How can I repay the Lord?

silver-jubilee01Celebrating 25th anniversary of religious profession is not about us, it is about God’s fidelity in our lives despite our feebleness, fickleness, naughtiness. It is counting God’s blessings in our life though we know pretty well that they are innumerable. It is a story of ups and downs where God is always there, ready to lift us up and to lead us on. It is a story of a call, a choice from God, a love story with Him. He said, “You did not choose me, I chose you…” And so, 25 years back, we chose to make our vows, that was first and temporary but in our hearts was forever. We chose God’s choice for us. For this, God is highly to be praised and He deserves all our gratitude. When we had our First Profession, we received a very unusual greeting from our spiritual director and confessor. He said: “I wish and pray that you will be listed in the necrology of your congregation” He meant perseverance until the end.

We chose to celebrate this day in the presence of our Sisters in the Delegation who have journeyed with us and whom we believe have renewed their vows with us, in the presence of the young people intending to dedicate their lives too in the service of the Lord, in the presence of all of you brothers and sisters, who believe that there is such a God who calls and is faithful to His promises.

“How can I repay the Lord for His goodness to me? The cup of salvation I will raise and call on His Name!”

With Him, we thank all the people who have trusted us, who have believed in God’s will for us, who have walked with us in thick and thin: our formators, our superiors, spiritual directors, confessors, our co-sisters and all those whom we were with along these years. We have passed through four Mothers General, two are already in the other life but we believe that they keep us in their prayers. And we have the former General, Mother M. Diodata and the present Mother General, Mo. M. Teolinda Salemi and her council. Thanks to them. May the Lord continue to guide their every decision.

Thanks to our Superiors and co-sisters in the communities where we were and where we are now, our Superiors Delegate starting with Mo. Gilda lo Conti, now missionary in Mexico, Mo. Licia Capizzi, Mo. Isabella Carlone and now Mo. Elna Casimsiman.

We thank our families who were generous enough to let us follow God’s will. We remember the priests who baptized us, from whom we had our first confession and first communion, confirmation, the catechists who prepared us to receive the sacraments, the vocation promoters who sacrificed to meet us in our hometowns, and those from whom we received spiritual guidance. We remember and thank also those who have extended a hand to us in many ways, spiritual or material, affirmation and encouragement and even challenges. We remember and thank friends and benefactors who are always around to help us, those who are here right now and those who would have wanted to be here but couldn’t come for many reasons, thank you and may the Lord reward you.

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We would like to thank our brother, Fr. Herman Abcede, the provincial of the Rogationists who have presided in this mass and all the other priests present, our Rogationist confreres, members of the Rogate Family – the UPV and Lay Missionaries. Thank you and we would like to assure you of our prayers. May the Lord continue to bless us with many and holy vocations.

Lastly, we remember that on 21 April, the Church celebrated the 50th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. This is a day close to our hearts, we in the Rogate Family, as we ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His Harvest. This is our charism, our gift and commitment in the Church. We ask you to join the whole Church in praying and working for more holy vocations, starting in our own families. And we ask you to thank the Lord with us for the gift of our Founder, St. Hannibal Mary Di Francia and our co-foundress, Venerable Mother Nazarena Majone who in their lifetime, had unceasingly prayed and worked for vocations in the Church.

Sr. M. Dolores Acluba, FDZ

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