Sr. Julie Kim-Hoa's First Profession of Vows Mass
Updated: Apr 15, 2021
Nestled in the desert of Lent are two oasitic feasts: The Solemnity of St. Joseph on March 19 and the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25. The bare branches and cactus décor in the chapel are replaced by an array of beautiful flowers and fasting is set aside for feasting! In Scripture, transformative experiences happen in gardens - the Garden of Eden, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Garden of the Empty Tomb. Thus, the CMR leadership found it meaningful to have my first profession on the feast of St. Joseph in the Year of St. Joseph. What a blessing!
I was a bundle of nerves when I woke up Friday morning. The sisters and I began the day with the usual morning prayer and meditation. But shortly afterwards my family and friends (as far as CA and TX) came early to have breakfast with some of the sisters. There was a definite sense of excitement in the air. My sister brought me beautiful flowers (I love flowers!) and a much-needed Starbucks latte. I ran around saying hello, feeling overwhelmed by all the love and attention I was receiving.
However, soon I left to recollect myself before the Mass. I recalled the words on my soon-to-be-eaten cake: "All is Gift." I felt a very firm conviction that God in His always mysterious yet marvelous ways, brought me to this point in my life. There were reasons for everything in my life up to this day: adventures traveled, opportunities missed, relationships lost, and extraordinary friendships gained. All, in reality, have been gift. These gifts gave me the grace to trust God in this next step of religious life.
The Mass and the Rite of Profession were beautiful and very meaningful, definitely demonstrating the transformative experience (Check out the Liturgical Guide). I pronounced the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience according to the CMR Constitutions. Shortly after, I signed my document of profession. Sr. Jacinta, our Congregation’s Regional Superior, received my vows and Bishop John Leibrecht was the official Church witness. Exchanging out the novitiate white veil, I received a gray veil and officially became a consecrated religious! Mind-blowing. Now time to live it out! (Please continue to pray for me.)
Of course, we had a delicious feast afterwards with the CMR community, Bishop John, Fr. Lewis, Fr. Allen, and my family and friends. My favorite animal is the ladybug (named after Our Lady) so the awesome decorating team had a ladybug-themed reception — I was thrilled! It was wonderful to be able to gather together safely after a difficult year of "lockdown." Overall, it was a very memorable day! Thanks be to God! See our photo album for the beautiful memories