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Sister Liz McGill Received into IHM Novitiate

Slideshow of Sister Liz McGill's reception into the IHM Novitiate

Entrance Ceremony for Liz McGill

Ellen Maroney, IHM

September 8, 2019

 

Good afternoon, Everyone.  This is indeed a very good afternoon, a very special afternoon, and I welcome our sisters and associates who are here in person and those who join us via live stream, those in Peru and Mexico, and wherever we are, and especially our sisters at Our Lady of Peace. 

I want to thank those sisters who have reached out in many different ways during this year to enable Liz to become familiar with us as individuals and as a congregation:  Sisters Margaret Gannon, Michel Keenan, Cathy Luxner, Ann Marie Sanders, Mary Ellen Higgins, and Mindy Welding taught classes for Liz on our IHM history and spirituality and as part of the Inter-Novitiate program we participate in. Sisters Betty, Vincentia, Kieran, Maria Goretti, and Leonette were special guest speakers in Liz’s history of the congregation class.  Our thanks also to the sisters who shared life and ministry with Liz this year at Marywood University, St. Joseph’s Center, Friends of the Poor, and Sicuani, Peru, the sisters at Our Lady of Peace and the IHM Center, and those with whom Liz lived in community, the sisters at Capouse and Annunciation communities.  I want to particularly thank Sister Mary Elaine who has journeyed with Liz during this past year and who, I understand, is being petitioned by Liz to build a golf course for the novices!  She thinks it could also be a money-maker for the congregation, so Terri Jordan is looking in to it.

Liz, your desire to pursue this call was nurtured in you during your youth at home in Elmira, NY with your parents and your brothers and sisters.  Through your many and varied life experiences, God’s invitation was stirring within you because of your heart’s connection with the God in you.  Your personal yearning for a deeper relationship with Christ coincided with your longing for something beyond your worldly success and achievements.  Your restlessness connected with your desire to do more for the less fortunate and the powerless in society.  In your letter expressing your desire to enter the novitiate, you wrote that this decision “is the best way for me to come fully alive to the will of God, in the spirit of God, for the reign of God.”  Liz, we are grateful your trust in God at this time and your desire to join with us as you continue to discern your call to religious life as an IHM.  We assure you of our continued prayers and support

So in the presence of the congregation leadership, Sister Mary Elaine, your mentors, role models, and friends in community and ministry, I welcome you, Liz, to a new way of being and living out your call and welcome you among us, your sisters and companions.  And as you begin this next step on your journey, I’d like to paraphrase a prayer that captures my, and all of our, wishes for you:

Liz,

          May you be further enriched by the opportunities you will have to deepen your understanding of religious life, our IHM history and charism, and the ways in which we witness to God’s life in our world through the evangelical counsels;

          May the times of silence and the spirit of your canonical phase grace you with a sense of spirituality that will open your heart even wider to the limitless love and power of God’s presence within you;

          May you encounter empty spaces in your soul so that you will learn the wisdom of the forgotten, the overlooked, and the powerless in our society;

          May you grow even more in your understanding of your own goodness, kindness, and compassion, so that those whom you will serve throughout your life will see you and know that God is good and merciful and compassionate;

          May you be disturbed, in good ways, in holy ways, when you are confronted with the shadows that will show up on occasion – your shadows and ours; may you be disturbed enough to seek change, but not disturbed enough to surrender your dream and your call;

          May you embrace the surprises that will change the course of your life, because those surprises are the signs of God’s work within you and around you;

          May you stay on fire as you continue to run for God’s heart so that your one life will indeed make a difference in our world.  Amen.