JERUSALEM – Two members of the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters made their profession before Bishop Shomali at the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Jerusalem on Monday August 15, 2016.
It was a great moment of joy and jubilation to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and an occasion for two Sisters of the Congregation of the Rosary Sisters to profess their vows. On Monday August 15, 2016, Sister Noha Mikhaeil, of Egyptian origin made her perpetual profession, while Sister Rand Hamarneh from Kerak in Jordan, professed her first vows.
The profession ceremony for both Sisters was held during the Solemn Mass on August 15, a big feast day for the community of the Rosary Sisters, born of the desire which was expressed by the Virgin Mary in person to Saint Marie Alphonsine, canonized in May 2015. The Superior General of the Rosary Sisters, Mother Ines Al-Yacoub with Sisters in her community from different centers in the region were present for this event, in the little Church in the Mamilla area, dedicated to St. Marie Alphonsine where her relics are enshrined.
The Congregation of the Rosary Sisters now numbers 280 Sisters from around the world, all of Arab origin. It was founded in the late nineteenth century by the Chancellor of the Latin Patriarchate at that time, Father Youssef Tannous and St. Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, following the Virgin Mary’s apparitions to her.
The Congregation serves in several countries in the region: Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel and the Arab Emirates, where they run hospitals and reputable schools, according to the requests of the Virgin Mary, who expressed to St. Marie Alphonsine to serve in education. Some sisters also work in difficult areas, especially in Aleppo and Gaza.
In his homily, Bishop William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar for Jerusalem and Palestine, stressed: “the feast of the Assumption reminds us that we are made for eternal life, and our life here on earth is to prepare for it.” The Bishop made the connection between the solemnity and professions, noting that “the life of a religious is a sign of the Kingdom that will come: a religious reminds us by her consecration, her habit, her way of life, that there is another life, eternal life – a life worth waiting for.”
“We must keep our feet on the ground, while looking up to heaven”, the Bishop continued, echoing the words of Pope Francis, “The Virgin on the other hand, if her body is in heaven, always has her eyes on us.” He asked and invited the faithful to imitate her and ask for her intercession “for the Church of Jerusalem in much need of her”.
Some poignant moments highlighted the profession ceremony, including the singing of the Litany of Saints while the two Sisters prostrated as a sign of total consecration to God and the presentation of the nuptial ring to Sister Noha and the Rule of Congregation to Sister Rand.