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Postulant enters Benedictine novitiate

Postulant enters Benedictine novitiate - (12-12-2011)

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The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration celebrated a special moment when Erma Relunia became a novice during the Rite of Admittance ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Sisters' Adoration Chapel in Clyde, Mo.

Novice Erma, who entered the postulancy in 2010, was formally granted admittance into the Sisters' novitiate during Lauds. General Prioress Sister Pat Nyquist, OSB congratulated Novice Erma on her passion for Christ and assured her that the Benedictine Sisters are thrilled to support her as she continues her spiritual and monastic journey.

During the ceremonial rite, Novice Erma pledged her desire to the Benedictine way of life and that she will follow Christ "wholeheartedly in this community."

She was presented with a copy of the Rule of St. Benedict, the Congregation's constitution and a Benedictine medal.

Sister Pat prayed, "Loving and merciful God, through the humility of your Son you show us the way of return to you. Look upon this woman who wishes to follow him. Open her eyes to your divine light and her ears to the voice of your Spirit. Ready her heart for obedience to your commands, and where human nature is powerless, give her the help of your grace."

As a postulant, Novice Erma spent the past 18 months learning more about the Benedictine monastic life, participating in communal prayer, taking classes and developing her personal prayer life.

As a novice, she will immerse herself more deeply into monastic life for the next two years, continuing to discern her religious calling through prayer, spiritual guidance, instruction and the lived experience of the Benedictine life.

Novice Erma is a native of the Philippines and spent several years in Toronto, Canada, before entering the Benedictine Sisters. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology and management from FEATI University in Manila and a graduate degree in human resources management from Seneca College in Toronto.

Photo: Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist (left) joins Novice Erma Relunia and Novice Director Sister Lynn Marie D'Souza.