Renewing Our Vows on the Feast of the Annunciation
On Saturday, March 25th, our Sisters gathered in multiple locations to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, the date we collectively renew our vows as Holy Union Sisters and our Associates renew their promises to live by our charism of Union. We ask that you pray for us as we continue to live out our vocation.
Sisters and Associates clustered in locations close to where our various communities live, including Fall River, Lawrence, Taunton, Tewksbury, Dartmouth, and Attleboro in Massachusetts. Groups also gathered in New York City, Baltimore, and Johnston, RI, as we attended Mass and then rededicated ourselves to our vocation as women religious.
In Fall River, the Sisters used the reflection below to help understand Mary’s extraordinary situation and her response that day which changed our world forever.
Do not be afraid Mary. You have found favor with God.
When I was just a young girl,
barely old enough to call myself a woman,
you, O God, sent an angel to visit me.
I was innocent and couldn’t know what you
had in mind
But I did know the stories of my people,
and I recognized that Gabriel’s mere presence
could be foreboding.
Why, of all the angels, would you send Gabriel,
the interpreter of frightening signs from
the time of Daniel?
Would this be a frightening time for me?
Why would Gabriel tell me that I was favored?
Isn’t that the same message that came to our
Your “favor” seemed to get them in all kinds
of hot water.
And weren’t our kings favored too?
It seemed to me that to be favored
could lead to places that troubled me-
being called upon to speak on your
being asked to act as you would act,
To be favored was not simply a privilege,
It was a responsibility.
“Do not be afraid” were the
sweetest words I could have heard.
You, God, were in charge
and would use my pondering,
and my confusion,
And my joyful consent
to do something beautiful in me,
Something beautiful for all generations!
Our reflection was followed by our Renewal of Vows, below:
Today, in the presence of God and this community, I (Please say your name aloud) renew my vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience as a Holy Union Sister and I recommit myself to the life and mission of our Congregation, in the Church, for the world.
We conclude our prayer with the Greeting of Peace. Below are several images from some of the communities, their celebrations and their simple gatherings.