Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 27, 2004
Sister professes her first vows
Sr. Margarete (Maggie) St. John embraces life of a Sr. of Providence
Special to the WCR
On Sept. 4, the Sisters of Providence gathered in the chapel at Providence Centre for a special liturgy in honour of Sister Margarete (Maggie) St. John on the occasion of her first profession of vows.
In the presence of her community, family and friends, Sister Maggie expressed her desire to live out the fullness of her baptismal calling by embracing the life of a Sister of Providence. She professed the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience in response to God's loving call.
"It is my desire to live my life as a Sister of Providence with compassion, single-hearted love, and in the service of God and all creation. It is also my desire to live an intentional, radical dependence in a Provident God and in interdependence with all of creation as a servant of the poor. I commit myself to discern God's will in the service of the people of God. With an open mind, I welcome all opportunities to use my gifts to be of service with a willing heart and to be a loving compassionate presence to all."
Almost three years ago, in late November 2001, the Sisters of Providence welcomed Maggie as a candidate. Maggie's "first vocation" was being a mother to three sons and she felt her personal experiences brought a certain depth of understanding to her new journey.
Her year as a candidate was a time of discovery and exploration to learn more about congregation while living with other sisters in a community setting. Maggie opened herself to the Spirit and deepened her relationship with God with the support of her candidate director Sister Betty Kaczmarczyk and Sisters Orietta Belanger and Andrea Arsenault in the candidate house.
Maggie soon requested to continue her formation and was received into the novitiate on Aug. 22, 2002.
Sister Maggie studied as a canonical novice in Spokane, Wash., under the guidance of Sister Liz Cole. Sister Maggie returned to Edmonton last year for her apostolic year, where her gentle and loving approach to her pastoral ministry has been much appreciated in our infirmary at Providence Centre and at WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger) of Providence.
Father Leonard St. John, Sister Maggie's brother and a diocesan priest from Ottawa presided at the Saturday ceremony.
A community pectoral cross, with the insignia of Our Mother of Compassion, is presented to a sister when she professes her first vows as a symbol of the spirit of the Sisters of Providence.
The cross given to Sister Maggie was especially significant to her. After entering the community, she became very close to Sister Yvette Milette.
Sister Yvette died in January, but before her death, she asked Sister Maggie if she would wear her cross.
"Sister Yvette was one of the most compassionate, loving women I have met. She was an inspiration to me, and a sign of God's presence always. I feel very honoured to wear her cross."
Sister Maggie shared her special day with her loved ones. She was delighted that one of her sons was able to attend the ceremony.
"My family, in particular my sons, have supported me in my decision to answer God's call to become a sister. Their love for me and their blessings illustrate to me how God's Providence is lived out amongst us all."
"I am grateful for God's grace in calling me and for all those who have journeyed with me. I especially thank my community, the Sisters of Providence for their prayers, guidance and loving support."