

“You don’t lose anything by trying it…it’s better to know if it’s not for you, and then you’re free if you find out it’s not God’s will for you – you won’t be asking yourself, ‘What if’?”

She said it was a “great gift” and a “joy” she had received, which was a line taken up by Sr Louise O’Rourke, Vocations Director of the PDDM Sisters in Ireland.

“I pray that those discerning God’s design for them may have courage to make that first step now to set out on the great pilgrimage of religious life,” Sr Louise said, continuing, that the “first step is always the hardest” but that there are people available to journey with and support those who authentically wish to discern their vocation in life”.