Fifty years ago today, a group of young women received the habit as Sisters of St. Joseph. These women have been saying yes to their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; yes to their relationship to God poured out through service to the Dear Neighbor and all of creation; yes to working with people and in places society has yet to reach; yes to a joy in living that inspires me every day in my vocation.
Ten years ago, I was received as a novice. I did not receive the habit, as my community has gone back to its founding spirit of doing our work in secret, like quiet Joseph, like leaven. And I hope to continue the legacy of the amazing women who have gone before me.
I can’t believe it has been ten years! Some of my sisters still call me “kid,” which I’ve learned to take as a term of endearment in the same way I will always call my younger siblings my “little brothers and sisters.” I’m okay being their “little sister”–Sarita, as one of my sisters from Mexico calls me–because I look up to them in the ways I hope my younger brothers and sisters look up to me. And in the same token, as is true of the relationships with my now grown siblings, they are relationships of mutuality and respect. We say yes to this life together. Regardless of age, we are sisters.
I can’t imagine my fiftieth jubilee, not because I have any other plans in life, but simply because I can’t imagine doing anything for fifty years. It is, indeed, something to celebrate. Happy jubilee!