On December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the opening of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, Sr. Danielle was clothed in the habit of the Dominican Order and began her novitiate, receiving the name Sr. Mary Ana of the Divine Mercy. The ceremony took place in the Chapter Hall of the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, New Jersy, adorned with beautiful pink and white roses–a gift from a good friend of the monastery for the entrance of Sr. Aisling and clothing of Sr. Danielle. During the ceremony, before the postulant is vested in the habit, the prioress gives a homily reflecting on the reading and the religious life.
Below is the homily Sr. Mary Martin gave:
My dear Sisters,
Today, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we are giving the Dominican habit to Sr. Danielle. It is an appropriate feast for clothing a sister because the habit is white, and may be spotless for the moment, but none of us is conceived without sin. Mary is “our tainted nature’s solitary boast.” The rest of us must every day beg God’s mercy and that of one another. How fitting that on this day, when Pope Francis has opened the extraordinary Jubilee of mercy, Sr. Danielle should beg God’s mercy and ours. What a joy that, in this year of Jubilee for the 800th anniversary of the approbation of the Order, any young woman should enter the monastery, receive the habit of the Order, or make profession!
We have much to be grateful for. God has already shown us great mercy in calling us to this way of life and giving us one another to love and support in living it. We have been called as Abram was, to leave everything and go to a land that God will show. That land is first of all not a place but a condition. That land is mercy, God’s mercy and ours. Only then is it the monastery and the Order, where this mercy is lived out as a concrete reality. Saint Dominic would cry out: “My God, mercy! What will become of poor sinners?” This is our cry also as Nuns of the Order. This is Sr. Danielle’s cry today and, we hope, every day of her life.
Our beautiful mother, Mary, watches over us as we live out our lives. She is with us, not as an impossible ideal or a silent reproach to our sinfulness, but as one of us, helping and encouraging us to have the faith and love that she had, to live in hope of sharing the redemption that she received as pure gift. Mary, because she is conceived without sin, is the most redeemed of all God’s creatures and the shining beacon of hope for the rest of us. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. Our Holy Father, St. Dominic, pray for us.
For more information on the Dominican Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary click here.