Monday, November 09, 2015

Historic Vow Day for the Paulines (but not for the sisters)

Yesterday was a big day for the Pauline Family: Vow Day! Five of our Pauline brothers (from the Society of St Paul) drove up from New York to be here in the Boston area, but it was not to celebrate the vows of any of the sisters here, nor were any of them making vows. The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master joined in, but no new Sisters were to join their ranks. Women from the Pauline Institute of Our Lady of the Annunciation came to the "Betania II" retreat house, but there were no "Annunciationists" making vows yesterday. A married couple from the Pauline Holy Family Institute also came, but not to welcome new vowed members to their institute, either.

So just who were these vow-making Paulines, if not members of any of those Pauline institutes? In an historic event for the Pauline Family,  yesterday the first two American priests of the Institute of Jesus the Priest (founded by Blessed James Alberione) made vows: the first American member, Father Michael Harrington, made his perpetual vows, and another Boston priest, Father Ed Riley, made his first vows. Yes, as priests they already made the promise of celibacy, and a promise of obedience to their bishop. Yesterday they strengthened that commitment to the level of a vow, a solemn oath to God, an act of worship. Plus they added the vow of poverty (not a requirement for diocesan priests, who are encouraged, but not obligated, to live simply--granted that since priests are among the lowest-paid* of all professional workers, that doesn't take a lot of imagination).

Sister Marie Paul congratulates Father Riley, IGS, a long-time
collaborator in our mission (since his pre-seminary days!).
The Institute of Jesus the Priest is a Pauline "secular institute" for diocesan priests. They do not cease being diocesan priests under their bishop's authority and at the service of the needs of the diocese. They do, however, take on a special Pauline "color" in their spirituality, following the guidance of Blessed James' exhortations to let it be Jesus who more and more lives and acts in them, so that even their most personal faculties of mind and will and heart become extensions of Christ's own mind, will and heart. Members also make the effort to carry out or at least facilitate media evangelization, so that the amazing technological gifts society enjoys so much can be used with wisdom.

So rejoice with the worldwide Pauline Family as it expands in our country--and pray that the two congregations (Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd and Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles) which do not yet have any American members or foundations might soon be established here as well, for the glory of God and the good of souls!

*Average yearly salary for a Catholic priest in 2010 was $30,940 before taxes. (Good thing housing is usually provided!)


margaret blouin said...

Dear Sister Anne,

What a wonderful day! My husband, Steve, and I are perpetually professed members of the Holy Family Institute. We were the first couple from New Jersey to join HFI. Steve has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer, which has spread to his liver. Father Harrington was to celebrate Mass for him on his special perpetual profession day. We are so blessed to be a part of this Pauline Family! Thank you for sharing this moving story and may the Divine Master bless you and all who read your blog.

-Margaret Blouin

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

I have been praying for Steve every day since I saw the first post.

Sr Anne Flanagan said...

I have been praying for Steve every day since I saw the first post.

Fr. Michael Harrington said...

Dear Margaret,

Father Ed and I offered our Mass for Steven. We are praying for you!!! - Fr. Mike