Five sisters profess perpetual vows as Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma


Photo left to right: Sister Miriam Fidelis Reed, Sister Brigid Mary Meeks, Bishop Richard Stika, Bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee, Bishop James D. Conley, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska, Sister Maria Crucis Garcia, Sister Maria Juan Anderson and Sister Andrea Marie Lee pose for a photo following the Ritual Mass with the Profession of Perpetual Vows. 

In a joyful ritual Mass, five women professed their perpetual vows as Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw on Monday, Aug. 16. 

Sister Maria Juan Anderson, Sister Andrea Marie Lee, Sister Maria Crucis Garcia, Sister Miriam Fidelis Reed and Sister Brigid Mary Meeks each professed their perpetual vows. 

The perpetual profession comes at the end of nearly a decade of formation and discernment with the Religious Sisters of Mercy. 

“Perpetual profession closes the chapter of my life that focused on discernment and begins the full incorporation into the community, which is a greater responsibility. There is a growing sense of peace and joy that comes from knowing I am where he wants me to be.  It is such a gift— a gift of God’s merciful Love!” said Sister Maria Crucis Garcia, RSM. 

“Profession of perpetual vows is an utterly astounding work of the grace of God,” said Sister Miriam Fidelis Reed, RSM. “The years we have in temporary vows have been for me a time of real growth in love of God and in living out the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience as vows and our fourth vow of service to the poor, sick and ignorant. I am in awe of the Lord’s mercy and unbounded love and know he will bring this good work to completion in his time and in ways I cannot begin to imagine.” 

Watch full video of the Mass

View photos from the Mass by clicking here.

Betrothed to the eternal King, Jesus

During the Mass, each sister professed her vows, reading from a handwritten formulary, while kneeling before Mother Mary McGreevy, Superior General of the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma. After each sister had professed vows, Bishop James D. Conley, Bishop of Lincoln, Nebraska prayed a solemn prayer of consecration over the sisters. Mother Mary McGreevy then placed a ring signifying religious profession on the finger of each sister, reminding them that they are betrothed to the eternal King, Jesus.

“Perpetual profession means responding by the grace of God to the incredible invitation of Jesus to be totally his, a full flowering of the consecration begun at our Baptism.  It means becoming more fully conformed to Jesus, in praise of the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit,” said Sister Maria Juan Anderson.

Bishop Conley, who celebrated the Mass with His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali and concelebrants Bishop Richard Stika, Bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee, reminded the sisters in his homily that their presence reminds others of “there is another world each of us was created for.”  More than 30 priests concelebrated the Mass, coming from all parts of the country and the Diocese of Saginaw to support the sisters in their perpetual profession.

People can see the goodness

“You are fundamentally oriented towards that invisible world,” he said. “People can see the goodness.”

Bishop Conley added that he had the honor of celebrating 13 other liturgies so far this summer in which women religious professed vows— a sign that religious life is alive and well, he said.

“The joy and generosity of you young women is a real sign of hope. I am overwhelmed by the faith and the courage and the beauty of these young women,” he said. 

To Sister Brigid Mary Meeks, this orientation to the kingdom is evident both in the profession of perpetual vows and daily life.

“On the one hand, it is a moment where I proclaim in all my mortality that I am destined for immortality, that we are made to be sharers in eternal Beatitude through the time-fulfilling Word who is Christ, our Inheritance. On the other hand, the profession of vows only begins in his name, who sustains all things— ‘In the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,’” I begin.”

'My God, I am Thine for time and eternity'

As perpetually professed religious, the sisters will share all things in common with the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma. Their Suscipe of Venerable Mother Catherine McAuley prayer begins:  “My God, I am Thine for time and eternity.”

“As a perpetually professed religious, I look forward to continuing to deepen my union with God and my commitment to our common vowed life with my Sisters in the Church.  As a response to the “Universal call to Holiness” from Vatican Council II, I will continue to strive to grow in faith, hope and charity and to serve God’s people by God’s unceasing mercy,” said Sister Andrea Marie Lee.