Tears of Joy During Installation of Prioress

Last Sunday we installed a new prioress. Sister Sandra Brunenn, OSB (left) became the 14th prioress of our community in its 138-year history. What a beautiful and moving ceremony!

It was a new experience for me, as Sister Phyllis (right) has been prioress since I entered. It absolutely moved me to tears.

My first teary moment came during the wise, good-humored and prayerful homily given by Abbot Philip Davey, OSB (from St. Bede Abbey, Peru, Ill.). He gave Sister Sandra a card on which a mustard seed was cradled in a hand. He explained that the mustard seed was Sister Sandra, and that she was being placed in God’s hand.

Abbot Philip promised to pray for Sister Sandra every day. What a beautiful gift from the leader of one community to another!

The 2nd thing that moved me to tears happened after Sister Sandra was installed. We lined up in front of her and cupped our hands to show our obedience to her. She then placed her hands beneath ours to show her support. Finally, she closed her hands over ours, forming a prayerful gesture, to symbolize that we would do it all together. What an extraordinary blessing!

I have been pondering the ceremony ever since. I was reminded of it again this morning, during Lauds when we prayed, Like a shepherd you feed your flock, in your arms you gather the lambs, carrying them in your bosom, and leading the ewes with care. 

If you have any questions about our community, please contact me. I will be happy to tell you all about it!! 🙂

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