A very special custom-tradition in the Society of the Sacred Heart is for a member of our religious leadership team to send us to a new ministry. A member of our Provincial leadership team, Sister Sheila Hammond, RSCJ, came to New Orleans last week from St. Louis to formally send me to ministry at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. This special commissioning ritual was held after the homily at the Opening of School Liturgy. The text of this ceremony is shared here with you.
INTRODUCTION: In today’s celebration, we take part in a long standing practice within our religious community and within the Church to send our religious sisters to carry out the mission in their respective ministries. We send each of our sisters on a mission to glorify the heart of Jesus and of making known His love. This morning, as a member of the Provincial Team of the Society of the Sacred Heart, I invite you to pray with me in silence as I commission Sr. Guste to this ministry.
COMMISSIONING: Gracious God, You have called Sr. Guste into discipleship with you as a Religious of the Sacred Heart. Trusting in your fidelity and in the love and support of her community, she has promised to serve the mission of the Society with all of her heart. (Place hand over head or on shoulder.)
May she have the grace and wisdom needed throughout the year. (AMEN)
May she cultivate the art of presence in order to engage with all those she meets. (AMEN)
May she treasure the gifts of the mind and use it for your glory. (AMEN)
May she know the wisdom of deep listening and practice the healing art of an appreciative word. (AMEN)
May she find good friends here to support her and to relax with as a way of balance. (AMEN)
May her leadership as Headmistress be a true adventure in spirit, life and growth. ( AMEN)
May St. Madeleine Sophie Barat and Rose Philippine Duchesne support her and sustain her. (AMEN)
And, may the spirit running through all of those RSCJ that have come before you in this place inspire you and guide you. May their spirits give you courage and confidence in the days ahead. (AMEN)
With these words and blessing, I send Sr. Melanie Ann Guste to her ministry here at the Academy of the Sacred Heart to serve as Headmistress.
The Clarion Herald published this little article with photo: