Sister Nida gives her life to God
It is with gratitude and joy that I say yes to God's call.
On Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009, Sister Nida Fe Chavez professed her final vows of chastity, poverty and obedience at Morrow Park's chapel in Toronto. Sister Margaret Myatt, Congregational Leader, received the vows during a Eucharistic liturgy presided over by Father Michel Dumont, pastor of Our Lady Queen of the World parish where Sr. Nida is in ministry.
"This is a very joyous occasion," said Sister Margaret, setting the tone in her words of welcome. "Sister Nida Fe Chavez will express her commitment to live, in faith, a more profound relationship with God through her final profession of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Sister Nida's gift of her life to God in all its beauty, complexity, fragility, faith, hope and love will be received by God who will claim her: 'You are mine. You are my beloved.'"
"This is a moment to inspire us all," said Sister Sue Mosteller in her reflection. She then turned to the first reading, Micah 6:6-8, which tells us that what is required of us is 'to do justice, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with God.' "This is the way that Sister Nida has chosen today. In the gospel, Luke 1.39-56, Mary proclaims 'My soul magnifies the Lord…for the Mighty One has done great things for me.' This is the God that Sr. Nida announces today, a God who is alive, a God whose love surrounds us. This is a day of joy for our congregation, for our associates, for the whole Church."
Then followed the rite of final profession. In speaking her vows, Sister Nida tied each to the reading from Micah: promising chastity, she will love tenderly; poverty brings her to act justly and in obedience she will walk humbly with her God.
Reflecting on this afterwards, Sister Nida repeated her response to Sister Margaret, "It is with gratitude and joy that I say yes to God's call and like Mary's Magnificat I also say, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God who is gracious, for God has done great things for me and Holy is God's name.'…As a perpetually professed Sister of St. Joseph of Toronto, I entrust myself to God to lead me in living the vows that I professed and surrender myself to God who gave me life and loves me unconditionally. I hope and trust that I may continue to experience the 'steadfast love of God and God's faithfulness and mercies that never come to an end.'" — Lamentations 3:22-24
After Sister Nida had professed her vows, all the Sisters present rose and promised to support and encourage her as she committed her life to God.
Sister Margaret then gave Sister Nida her symbol "as an exterior sign of your commitment to live out your baptismal call as a Sister of St. Joseph."
Sister Dorothy Schweitzer summed it all up: "We rejoice in Sister Nida's generosity and courage as she commits her entire life, all that she is now and all that she is capable of becoming to the service of others. It was fitting that Nida's vow ceremony was part of the celebration of the Eucharist, our great thanksgiving to God for all of God's gifts to us. And what a celebration it was! The first lines of the gathering hymn capture the feelings that welled up in our hearts as we sang: ‘Come! Live in the light! Shine with joy and the love of the Lord!'"
The liturgy completed, the celebration continued with a great gathering of Sisters, associates, Nida's many relatives and friends as well as a large number of parishioners from Our Lady Queen of the World parish.