Each year, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week during the first week of November. This annual week-long celebration is an opportunity for dioceses, parishes, and religious communities to uphold and promote vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and consecrated life and encourage the faithful to renew their prayerful support for those currently discerning one of these calls.
God has continued to bless our IHM Congregation with new vocations. The IHM Sisters recently celebrated religious ceremonies of Perpetual Profession, First Profession, Renewal of Vows, Initiation into the Religious Life, and the entrance of our newest Postulant.
On August 8, 2020, Sister Jennifer Maria O’Neill, IHM, and Sister Rachael Elizabeth Wilson, IHM, made their First Profession of Vows as Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Villa Maria House of Studies, the IHM Motherhouse in Malvern, PA. These "temporary vows" of chastity, poverty, and obedience were made for one year, with the intention to renew these vows each year in preparation for their perpetual profession of vows, typically five years after the first profession of vows.
On August 9, 2020, Sister Christina Marie Roberts, IHM, and Sister Kathryn Teresa Clemmer, IHM, made their Perpetual Profession of Vows as Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After making their first profession of vows in 2015, these sisters professed vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience "for all my life" during a solemn liturgy at the IHM Motherhouse.
On August 10, 2020, three sisters renewed their temporary vows which they made at their first profession. Sister Amanda Marie Russell, IHM, and Sister Mary Christine Zabel, IHM, made their renewal of vows at their current mission in Savannah, GA. Sister Elizabeth Anne Bartholomew, IHM, renewed her vows at the IHM Motherhouse.
Also on August 10, 2020, at the IHM Motherhouse, our postulant, Stephanie Conrad, was received into the novitiate during the Rite of Initiation into the Religious Life. At this ceremony, she received the habit and the Constitutions of the IHM Sisters, and she received her religious name - Sister Stephanie Lynne.
Religious life begins with the novitiate, a two-year period of spiritual and personal growth. With the guidance of the Directress of Novices, Sister Stephanie will be directed toward a more intimate union with Christ, nurtured by silence, solitude, prayer, and the generous giving of self to community and to apostolic activity.
On September 13, 2020, our IHM Congregation welcomed our newest postulant, Alexis Reavill. The postulancy is ordinarily an eleven-month period that “provides the gradual spiritual and psychological adjustment indispensable to the preparation for the novitiate."
Alexis will continue the discernment process while living with the Sisters and entering into our life under the direction of the Directress of Postulants.
For more information about discerning a vocation with the IHM Sisters, please contact Sister Marianne Lallone in the IHM Vocation Office, at firstname.lastname@example.org.