Sister Madelyn Louttit Makes Perpetual Monastic Profession - June 9, 2012

Sister Madelyn Louttit Makes Perpetual Monastic Profession - June 9, 2012

Congratulations and blessings to Sister Madelyn Louttit, who made her Perpetual Monastic Profession today. Today we celebrate her final step in becoming a fully professed Benedictine Sister of Annunciation Monastery!

Thank you to all of our family and friends who gathered at Annunciation Monastery today to help us celebrate this blessed occasion. May God bless you, Sister Madelyn, today and every day!

The following is a reflection from Prioress Sister Nancy Miller:

Perpetual Monastic Profession – Sister Madelyn Louttit
June 9, 2012

Sister Madelyn, we your community, friends and colleagues, know you have longed for this special day ever since you arrived at our monastery six years ago. In a just a few minutes you will receive what you have long desired.

Today Sister Madelyn and our community of Annunciation Monastery make a commitment to one another. Sister Madelyn promises to live the Benedictine life of our community for the rest of her life. She asks for God’s help and support of our community, and you, God’s people. We, the monastic community, promise that we will uphold her.

Sister Madelyn, you are a gift to us. We admire your courage to leave behind everything familiar in New York - a career, house, car, many of your possessions, and family and friends. You gave up all that and came to a monastery on the Dakota prairies for only one reason. And that is your deep desire to grow in your relationship with God though the monastic life. Thank you, Sister Madelyn, for your perseverance and resolve in adjusting to the many changes in your life these past six years.

St. Benedict asks if the candidate truly seeks God. Sister Madelyn, we know you are intent on making God the center of your life. We are inspired by your faithfulness to personal prayer, our common prayer and your insightful comments of shared lectio.

You desire God, but God also wants to be with you. God is the one who called you. In the Gospel from St. John which you selected for this Eucharist, Jesus says “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain.”

What is this fruit that Jesus speaks about? It is in the second reading you chose –“heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Sr. Madelyn you already have those gifts and you, like all of us, will continue to make them a deeper part of your being.

Today before all of us in this chapel, you will make a public commitment to dedicate yourself to God and to the community of Annunciation Monastery.
It is fitting that you will make your monastic profession in this sacred place of worship, the heart of our monastic community. It is here we gather three times a day for common prayer. It is here were we receive the Eucharist. It is here we grow closer to Jesus. As you commit yourself to God and to our community, we sisters of Annunciation Monastery in turn promise you our love and support.

In a moment you will make a three-fold promise of stability, fidelity to the monastic life and obedience. Let’s take just a moment to reflect on what that three-fold promise means.

Stability means that Sister Madelyn will continue to bond herself to the Sisters of Annunciation Monastery. She will continue to put down roots here in this place and with the women of Annunciation Monastery. Together we will grow in our love and support for one another as we serve the people of the prairies. This is home for Sister Madelyn.

By fidelity to the monastic way of life, Sister Madelyn will keep on, keeping on. She will open herself to the transforming grace of God. She will strive to be faithful to the entire monastic lifestyle – prayer, community and service – for the rest of her life.

Obedience involves listening intently for the will of God in her life. Sister Madelyn will listen and respond to the voice of God which she will hear through Scripture, the Rule of Benedict, the prioress, her sisters, those she works with, and everyday events. Through all of these, God will speak and lead her to become a woman of deep love.

During the rite of profession, Sister Madelyn will approach the altar and make her promise which she has written. She will place the document on the altar as a sign of her total dedication to Christ. She and I will sign it. It will remain on the altar during this Eucharist.

Then with arms extended, Sister Madelyn will sing the Suscipe three times. Each time we sisters will respond as a sign of our unity with her. The Suscipe, “Receive me, O Lord,” is an ancient prayer asking God to receive the gift of ourselves.

Sister Madelyn then will prostrate as we all pray God’s blessings upon her. To lay oneself on the floor before the monastic community is an expression of one’s total dependence on the community for everything, especially our prayerful support.

After this prayer, Sister Madelyn will receive a ring, a visible sign of her commitment to God and the Benedictines of Annunciation Monastery. It is designed with our bell banner, a symbol of a lifelong dedication to God and community.

Sister Madelyn, you have come to know the encouragement and wisdom of St. Benedict through his rule and our community. You are also encouraged by the words we heard from the Book of Proverbs, “My child, if you receive my words…if you call…if you seek…then you will understand and God you will find.” This is your desire, to come to know and love God more deeply through your call to embrace the monastic way of life.

Sister Madelyn, you are ready to be counted as one of our community from this day forward. We are eager to receive your perpetual monastic profession. God bless you this day and forever.

Together we pray for Sister Madelyn, her family, and for us, her community, who continue to walk with her and support her along the journey of life.


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