“A woman who has nurtured a religious vocation since she was a girl of six years old has finally made her monastic profession as a Tyburn Nun.
Sister Marie-Joseph Newsome was clothed in the white robe of the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmatre OSB at Tyburn Convent, London.
Her sisters, Sharon and Wendy, travelled from their native Auckland, New Zealand, to attend the ceremony.
Sister Marie-Joseph, 33, entered the Tyburn Nuns in New Zealand in January 2007 when she was 26. Her monastic profession ends a journey which began as a child but is also the start of a new quest for perfection.
‘MONASTIC PROFESSION IS AN IMMOLATION OF OUR WHOLE BEING…’
She said: ‘Monastic profession is an immolation of our whole being which, made with love, is extremely pleasing to God.
‘It becomes for those who remain faithful to it the starting point towards perfection and an unfailing source of spiritual blessings.’
She continued: ‘I first wanted to be a nun when I was six years old and God’s call never left me.
‘At first I thought I was called to be a missionary nun so I remember when I was nine years old starting to practise hard for missionary life by wanting to wash myself with just a bucket of cold water and to sleep on the floor… but God had other plans.’
Sister Marie-Joseph added: ‘Coming to England as part of my formation has helped me grow in my vocation.
‘It is good to be on the spot where our Mother Foundress, Marie Adele Garnier, lived and died and also where the Tyburn martyrs gave up their lives for God.’
‘AN UNFAILING SOURCE OF SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS’
The chief celebrant at the Mass for the monastic profession was Bishop Denis Browne of Hamilton, New Zealand, who travelled more than 12,000 miles just for the occasion.
The profession involved Mother Xavier McMonagle, Mother General of the Tyburn Nuns, expressing the charism of the order, asking, among other questions, if Sr Marie-Joseph was willing to persevere in her vows ‘until death’ and if she would ‘strive constantly for the perfect love of God and of your neighbour’.
To each question Sister Marie-Joseph responded: ‘I am.’
She then lay prostrate before the altar while chantresses sang the litany of the saints. The Mother General read out the formula of profession and placed it on the altar where it was signed by Sister Marie-Joseph.
‘TRUST IN GOD’
The nun then sang out her trust in God before the altar with her arms extended before she was consecrated by Bishop Browne.
The white cowl, crucifix and ring were blessed and Mother McMonagle then dressed Sr Marie-Joseph in her new robe.
The crucifix was presented to her by the bishop and the ring placed on her finger by the Mother General, followed by the kiss of peace before the liturgy of the Eucharist.”
– This article by Simon Caldwell entitled “Sister has come a long way to fulfil dream of being a nun” was published in “The Catholic Universe” issue Friday 27th June, 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).