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Graces of our CMR Summer Regional Gathering

Greetings! We finally have an “event” to write about! Our CMR sisters had our annual gathering from July 31st - Aug 3rd. It is normally in early June, but like many things, COVID changed our plans.

Our gathering was marked by CDC guidelines for COVID-19 prevention. We wore masks and kept 6 ft apart from each other. No hugging and lots of reminders to use hand sanitizer. Nevertheless, the gathering was a welcomed respite in the midst of this uncertainty as we saw our sisters' smiles peeping beneath their masks, or hearing funny stories told from a distance. We also welcomed our newest sister, Sr. Anna Hồng-Phương, who transferred into the U.S Region from our Motherhouse.

We arrived late Friday afternoon to celebrate Sr. Jacinta’s 50th Jubilee of Religious Profession and to prepare for Sr. Catherine’s Novitiate Ceremony. It was a fun time recalling the memories of Sr. Jacinta’s 50 years with a lovely slideshow. See pictures below! The sisters also performed song and dance routines (Văn Nghệ). So much laughter, so much love.

Afterwards we played one of our favorite games – BINGO! Of course, there were great prizes – small cash prizes, rosaries, and bibles. Everyone went home a winner!!

Sr. Catherine’s entrance into Novitiate ceremony and celebration was mid-Saturday afternoon! The air was bustling with excitement as we readied to welcome a new “sister” into our community. See pictures below! Please check back next week for Sr. Catherine’s thoughts on her entrance.

On Saturday evening, we held a Catholic trivia night with 4 teams! Even though it was multiple choice…. it was quite a challenge! For example: “What’s the youngest age a male can become a priest?” or “What was Judith (in the bible) known for?” The sisters were very competitive, but we all ended up winning ($2!)! :-D

On Sunday morning, we shared about the graces we received at our annual retreat in June. (Every community held their retreat locally due to COVID restrictions by listening to online talks by a Redemptorist priest.) On Sunday afternoon, Sr. Richard Mary, a Sister of Mercy, gave us a conference on “Living in Fraternal Charity,” our annual CMR goal for 2019-2020.

Although COVID-19 limited our movements, God did not limit his graces. As we listened to each of our sister's sharing, we were moved by the beauty He awoke in each of us: to breathe more deeply, to listen more carefully, to receive more gratefully.

We interviewed Sr. Eileen for a more personal sharing of our weekend events! Enjoy and check out the pictures below and at our photogallery!

1.) How do you feel seeing Sr. Catherine entering the novitiate?

I have been praying for Sr. Catherine, I feel so happy that she is willing to take her next step to move deeper into religious commitment. The entrance into the novitiate includes consecration to Mary according to St Louis de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Mary.

It is a new chapter for Sr. Catherine and we pray and hope these two years will help her to get to know Mary better and entrust her life to Mary, our Mother Superior.

2.) What were your thoughts on Sr. Richard Mary’s sharing on fraternal life, resolving conflict in community, caring for one's own personal energy and having compassion for others?

Through Sr. Richard Mary, I am reminded to cherish my sisters, their presence, and their vocations. I like how she demonstrated on how to channel our emotional energy so we can be aware of how easily we let things affect us and how to preserve our energy. I hope we remember to treasure our community and to recognize our roles, our responsibility and our accountability to support and build up one another.

3.) Any funny stories/moments that you remember that touched your heart or would like to share.

The best funny moments was our entertainment for Sr. Jacinta, especially the “Robot Dance” from Sr. Marguerite. It did not look like a “Robot dance” at all. It looked like a bunch of people just having fun and caring less about what others think. We were free to have our own style, like little children having fun around their loving God.

On Friday we celebrated Sr. Jacinta's 50 year jubilee of religious life. Above are a few pictures of her through the years.

We also welcomed Sr. Anna Hồng-Phương, CMR to the U.S Region from our motherhouse in Vietnam.

Catherine receiving her blessed religious habit from Sr. Jacinta (above).

We introduce to you, Sr. Catherine! Sr. Catherine first time in habit (Left). Bishop Rice graciously gave the homily for her Rite of Initiation. Pictured on right with masks due to COVID!

Sisters in Formation with their Formators. From Left to Right: Sr. Jacinta, Sr. Julie (novice), Sr. Catherine (novice), Bình An (postulant), Sr. Emeline (scholastic), Sr. Gwen, and Sr. Pauline. Sr. Veronica (scholastic) not pictured.

Check out our Photogallery for more great pictures!

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