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​CDPs celebrates five Sisters’ perpetual profession of vows, first vows, and renewal of vows

September 10, 2020 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Vocations

CDPs celebrates five Sisters’ perpetual profession of vows, first vows, and renewal of vows

The Congregation of Divine Providence held three ceremonies of late July and early August in which five Sisters celebrated their perpetual profession of vows, first vows, and renewal of vows.

Sister Kate Clare Fitzgerald and Hermana María Cruz De La Cruz Botello celebrated their perpetual profession of vows on July 25 and August 2, respectively. Though miles apart, these Sisters have been bound to one another in their vocation and commitment to sharing the mission of Jesus in our world.

On July 25, Sisters of Divine Providence, while following social distancing guidelines, gathered in Sacred Heart Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake University to celebrate Sister Kate’s perpetual profession of vows. Sister Kate was surrounded by CDP Sisters and family during her final profession and was welcomed to be part of an even bigger family. Sister Kate’s decision was solidified by her desire to do God’s will. Sister Kate said, “To be obedient to God’s will is why we are created, and I believe I can best hear and follow this call to love as a Sister in the Congregation of Divine Providence. God’s love has led me here, and through God’s grace I will continue to follow the call.”

Sister Kate lives in community in Midland and will continue teaching Kindergarten students at St. Ann’s Catholic School.

On August 2, Hermana Maricruz celebrated her perpetual profession of vows in Querétaro, México and was joined by Hermanas De La Divina Providencia and family. Sisters of Divine Providence in San Antonio gathered in Regan Community Room at Our Lady of the Lake Convent Center to watch her profess her final vows via Facebook Live.

Sister Pearl Ceasar, CDP superior general, was unable to visit Querétaro, México due to Coronavirus but shared a video with Hermana Maricruz congratulating her on her final profession while also wishing the Sisters a productive and collaborative event during their regional meeting.

Hermana Maricruz made the decision to profess her final vows, and stated, “I chose to enter the Congregation of Divine Providence because I saw the Sisters’ dedication to simplicity, abandonment to Divine Providence and ministering to those in need. By professing my final vows, I am returning the immense love that our Father has for us. It is also a way to extend the signs of God's provident love in the world while also seeking the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness.”

On July 24, Sister Melissa Renee Cessac professed her first vows in Sacred Heart Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake University. Before professing her first vows, Sister Melissa was a novice. This stage in becoming a Sister is spent exploring, in depth, the call to the vowed life as a Sister of Divine Providence, without any other full-time ministry or education, for two years. After contemplation, reflection and support from family and friends, Sister Melissa decided to take the next step towards becoming a Sister of Divine Providence.

When asked about her decision to become a perpetually professed Sister, Sister Melissa said, “The vows are a public witness to my relationship with Christ. By living the vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience, I am able to freely and intimately dedicate my whole self to God and to loving service to God’s people.”

Sister Melissa worked in recruitment at Lamar University, her alma mater, and served as a youth minister for eight years in her home parish of St. Charles Borromeo in Nederland. After moving to Our Lady of the Lake Convent to further discern her call as a Sister, she worked first at Project QUEST as a career advisor and then with COPS/Metro before becoming a novice in the congregation in 2018.

On Sunday, July 26, Sister Megan Grewing and Sister Christina Cńe Chávez renewed their temporary vows in Annunciation Chapel at Our Lady of the Lake Convent Center. It was a special day for Sister Megan and Sister Christina as they were supported by Sisters of Divine Providence to continue their commitment.

Sister Megan’s renewal of vows is important to her because it furthers her relationship with God. She said, “I want to continue to grow in my relationship with Jesus and my CDP Sisters. I believe my vows are allowing me to become my best self.” To Sister Christina, her renewal of vows means learning about women religious and their accomplishments throughout the centuries. “I choose to be a part of this life because I truly feel called to live out the ‘prophetic’ call as a religious and to be a radical witness in the world of how to entrust one’s life to Divine Providence. I’ve found a place of belonging among the Sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence where I can live out that call,” she commented.

After professing their first vows in 2017 and 2018, Sister Megan and Sister Christina began working full-time in ministry. Sister Megan is now a counselor at Gratia Plena Catholic Counseling Agency in Houston and Sister Christina works in University Ministry at Our Lady of the Lake University. “In my ministry at OLLU, I’ve been able to share and teach about the CDP life, charism, mission, and vocation which is so energizing! I’m passionate about spreading the news about what women religious have been and are up to in their life and ministry,” said Sister Christina. She now focuses on the call to be “provident in our world” due to our society’s recent struggles. She said, “I’ve found myself holding on to the phrase that ‘God brings all things to good’ as my guiding principle in both personal prayer and as a minister. I’m grateful for community life which also provides a space of wisdom when navigating new challenges in both life and ministry. I feel honored to live out my life as a Sister of Divine Providence.”

Sisters of Divine Providence support young women looking to further discern their call to religious life and live out their vocation. If the vocation is of interest, contact the Vocation Core Team at [email protected] or call (210) 434-1866.