In the Year of the Consecrated Life as declared by the Universal Roman Catholic Church, and on the day that secular world observes Valentine Day, the Diocese of St. George’s-in-Grenada welcomed Sr. Gillian Angela Marie Jerome as a Religious Sister of the congregation of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother (SSM).
In a playful, joyful religious ceremony held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception last week Saturday, Sr. Gillian took the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to become a religious sister.
During the almost two-and-three-quarter hour long Ordination Ceremony, Sr. Gillian prostrated herself before Bishop Darius who examined her to verify her readiness and willingness to become a Religious Sister.
The head of the local Roman Catholic Church applauded the call of Pope Francis for this year to be observed as the Year of the Consecrated Life which he said is a gift to the Church.
The Bishop stressed that by Sr. Gillian giving up privileges and advantages, and in so doing it was not just for her sake but also for the sake of the Church and the Nation.
The Roman Catholic clergyman used the occasion to appeal for vocations to both the Religious and Priestly life.
He admonished the young people to emulate the example set by Sr. Gillian who heeded the call to come forth and serve the Church.
Bishop Darius also challenged parents to encourage their children to become Priests and to become more Religious.
He said he is aware of parents discouraging their children but they are the ones who will complain that they have no Priests to serve them at the Parish level.
“So young people, I am encouraging you to look at Sr. Gillian and emulate her courage,” he added.
Formation Director of the Religious Congregation that is based at Gouyave, St. John, Sr. Julie Marie Peters spoke of how delighted the Religious Community is in having a local woman accepting God’s call.
Sr. Julie told Good News Catholic Radio Station that the Sisters are very grateful to God for “this wonderful blessing”.
In preparation for the final steps to become a Religious Sister, Sr. Gillian who is from Victoria, St. Mark will be engaged in a 30 day silent retreat.
After making her first vows, Sr. Gillian was placed in charge of the Youth Ministry of the Diocese.
The young sister’s journey began two years ago with visits to the Convent in St. John’s, and later did her initial training in the United States along with her Apostalacy and Noviciate before returning to the Caribbean.
She first worked in St. Lucia before coming to Grenada, and was taken under the wings of Sr. Julie who guided her formation.
Sr. Julie said during the time of Sister Gillian’s temporary vows, had she felt the Religious Life was not for her, she had an opportunity when the vows had expired to return to the secular life.
Before entering the convent, Sr. Gillian worked at the Caribbean Argo Industries Limited.
With a grateful heart, Sr. Gillian gave thanks to God for the many people and groups that played a part in her formation.
She recognised that the celebration to mark her perpetual vows is one of love, and expressed her joy that it took place on Valentine’s Day.