On September 8, 2020, at the little Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Cape, in the presence of Oblates, members of my family, my friends, and the Carmelite Friars (celebrant and animator of the singing), I professed my first vows with great emotion and joy!
Gertrude, my formator, and Marie, the regional leader, accompanied me in a wonderful way in preparing me for this memorable stage in my journey as a member of the Institute. They were very involved in the smooth unfolding of this celebration and I thank them. And what a beautiful fraternal event it was!
It is with great emotion too that I found myself in the company of my Oblate companions, my family and my friends. For my first vows, the little Sanctuary became the gathering place for people who are very dear to me, but also with the presence of those in Heaven. Father Parent, founder of the Institute, was with us spiritually but also symbolically with the chalice on the altar that had belonged to him and had been donated to the Sanctuary Museum, thanks to a kind gesture on the part of Martin Yelle, director of the mission of the Sanctuary.
What joy when Denise, President of the Institute, invited me forward to profess my first vows! It is difficult to put into words such an experience of interiority. Briefly put, I experienced “a spark of eternity:” feelings and emotions, an interior foretaste best expressed as an indelible stamp imprinted on my heart. Another joy was seeing companions of my team renewing their vows during this same celebration.
The ceremony concluded with a fraternal meal with the joyful mingling of Oblates, families, friends and the celebrant, Friar Ange-Marie, d.c.f. The gifts received could in themselves be the subject of a complete article, so great was their symbolism for this stage of my Oblate life.
Following this September 8, the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, I am filled with gratitude for this beautiful grace given to me and in which my Oblate companions are journeyers and missionaries with me! I thank from the bottom of my heart everyone present at this moment of eternity!
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