New Leadership of the Springfield Dominican Sisters Installed

The Rite of Installation for Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, OP, Sister Rose Miriam Schulte, OP, Sister Mila Díaz Solano, OP, and Sister Marie Michelle Hackett, OP, took place at Sacred Heart Convent on June 15, 2019, during Mass, in a full chapel. The sisters and many of the new team's family were in attendance.

Sister Barbara Blesse, OP, outgoing member of the previous team who served as vicaress general, invited Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma to the sanctuary to affirm her commitment to serve for five years. "With faith in God and in the support of my sisters, I accept the call to serve," she responded.'

Members of the congregation accepted her promised with applause and a hearty refrain: "May God bring to completion what has been begun in you."

As is tradition, Sister Rebecca Ann then stood before the assembly and accepted the renewal of vows of the sisters in the chapel, who repeated the traditional Dominican vow formula:

"I renew my profession, and promise obedience to God, to blessed Mary, to blessed Dominic, and to you, Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, the Prioress General of our congregation, the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, and to your successors, according to the Rule of St. Augustine and the Constitutions of this congregation. I will be obedient to you and to your successors until death."

Then followed, in a similar manner, the affirmation of the three members of the General Council: Sister Rose Miriam, Sister Mila, and Sister Marie Michelle.

During her reflection on the Jesus' foot washing in the Gospel of John, Sister Karen Freund said "This experience shows more deeply what Jesus’ action means for us who try today to love and serve as he did. Sandra Schneiders says Jesus distinguishes here between service someone must do and service one does freely. That difference affects issues of power, equality, domination, and intimacy among us.  What differentiates the community Jesus calls into existence from the power structures so universal in human society is precisely this love of friendship, expressed in joyful mutual service, for which rank and social standing are irrelevant."

The festive liturgical celebration was followed by a reception and celebratory meal.


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