‘With my heart singing and dancing’
Originally published in Catholic Outlook October 2012
|Sr Katrina (Yin Yin) Zhang RSM.|
“With my heart singing and dancing”...
These words spoken by Sr Katrina (Yin Yin) Zhang RSM echoed in the hearts of all those who joined with her in the celebration of her First Profession of Vows in the Convent of Mercy Chapel in Parramatta.
Since the arrival in Parramatta in 1888 of a group of nine pioneer sisters from Ireland, more than 360 women have professed their vows as Sisters of Mercy of the Parramatta Congregation.
Katrina’s celebration on Saturday 21 July continued in this long and beautiful tradition of women ready to devote their lives exclusively to the following of Jesus Christ and to sharing in His mission of Mercy.
Katrina’s vows were received by the Congregation Leader, Sr Catherine Ryan RSM, and were witnessed by Sr Mary-Louise Petro RSM, Congregation Vicar, and Fr Paul Monkerud, Parish Priest of Ryde where Katrina lived during her years of formation.
Accompanying Katrina into the chapel were Sr Margaret Sheppard RSM, Congregation Director of Initial Formation, and concelebrating priests Fr John Alt and Fr Terry Naughton MSC, who have had a special place in her Mercy journey.
Although Katrina’s mother and brothers were not able to be physically present, they were embraced in spirit and prayer. An especially warm welcome was extended to Sr Berneice Loch RSM, Leader of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia/PNG, to Sr Jennifer Ryan RSM, Congregation Leader of the Sisters of Mercy North Sydney, as well as to other Sisters of Mercy from across Australia and PNG.
A deep faith and trust in the God of Mercy
Warm welcomes were also extended to members of other religious orders and Katrina’s friends.
The hymns and readings for the Celebration of the Eucharist underscored the spirit of Katrina’s chosen motto, which combines the words of St Paul to the Corinthians – “By God’s grace that is what I am’” – with TRUST IN LOVE.
These spoke of Katrina’s deep faith and trust in the God of Mercy whom she acknowledges has loved and embraced her through the years, firstly in her country of origin, China, and over the past eight years in Australia, a land which she also calls home.
After Mass, celebrations continued in the Catherine McAuley rooms where refreshments and laughter were joined with short speeches and the cutting of the Profession cake.The day, indeed, was one which the Lord had made, and rejoicing and gladness rang yet again on the sacred site, which holds precious memories for the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy Parramatta, and for hope as it continues to play its part in building the Church’s mission of Mercy today and into the future.
To find out more about a vocation to religious life contact Sr Margaret Sheppard RSM on Ph: 02 9683 2555 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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