Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Welcome, Jacqui!

“Today is so many things I can’t even handle it!” was heard several times in the monastery on Sunday.  It was the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, Zacchaeus Sunday (the first preparatory Sunday for Lent), World Day for Consecrated Life, Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday (ok, those last two weren’t of too much importance to us!)…and our postulant Jacqui’s entrance day!

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
In this first step, Jacqui is called a dokimos (Greek for “approved by testing, genuine”) or postulant (from the Latin word that means “to ask”).  She will spend one to two years “trying out” the monastic life.  She and the community will discern together whether God is truly calling her to the monastic life in our monastery.

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!


  1. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos of such a joy-filled occasion! We are so happy for you, Jacqui, & for all you Brides of Christ! You all are in our prayers! Please pray for us! God bless! ~ The Johnson family in Morgantown :)

  2. Thanks Johnsons! We love you so much!!

  3. God bless you Jacqui, May God continue to guild you in this life you have chosen...You are now a Bride of Christ Jesus God bless you.


Leave us a comment!