Wednesday, June 3, 2009
At 5:30 pm, Saturday, May 30, 2009, at the Vigil Mass of Pentecost, I was professed into the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis. Many of my friends and family members asked me what that meant. It's quite a long story, and is best described in the link provided on the left hand side of this site. For me personally, it means an important milestone on my Franciscan journey. Sometime back in 2004, I think, I got interested in the Order, and my husband and I began to look into it, attending a few of the Fellowship meetings and asking questions about it. This was called being an "Enquirer", as seems appropriate. After sending a long autobiography of my spiritual journey and answering a number of other questions on the questionnaire the Order sent me, I received a number of booklets and sheaves of papers of Franciscan formation instruction, and was received as a Postulant. Every month for two years to the best of my ability, I sent in a report to my formation counsellor and visited with my spiritual director, as required by the Order. This was longer than usual, due to family difficulties (two deaths, one of my grandson by drowning and then my son from cancer). Eventually I was invited to apply to be a Novice. I did that, and continued with the monthly reports and spiritual director visits for another two years. Last February, the Order elected me to profession, but I still had one more step to take: Being admitted to the Order at a ceremony in the context of a Eucharist service. This was fulfilled last Saturday. My family and friends supported me in full force. Some drove long distances to attend the service. I was very grateful to all of them. After the very beautiful service (in the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament in St. James Anglican Church, Vancouver, BC), we had a small reception in the Bishops' Room in the church, followed by a family dinner (20 people) at a restaurant. So now, I get to affix the letters TSSF to my signature.