Vow Day, December 28, 2014
Outside the Cathedral of Santa Cruz del Quiché, Guatemala, Christmas festivities were still in evidence. Inside the cathedral, there were last minute preparations for the Mass of the Feast of the Holy Family and Sr. Rosenda Castañeda González’s vows. The music began with the procession of priests from her town, the local clergy, and Most Rev. Rosolino Bianchetti Boffelli, Bishop of the Diocese of Quiché.
Following the homily, Sr. Jane Iannucelli, President of the Sitsers of Charity, called Sr. Rosenda forward while Sr. Nora Cunningham (Novice Director in Guatemala) testified to her preparation for this step, and Bishop Rosolino ensured it was being done freely. Sr. Rosenda’s family, the Sisters and Associates, as well as the gathered assembly were moved as she prayed, “…with gratitude from the deepest level of my being I desire to respond to your mission of revealing your love in service to all, especially the poor.” As the first Sister of Charity from Guatemala, she consecrated herself by vows. She, Sr. Jane, and the witnesses then signed the vows. Her mother and father presented the pin, which was blessed by the bishop, to Sr. Jane, who then put it on Sr. Rosenda with joy, which resounded throughout the cathedral in applause.
Sister Rosenda’s Vows:
Heavenly Father, you call me by name. Today I want to respond gratefully from the bottom of my heart to your mission. I want to reveal your love in service to all, especially the poor. I commit myself to follow your Son, Jesus, and to consecrate myself to you with my whole being.
I, Rosenda Magdalena Castañeda González, in the presence of all of you and of Sister Jane, our president, pronounce the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience for three years, according to the Constitution of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of New York.
Father, grant me the grace to be faithful to these vows and to live my commitment with joy, through the intercession of Mary our Mother, of St. Elizabeth, and of all the saints and martyrs. Amen.
Supper with family and friends followed at the Barbara Ford Peace Center.
Entrance Day, January 3, 2015
It was the second joyous occasion within the week for the Sisters of Charity of New York in Guatemala when Sr. Jane welcomed two Guatemalan women as Postulants.
At a mass celebrated in the formation house, Sr. Jane presented Manuela Quiché Tzoc and María Pablo Andrés Santos with a bible, the Sisters of Charity Mission Statement, and a medal of St. Elizabeth in a ceremony following the homily.
The two families filled the house to capacity, which added to the joy of the occasion. Lunch followed and people relaxed in the beauty of the day.
There were many tears of joy this day but also some of sadness as families began to leave and their daughters stayed to begin their new life.