On Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 10 am, the cathedral-like church of St. Peter’s in Solomá, Guatemala, was filled with people from Huehuetenango, Quiché, Sololá, and the United States. All were awaiting the entrance procession to begin the Liturgy of the Eucharist and the Final Profession of Vows of Sister Rosenda Magdalena Castañeda González. The “animadores de la fe,” dressed in traditional Mayan garments, lined the long center aisle to welcome Sister Rosenda and her parents, the ministers of the liturgy, the Sisters of Charity, the priests, and Bishop Álvaro Ramazzini Imeri.
Bishop Ramazzini, who presided at the Liturgy, had worked with Sisters Connie Kelly, Kathleen Byrnes, and Doris Pagano in the past, and so knew the spirit of the Sisters of Charity.
The Bishop’s homily on love from John’s Gospel (Jn 15, 9–17), was followed by the Rite of Profession.
Sister Rosenda pronounced her vows on a note of gratitude and availability “to reveal God’s love in the mission that is given her, especially to the poor, to follow Jesus all of her life, and to consecrate her entire being to Him.” In the presence of the entire Assembly and into the hands of Sister Jane Iannucelli, President of the Sisters of Charity, she pronounced her vows of chastity, poverty and obedience for life according to the Constitution of the Sister of Charity of New York.
Sister Rosenda asked the help of our saints, Vincent, Louise and Elizabeth, that God’s will would be accomplished in her.
Sister Jane, assisted by Sister Sheila Brosnan, accepted the vows with joy, saying: “St. Elizabeth was a woman of faith, obedient to God’s Will. ‘Be a daughter of the Church.’ Your vow of chastity calls you to love all more profoundly, especially the poor. Put your confidence in the Providence of God and be happy with living simply.”
The Congregation responded in an affirmative and resounding applause.
Afterwards the celebration continued to the music of the traditional marimba during the dinner and then much dancing!
Our “spirits rejoiced in God, our Savior.”