Sister Felicita Alita Sánchez Sánchez is now a finally professed Sister of Mercy in the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland!
Alita made her profession of vows in a eucharistic celebration in the Church of San Pedro of Monsefu, Chiclayo, March 20, 2015. The evening was a wonderful experience of faith, charism, community and ministry all held in the embrace of Mercy.
Attending the ceremony were: Alita’s family, her friends, people from her home in Monsefu, Sisters of Mercy and other women religious from across Peru and four priests (Fr. Lucho, Pedro and Emigdio who are long-time friends of our Sisters, Father Luther who is Parish Priest in Puerto Eten) and Bishop Robert Provost (who presided over the Eucharist).
A centerpiece held the Mercy cross, the candle, a copy of the Constitutions, a teacup, and the framed picture which the Congregation had given Alita as a gift. A delicate flower was placed on the entrance to each pew. A talented choir from the parish led the singing.
Sister Rosa Gumpa served as Guide for the ceremony. Sister Elizabeth Davis, Congregational Leader, gave a welcome at the beginning. The Bishop blessed the water, and four friends of Alita blessed the people in the sprinkling rite. The readings were taken from Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ps 24, Heb 5:7-9 and John 12:20-33. The Bishop’s homily included references to the place of religious life today, the Year of Consecrated Life and the readings. The Rite of Profession was led in Spanish by Elizabeth. The questions of intent addressed to her allowed Alita the opportunity to show to the People of God assembled the depth of her commitment.
The litany of saints that followed included invocation to our founders, two of our sisters who died in an accident in Peru and deceased priests of Monsefu and region who worked with our sisters over the years. Representatives of Alita’s family, the Sisters of Mercy, the Bishop, the priests and the people (the holy ones of today) surrounded Alita – forming, with those whose names were sung, the communion of saints.
Alita read her vows aloud clearly and convincingly, the witnesses (Sheila and Mildred) and Elizabeth signed them with her, she received her ring (engraved with the words of her invitation – “attentive, delicate, patient and faithful God”), she was blessed by the Bishop and embraced by the Sisters of Mercy present.
After the Mass, everyone moved to the reception in a special space near the church. The space was beautifully prepared with white coverings on the tables and on the chairs, round tables with a bouquet of flowers in the centre, cakes arranged in a central table, and touches of lights and gold in decorations around the room. Toasts were given at the beginning. Many photographs were taken. A lovely meal was served. Guests were treated to traditional songs as well as traditional dances with the dancers in beautiful costumes. Then the energetic dancing of all the rest began! All were home by ten o’clock – exhausted, happy and grateful.
What a beautiful moment in the life of our Congregation!
Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland living in Huarmey and Puerto Eten, Peru
L – R Verna Aucoin, Rosa Silva Cumpa, Marion Collins, Mildred Brennan, Alita Sanchez Sanchez, Alice Mackey, Lily Ferrero, Rosali Vargas Mendoza