We have a wonderful monastery custom of having two celebrations for our sisters when they celebrate their 25th and 50th anniversary of profession of vow, one is public and the other private.
A month ago we had Mother Catherine Marie’s private celebration – a Jubilee Gaudeamus day – just for us nuns. (Gaudeamus – “let us rejoice”) It was a day of great fun and community bonding as everyone enjoyed the special meals, participated in “monastery” games, and watched a skit in which we visited highlights of Mother Catherine Marie’s vocation journey in song and act.
As the festivities began, Mother was greeted with her “carriage” for the day — a wheelchair transformed into a two-rank organ! Sr. Rose Marie was given the privilege of “pushing Mother around” for the day.
When Mother entered the monastery she gave up many things (to gain everything – JESUS!) including a full scholarship to the Louisville School of Music. She has been the organist and liturgist of our Divine Worship for many monastic years.
Our two main themes for the day were fish and music as seen in the photo above. You might think these don’t go together but think again…
Mother Catherine Marie first heard of the Passionist Nuns the summer before her senior year of high school while wading up to her neck in water with friends at a lake in her hometown of Louisville, KY. They were discussing their plans of attending an upcoming retreat at the Passionist Nuns monastery and “Kay” mentioned she was interested. “YOU!” was the response she got. She was doing a pretty good job at hiding her discernment of a religious vocation!
At the end of the skit we inundated Mother Catherine Marie with 50 balloons representing 50 years of catching souls for Jesus. See some of the balloons below…
This is a view from behind the scenes of the “This Is Your Life” skit complete with specially written songs, excellent acting, costuming, props and the posters shown below.
Above represents the bus Mother rode to the retreat at the Passionist Nuns monastery. First her car broke down on the way to the bus station and she nearly missed the bus and then the bus broke down half way to Owensboro! In retrospect she wondered if the enemy was trying to keep her from the monastery. Sr. Cecilia Maria did a great job of designing the bus.
Sr. Rose Marie did a superb job acting out the key moments of Mother’s life up to her First Profession of Vows. Elizabeth at left portrayed Mother Catherine Marie’s younger sister who on the day Mother entered the monastery said in tears, “Who will make us cupcakes?” You know older sisters are famous for making all kinds of treats with and for their siblings…she was losing her treat maker!
The seven scenes of the skit are shown above…you have to read the signs counter-clockwise starting at the bottom right-hand corner to follow the proper order.
We recorded the skit but unfortunately the audio is garbled…
Our theme song was “I Will Follow Him”. As we prepared the skit we discovered that this song was a hit in 1963 – the year Mother Catherine Marie made her First Profession of Vows! Here is the refrain…
I will follow Him,
Follow Him wherever He may go,
And near Him, I always will be,
For nothing can keep me away,
He is my destiny.
I will follow Him,
Ever since He touched my heart I knew,
There isn’t an ocean too deep,
A mountain so high, it can keep,
Keep me away, away from His love.
Our violinists treated us to a concert that evening playing some of Mother Catherine Marie’s favorite pieces with Elizabeth assisting as page turner.
As the day ended Mother Catherine Marie had a gift for all of us: Pope Francis’ Encyclical Lumen Fidei.