Called by name

Do not be afraid I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow me, I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine...

Eight years ago today, after almost five months of preparation, twelve of us processed into the chapel of the Villa Lante, Rome, singing this song by David Haas. Two hours and lots of singing, praying and liturgising later we processed out again, this time exultantly singing a Spanish Magnificat:

Mi alma glorifica el Senor mi Dios
Gozase me espiritu en mi salvador
El es mi alegria, el es mi plenitud
El es todo para mi...

Somewhere halfway between these two songs nine of us had made our perpetual professions of vows, had said - publicly, officially, each in her own language - what we had hitherto only said in the depths of our hearts: "forever". The other three made their professions later in their own provinces. Like all RSCJ each of us made her vows, said her "forever" trusting in the fidelity of God and the love of my sisters.

Since that day one of the group has left, one has had leave of absence, and the rest have had our wobbles, our times of difficulty and disenchantment, as well as our times of contentment and certainty. Like any other way of life religious life has its ups and downs, its joys and challenges - at times both sides of the same coin. But throughout, regardless of how we have been, two things have been sure: that we have been loved and supported by our sisters, and that the God who lovingly called each of us by name, beyond our fears, has been faithful. That in itself is something worth celebrating!

Herz-Kreuz by Manfred Bugl
A few days before profession each group is given a name by our Superior General: one that sets a seal on our experience and character as group, and calls us into our new identity as professed RSCJ. Effectively, we have each been doubly called by name! My group is The Open and Welcoming Heart of Jesus, and the picture on the right was given to us as our emblem.

Every year on my anniversary I look back, giving thanks for what has been, and then look forward, re-committing myself to whatever might be. And I do this knowing that I can trust in the fidelity of God and in the love of my sisters. And every year I recall with love and gratitude those eleven women, from ten different countries, with whom I shared that intense time of preparation, with all of whom I share a name and with most of whom I share an anniversary: Agnes, Ale, Annie, Becky, Lourdes, Margaret, Martine, Quena, Seiko, Sheila, Sue. All of us doubly called by name, to discover and make known the love of the Open and Welcoming Heart of Jesus, wherever and however we are...


  1. Happy anniversary! May the Open and Welcoming Heart of Jesus continue to inspire, invite, call, and encourage...

    Much you and each of your group...

  2. Happy Anniversary and best wishes

  3. ¡Feliz Aniversario! Que cada día sigas estrenando aquel sí y seas expresión del Amor grande de Su Corazón.

  4. Happy anniversary, my lovely! May each year find you more in love and on fire with your vocation than the last. Love and prayers, xx

  5. Feliz aniversaro que el Corazon de Jesus te lleve a cumplir muchos aniversarios mas en su amor

  6. Happy anniversary! May you always find deep happiness and joy in your vocation to love and be loved :-) xx

  7. Happy Anniversary Silvana. Thanks for all the good memories, love and support. May this year be another year of discovery into the open and welcoming heart of Jesus. Love and prayer.

  8. Thank you everyone for your loving greetings and support. "In the strength of his Spirit, together we will glorify his Heart"

    Gracias por vuestros saludos carinosos y apoyo. "En la fuerza del Espiritu, glorificaremos juntas su Corazon".


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