Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Community Director Sister Natalie Binversie welcomed Novice Sister Mary Teresa Bettag on Tuesday, June 28, 2016. Novitiate begins with the Rite of Initiation into Religious Life and extends over a period of two years. A title is chosen at this stage of formation. Sister Mary Teresa’s choice is ‘Daugher Zion’. It is serves as a focus for prayerful reflection and life as a religious. Sister will be under the guidance of the Directress of Novices, Sister Maridele Jacobs.
Here’s Sister Natalie’s reflection from today’s ceremony. Click here to read more about our new novice.
It is with great joy that I greet you, Sister Mary Teresa and all of your Sisters in Community, The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity! Your name in Religion is your baptismal name because in your words, “Religious Consecration is Baptismal Consecration lived more deeply.” Since you have a deep love for Mary, it is appropriate that your feast day is August 15, the feast of The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
The title you chose is “Daughter Zion” and will be celebrated on the feastday of the Baptism of the Lord. You were very diligent in providing me an explanation for your choice and I will use some of your thoughts to share with your Sisters.
Mary is Mother, Daughter and Spouse. Her perfect relationship to the Trinity makes her “the fairest honor of our race,” for in that relationship she exemplifies the perfection of humanity. It is in relation to others and above all in relation to God that the human person reaches perfection and attains the holiness to which all are called, for true holiness is based on the relationship with the Three Divine Persons. This means that Mary is the model of perfect relation and so is the model for the baptized, the model for all religious, especially for consecrated women religious.
Women religious are called to show the beauty and self-giving of a person’s capacity to love as a Mother. As Daughter, our dignity lies not in how much we love, but in how much we are loved by God. It is God’s initiative that calls a woman religious to be Spouse, Bride of Christ, Spouse of the Holy Spirit. To be a “Daughter of Zion” is to be a member of a chosen people, but to be Daughter Zion is to be that chosen people personified; and this is Mary.
The Baptism of the Lord can be a great Franciscan feast because Christ, by His Baptism, made creation holy. This sacramental worldview is at the heart of Franciscanism. This places the human person in relationship to all creation. To be Franciscan is to live out one’s baptismal vocation in the world by keeping the Gospel central and prioritizing one’s relationship with God and others.
Sister Mary Teresa, your Sisters have heard what you desire as you continue the next step in the Formation process by entering the Novitiate. You have asked us to be your teachers of how to live our Constitutions and Directory. Since we are all in lifetime formation we commit to being this example for you. You are assured of daily prayer. May God bless you and may God bless your family who has generously given you to be a Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity. See more facebook pictures. Click here.
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