Tomorrow, Sunday, July 23, two women will be making their vows in our chapel here in Boston. One is from Massachusetts (the Boston area), the other from Louisiana. These ladies are "consecrated laity." This means that they live at home, they hold regular jobs, and they profess the same religious vows that we Sisters do who live in a convent. The two women have just complete more than seven years of preparation: a year of postulancy (postulant is from the Latin word "to ask". That is, they ask to be admitted to the Institute.) Then they have at leas ta year of novitiate (from novice: again from the Latin word for "new," someone who is "new" at religious life.) Then the women take vows of obedience to a superior, poverty--that is to live simply, frugally, and thus "freely." Poverty frees a person from being overly concerned about material things to be free to work for God. Chastity frees a person to be totally dedicated to loving God in Christ. This is a sacrifice of marriage in order to be free to love Christ, and all one;s brothers and sisters in Christ. Chastity may seem a negative value to some people today. Yet seen in the light of the love of Christ, it frees a person from erotic love to love with the love of "agape." There has to be the fire of a passionate love for God which is shown in prayer and in deeds of real Christian service. The two women are members of the Institute of Our Lady of the Annunciation. At the Annunciation the Angel Gabriel told Mary to rejoice since she was chosen to be the Mother of Christ. The Annunciationists are called to bring joy to the world by living the Gospel, the Good News of Christ, at home and in the work place. As Mary did after the Angel left her, the Annunciationist after saying "yes" to the Lord through her acceptance of God's will, brings Jesus with her through her silent witness to the goodness of God.
I hope to post some photos of the Mass and ceremony tomorrow.
The Annunciationists take vows to a member of the Society of St. Paul--priests dedicated to using the media for Christ. One of the priests serves as the ultimate superior to whom the woman refer to for major decisions regarding finances and other important life decisions.
We will find out more about the group whose inititals are IOLA as we make more postings.