In February and March, 2012 the Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland marked three major events in the life of the Congregation, the Mercy Sisters in Peru and in the life of three wonderful women, their communities, families and friends.
On February 5 Alita Sanchez Sanchez, from Monsefu renewed her vows as a Sister of Mercy, her third year in preparation for permanent commitment.
On March 1 Maria Elizabeth Galan Fiestas from San Jose on the coast of Peru was received as a postulant in the chapel at the house in Ichocan, Peru. Nine Sisters of Mercy of Newfoundland were present with Maria for her reception as a Postulant, a period of discernment leading to the time of Novitiate.
On March 3, we celebrated the first profession of Rosali Esperaza Vargas Mendoza whose home community is LaGrama in the Andes. These three women are journeying through the various stages of the formation program of new members to full incorporation as Sisters of Mercy. They bring new life and great hope to the Sisters of Mercy, to the church and to the people of Peru. The reception of a postulant and the renewal of vows usually take place in a simple ceremony. The First Profession of Vows is celebrated more publicly and with special ceremony.
Rosali celebrated her First Profession in her home pueblo of LaGrama in company with Sisters, her family and friends. Thirty-five friends travelled to Ichocan, some travelled for two nights by bus from the coast, Lima and northern Peru. Among these were twenty-three sisters of Mercy and our new postulant, Maria, all who minister in various regions of Peru. Others were friends and colleagues of Rosali from Lima, Puerto Eten, Reque and Monsefu where Rosali has ministered. Padre Lucho Santamaria, a longtime friend of our sisters from the coast presided and gave a wonderful homily; he was joined by Padre Walter Cruz, pastor of neighboring San Marcos. All these travelers enjoyed the hospitality and accommodations and then a special meal at our Ichocan sisters` community before going to LaGrama for the Eucharist.
The people of the pueblo and all the guests filled the Church in LaGrama with a spirit of joy and great participation. A delicious meal of cardero (lamb) was prepared by the LaGrama catechists and served with the help of parishioners from Ichocan to over a hundred guests in the lovely adjoining Parish Centre. A classmate of Rosali’s was MC at the lively dance that followed with all forms of dancing. Rosali expressed her joy in making her first profession in these words, “With great joy, I give thanks to God for fixing God`s gaze on me. I celebrate the mercy and fidelity of God expressed together with our pueblo. With profound love, I say ‘Yes’ to this call that allows me to share with joy the Reign of God. Thank you to my family, community, friends and my pueblo for accompanying me on this very special celebration”.
We all rejoice deeply in the treasure of hope and blessing celebrated in the generous commitment of Alita, Maria and Rosali. We ask God’s continued grace in their lives, and in the life of the Sisters of Mercy and of the Church in Peru.