21 November 2007

Renewal of Vows

Today we share a bit of our history and a little taste of our tradition. As is the custom of our Order, we renew our Vows during Mass each year on the 21st of November. In addition, each sister writes and signs her vows in our vow book (each year, every year!) This vow book dates to 1816, when our monastery replaced our first vow book because it was too small! Every sister who has made profession in our house has signed this book. If a sister happens to be visiting on the Feast of the Presentation, she signs our book on the guest page. Our Vow Book is a rich piece of our history and we are very fortunate that it was preserved from harm during our 1993 fire when our intrepid archivist, pictured below, went back into the burning building to retrieve the book!

The Vow Book is enshrined in our chapel, on the west wall, between the stained glass pictures of the Visitation and the giving of the constitutions to St. Jane de Chantal. Below is a close-up of a sister's page in the book, dating from the late 19th century.

"Grant, O Jesus, holy and sweet love of our souls, that the year in which each Sister shall inscribe her oblation in this book may be a year of sanctification for her; the day, a day of salvation, the hour an hour of lasting benediction."

From the three wishes of St. Francis de Sales written into the front of every monastery's Vow Book.

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