On Saturday 25th January four members of this Province are quietly celebrating fifty years since they professed their perpetual vows. Doreen Bell, Lorna Brockett, Mary Hinde and Stella White prepared for and made their vows as part of a large international group which included Trudie Hunter, who died in 2016 and is no doubt celebrating this anniversary in heaven.
Reflecting on this significant anniversary, Lorna says:
The one constant in my life has been the love of God, which drew me to the Society of the Sacred Heart in the first place. This is the love that gives meaning to my life, and is the only thing that really matters. As Philip Larkin wrote, ‘all that survives of us is love’.
I have experienced this love in so many ways: in prayer and worship, in events, circumstances, in nature and especially through people, those I have lived with and those whom it has been my privilege to know and work with. As Julian of Norwich wrote, in the turbulent 14th century which has so many parallels with our own, ‘love is our Lord’s meaning’. When I reflect at the end of each day, and especially now looking back over 50 years since I made my final commitment, and the long and varied journey I have made, my overwhelming feeling is gratitude.
When we celebrated St Rose Philippine Duchesne recently Margaret got us each to draw a saying of hers. I drew the following prayer which resonated with my 50 Years:
“I am where God wants me to be, and so I have found rest and security. His wisdom governs me. His power defends me. His grace sanctifies me. His mercy encompasses me. His joy sustains me and all will go well with me “
I have always felt I am where God wants me to be even through difficult times
And Mary has sent us this image (unattributed), with the message:
"REJOICE," again I say: "REJOICE" with me in God's faithful and tender love on the 50th anniversary of final profession.
Our love, prayer and congratulations accompany Doreen, Lorna, Mary and Stella - along with our thanks for so many years of fidelity, and lives given in love, and our best wishes for the years ahead.