"By virtue of their dedication lived in fullness and in joy, consecrated women are called
in a very special way to be signs of God's tender love toward the human race and to be special witnesses to the mystery of the Church, Virgin, Bride, and Mother." ~ Vita Consecrata, 57
Perpetual profession of vows of Sister Maria Faustina of Our Mother of Mercy
The final profession of vows is a solemn and grace-filled moment for the Sister, the Community, and the whole Church. It represents the moment when the Church affirms, ratifies, and makes permanent the response the Sister made to Christ's loving call many years before. She professes the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience according to the rule of life of her community, committing to strive for perfect charity in her way of life. By perpetual profession, the Sister enters into a spiritual marriage that is unbreakable.
The Litany of Saints
Following the examination, the Sister prostrates before the altar for the praying of the Litany of the Saints. The Bishop asks those present to join in praying that Sister may be strengthen in her resolve and address Sister:
"Sister, you are dead to the world and your life is hidden in Christ. God forbid that you should glory save in the cross of your beloved Crucified Spouse, that having lived daily in Him, you may one day be conducted by our heavenly Mother to the eternal consummation of your Divine espousals.
"Saint Maria Faustina, ora pro nobis!
"Saint Teresa of Calcutta, ora pro nobis!
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, ora pro nobis!
At the conclusion of the Litany, the Bishop prays:
"Arise, and live ever as one in the world but not of the world.
Be not a foolish, but a wise virgin with her lamp ever trimmed."
The Solemn Consecration
After the profession of vows, the Sister kneels before the Bishop as he prays the prayer of consecration. This prayer is a prayer of praise of God's mercy, a brief synopsis of salvation history
and an asking down ofHis special graces on this His chosen bride that she may be
faithful and fruitful in her life of consecration.
The Presentation of the Ring and the Crown of Thorns
Following the solemn consecration, the newly perpetually professed Sister kneels before the Bishop to receive the gold ring of a perpetually professed member of the community (engraved within 'To Jesus, my heart, my all, forever), while the Bishop says:
"Receive this ring, for you are betrothed to the Eternal King. Keep faith with your
Bridegroom so that you may come to the wedding feast of eternal joy."
The Sister responds:
I am the Bride of Him whom the angels serve, who the sun and moon gaze upon with admiring wonder.
The Lord Jesus has placed His ring upon my finger. He has clothed me in the character of His spouse."
The Sister then is crowned by our Mother Superior with a crown of thorns:
"Receive, beloved Sister, the crown of thorns in memory of the crown of the Lord,
and through this may you know that not to be joined to your Thorn-Crowned Head, that is Christ,
is to be a delicate member, and if you bear the crown of thorns of tribulation in this life He shall render you, His spouse, a crown of glory forever."
At the conclusion of the Holy Sacrifice, the Sisters renew their total consecration to Jesus through Mary before
the image of Our Lady of Fatima as is our custom on all major feasts and occasions in the life of the community.