Sister Marissa’s commitment to a life of love and service

On October 29th at Nazareth House East Finchley, Bishop John Sherrington presided at the Solemn Mass of Final Vows, of Sister Marissa Barona CSN. Present for this special day were Sr Marissa’s family from the Philippines, America and Paris and they were joined by Sr Mary Anne Monaghan the Superior General, Sr Anna Maria Doolan the Regional Superior and many friends.
At the beginning of Mass, Sr Mary gave an address of welcome to all present. She took the opportunity on behalf of the Sisters of Nazareth to thank Sr Marissa’s parents and family for supporting and encouraging Sr Marissa on her journey. Sr Mary traced the journey of the newest sister and spoke of the joy that her final vows bring will bring to the congregation. Sr Mary mentioned four things that the Sister of Nazereth will experience in her life as part of the Congregation: ‘you will have good days, you will have challenging days, you will always have the love and support of us your Sisters, and there is a great crown waiting for you by being faithful to your commitment until the day you die, know that we your Sisters are walking with you every step of the way’.
In his homily Bishop John spoke of God’s abiding presence in Sr Marissa’s life and his protection over her from the very beginning. He added, ‘it is a great joy that you have given yourself to this community, who also recognise that this is where God wishes you to be, to live out your vocation of love and service’. He finished by giving thanks to God for the gift of Sr Marissa’s vocation.
This message struck a note not only with Sr Marissa and the nine novices present, but with the many Sisters of Nazareth who were present from the various communities throughout the UK.