The Triune God has lavishly loved me from conception up until now and in a special way His love has manifested throughout my 25 years of journeying in the Religious life. His love is unfathomable, it is purely graces from His infinite mercy and love. I would like to share my prayers of gratitude to Him on the day of the celebration on 3 March 2019 at St Ignatius’ Church, Richmond, Australia:
Words are not enough to express my deepest gratitude to You, O God, but I lift up my whole being rejoicing in Your unceasing love and care. You called and sustained me 25 years ago as your bride, so wonderful a blessing to be Yours and to be numbered among many women to follow You through Religious life. I am not worthy, O Lord, but Your love and mercy keep me journeying up to this day. What a great blessing!
The road sometimes has been rough but You have levelled it for me so that I do not stumble but walk constantly hand and hand with You towards holiness. Lord, here I am renewing my love for You and always will be with You forever. I thank all those who have been part of my life: all the Daughters of Divine Zeal Sisters, Formators, Spiritual Directors, teachers, friends and my family who have helped and moulded me into what I am now.
Lord of the harvest, may Your blessings be upon them and may You, through the intercessions of St Hannibal Mary and Mo Nazarena Majone, grant them a hundredfold of Your graces. To You, O God, I give my deepest gratitude and may You be praised and loved forever! Amen!
Looking back on the experiences during the celebration, I was filled with mixed emotions such as joy, love and gratitude to the Lord. It was great to rejoice on my reaching the 25th year in Religious life, for the very presence of our dear Mother General Mo Teolinda Salemi, Sr Anna Diana, Mo Daria Ortega, Sr Isabella Carlone, Sr Licia Capizzi with her two sisters Lella and Teresa, Sr Felicitas Gandeza, Sr Darlen Pardillo and Sr Rosemarie Borreta. Their presence was greatly felt and appreciated for through them they represented all the FDZ Sisters throughout the world. Together with them we sung our Magnificat to the Lord for all the wonders He has done during our 60 years of Mission in Australia and for Sr Floriana Lapolla’s 60th religious profession and my Silver Jubilee.
The main celebrant, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli, in part of his homily said: “… today we are experiencing great joy as the Daughters of Divine Zeal are celebrating their 60th foundation day in Australia and the 60th religious profession of Sr Floriana Lapolla and Sr Florentina Lubong on her Silver Jubilee to the Religious life. Both of them are witnessing God’s love and fidelity to us all… the Daughters of Divine Zeal are like a little caravan of women moved by the love of God…” Thanks to the Archbishop and the other six concelebrating priests who were one with us in the Eucharistic Celebration.
My heart fills with love and gratitude to God for His fidelity and loving presence manifested to all our brothers and sisters who made the celebration possible. Together with the Blessed Virgin Mary, I continue rejoicing in the Lord and humbly say: “Lord, Your will be done.” And as I continue treading the road to holiness, may my faith and love to God be deepened and may He grant me the gift of joy and holy perseverance each day!