Jacqui McNeill was welcomed into our community and blessed by Bishop John on Saturday evening at vespers (which starts the liturgical day of Sunday). Her family, including all ten siblings, her pastor, Fr. David Bline of St. Francis de Sales in Akron, Ohio, and a few friends, prayed with us and experienced this beautiful moment of surrender and faith.
During vespers, Bishop John blessed Jacqui and her head covering, and then the youngest member of the community, this time Sr. Gabriella, helped her to put on the head covering. Bishop John then spoke to us about the feasts of the day and how they each relate to having an encounter with God. The Feast of the Presentation is also known as the Feast of the Encounter of Our Lord with Simeon.
Bishop John said,
“This ‘encountering of Jesus’ is important for us to do daily, if not more than daily, and to allow Him to encounter us…. [Zacchaeus] wants so much to be one with Jesus that he does what it takes. And certainly it takes humility. And it is this, humility, that this head covering is to symbolize. This humility before the Lord, acknowledging Him to be so great that it’s worth what it takes to truly encounter Him and be one with Him and to then, as Mary encountered Jesus in a very special way on his birth and shared Him with the Jewish people by taking him into the Temple…how important it will be now for the monastics in a very special way to present Jesus to the rest of the world. We rely on you in consecrated life to demonstrate to us all…that He is worth any effort that we can make. So we thank you [Jacqui] for accepting this first step….”
|The McNeill Family|
We are full of joy to welcome a new member into our family and look forward to growing in our relationship with Jacqui as our sister! Please keep Jacqui in your prayers as she makes the transition to the monastic life and seeks to surrender more each day to her Bridegroom, Jesus.
Click here for more photos!