Sr Julie CHN writes about a special event at the Convent at Derby.
Occasion: Installation of Sr. Pauline Margaret as our New Provincial Superior.
Wednesday 23rd January 12 noon at the Chapel, Convent of the Holy Name, Derby.
Present: the Community of the Holy Name, our Bishop Visitor Rt. Revd John Inge of Worcester, Canon Peter Kefford (who oversaw the election), a small number of relatives and friends.
Atmosphere: Solemn, joyful and expectant.
This day saw the end of months of prayer about whom the Community, guided by the Spirit, perceived to be the sister to succeed Sr. Monica as Provincial Superior of the English Province of CHN. Each Sister in Life Vows had nominated her choice (if she wished) and the results had been published to give an idea of the mind of the community. Time for further prayer and consideration had passed and the election had taken place at the Chapter meeting earlier in the month. Sr. Pauline then had to return to pack up and to say goodbye to the people of Peterborough, where she had been working, and move back to Derby (delayed by the snow!).
Bishop John reminded us in his sermon, taking up the gospel theme of the vine and the branches, that the branches must surround and uphold each other in order to produce the fruits of love and joy and peace.
Pauline then promised, with the help of God and the support of her sisters, to guide the community into the future and to be our centre of unity. This is a tremendous responsibility, a privilege of service (not status and power) and challenge and, often, pain. Following in the footsteps of Christ as he led his disciples, doing it in him and with him and through him.
Having been anointed and blessed for the task, she was led by Bishop John to a different chapel place and the service continued with the sharing of the peace and the receiving of our Lord at the altar. Followed of course by a celebratory convent buffet lunch!