Fifty years ago, Ann Bradshaw and Mary Martin made their final religious profession as cloistered Dominican Sisters. Last week Saturday, they both celebrated their golden jubilee – but separately. In 2001, Sr Mary Martin was called to live out her vocation in a different way and joined the Sinsinawa Community of Dominicans. Sr Ann has continued to live out her vocation at the Rosary monastery in St Ann’s. The Catholic News congratulates them both on their milestone achievement and their life-giving ministry.
On November 9, around 200 persons gathered at Rosary Monastery Chapel, St Ann’s, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of religious profession of vows of Sr Mary Ann Bradshaw OP, the newly re-elected Prioress of Rosary Monastery. A written Apostolic Blessing, signed by Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Nicola Girasoli on behalf of His Holiness Pope Francis, was delivered in anticipation of the Eucharistic celebration.
Auxiliary Bishop Msgr Robert Llanos presided at the Mass, assisted by Deacons Lennox Toussaint and Patrick Laurence. Frs Clyde Harvey, Derek Anton, Emmanuel Pierre, Leslie Tang Kai and Harold Imamshah concelebrated.
In the context of the readings of that day’s Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, Bishop Llanos shared: “It is a celebration of the integrity of this building block called Ann Bradshaw, in the building, in the temple of the Lord. You only know the integrity of the building, its strength, its value, its worth, when it has stood the test of time and experiences and that’s what we come to celebrate this morning – a heart, that committed to Jesus Christ, has remained faithful, and not just faithful but from what I know of Sr Ann, lovingly faithful to the Lord and to his Church…Sr Ann represents for me a stone in that building which has been constant, dependable and ever present to the Lord. I imagine that the call that Sr Ann received deep in her heart was a call that she chose to respond to not in part but with her whole life, the consequence of which, again, from all reports, all those who encounter Sr Ann, coming to her seeking her counsel and guidance and so on, have been recipients of the life that flows from this sanctuary. Amen! …What we celebrate is the mighty hand of God at work in this sanctuary and in the living stone that is Sr Ann and I imagine by extension all the other sisters who have lived in this monastery over the years and are her companions on the journey.”
Bishop Llanos stated that the celebration was a reminder that all were called to be living stones in God’s temple. He encouraged everyone to reflect on whether their attitudes and behaviours contributed to turning God’s temple into a marketplace, and in what ways they compromised God’s values for selfish consolations.
Bishop Llanos then led the Rite of Renewal of Vows. Dominican Friars Fr Karol Wielgosz and Fr Thomas Lawson sang the Dominican antiphon, “O Spem Miram” while Sr Ann prostrated. Sr Ann then knelt and renewed her profession and obedience to God, Blessed Dominic and the Master of the Order and his successors. Soloist Hermina Charles performed a touching rendition of “Ave Maria”.
The liturgical music sung by the Jubilee singers included traditional Latin hymns such as “Agnus Dei” and “Adoro Te Devote”, and was well appreciated by the congregation.
A luncheon was held after Mass during which Paul Keens- Douglas, in his usual humorous style, shared some key values for the journey ahead, such as love for vocation, leadership and focus.
– Sr Mary Magdalen, Novice