Sister Ashwini makes her Solemn Profession of Vows at Mount Saint Mary's Abbey

On April 27, the feast of St Saint Rafael Arnáiz Barón, a monk of our Order, Sr Ashwini made her Solemn Vows and was consecrated as a Cistercian nun.

Sister Ashwini in cloak preparing for solemn profession

According to our community custom, everything begins after Vespers the night before the profession, when the sister to be professed, together with her abbess, prostrate before the Blessed Sacrament at Benediction.

The morning of the profession, in a private ceremony in the Chapter room, she makes a petition in her own words and receives a talk from the abbess, after which she is invited to make her Promise of Obedience, which is the concrete affirmation of her Vow, made to a particular abbess and her legitimate successors. At the profession Mass, between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Ceremony of profession begins with the Scrutiny, a series of questions posed by the abbess to test her resolve, which ends with the sister’s affirmation of readiness. After the Litany of the Saints, she is invited to profess her Solemn Vows, written on parchment in her own hand, which she reads aloud, signs on the altar, and leaves there for the duration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Sister Ashwini prostrate for Solemn Profession as priest blesses her

Next comes the singing of the Suscipe, which means “receive” – the sister’s plea to God to receive her life into his hands. She then prostrates for the Solemn prayers of Monastic Consecration, addressed to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Finally, comes the clothing in the monastic garments of the white cowl and black veil, which designate her as a Solemnly Professed Cistercian nun. Each Solemnly Professed sister in the community welcomes her into their midst with a promise of prayer.

Sister Ashwini's parents from India

Sr Ashwini’s parents, Manohar and Anjelina Worlikar, were with us for this wonderful occasion, along with other friends and family members. The Mass was livestreamed for the benefit of her many family and friends back in India, and the community sang both the Gloria and an Offertory song in Marathi, sister’s mother tongue.

Read Mother Sofia’s Chapter talk here

See More Photos of the Event here