Today is a red-letter day in our monastery. One of our Sisters will make solemn vows today, uniting herself until the end of her life to Our Lord Jesus Christ in the religious life of our Dominican family, and in particular, in this community of cloistered, contemplative nuns in Lufkin.
When a young woman wants to enter this way of life, she comes to visit for a few weeks. Then she goes home to think about her experience here. And if she then wishes to return here, she comes back for a nine-month period of what is called postulancy. During that time, she may leave whenever she wants. If she wishes to continue, she then receives the religious habit and becomes a novice. Again, she may leave at any time during the two years of the novitiate, as it is called. After that, if she still wishes to continue living this life, she makes simple, or temporary, vows for three years. And finally, if she is convinced that this is the life to which God is calling her and she wants to continue for the rest of her life, she makes solemn, or perpetual vows. That is what is happening today to one of our Sisters, and will happen again in about ten days to another.
It is unusual for two Sisters to make solemn vows in so short a time, so there is special joy here at the monastery. The Bishop of the diocese will come for both these occasions to receive the vows of the Sisters and indicate the happiness of the entire diocese to welcome these two young women into a lifelong commitment to Christ in this beautiful life.
Naturally, as I witness these wonderful events, my thoughts go back to that day—August 31, 1960 — God in our Dominican family. The years have gone by very quickly. I am deeply grateful to God for having called me to this life and given me the opportunity to serve Him and His people. How I wish that more young people, who are searching for meaning in their lives, realized the tremendous opportunity that religious life and priesthood offer them, and that they could overcome the secular and irreligious atmosphere that surrounds us in this paganized world so as to offer themselves to God as consecrated members of the Church. The Church needs religious and priests; young people need a reason for living and guidance in life. We must do what we can to bring these two elements together so that many will hear the words of Jesus: “Come, follow me,” and will accept that invitation that brings such joy, such fulfillment. Thank you for
seeking God’s truth, God Bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.
Note: This message was composed some years ago.