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Sister celebrates Argentinian heritage during monastic profession

Sister celebrates Argentinian heritage during monastic profession - (28-01-2014)

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Photo: On Jan. 18, Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist, OSB (left) of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration presents Sister Maria Victoria Cutaia, OSB with her profession ring, a symbol of her final monastic profession, making her a full-fledged member of the monastic community in Clyde, Mo. For more photos, please vist the BSPA Facebook page here.

The weather outside the Adoration Chapel of the Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Clyde, Mo., was typical of a frightfully cold and gray January day.

But the warmth inside was due to more than the heating system because it was there that Sister Maria Victoria Cutaia, OSB, surrounded by the love of family, friends and Sisters, would make her final monastic profession and become a full-fledged member of the community she adores.

“Sharing this day with all of those wonderful people was something I anticipated so much,” she said.

Sister Maria Victoria, whose family moved from Argentina to southern Louisiana when she was 3, took the next step on her monastic journey during a ceremony that blended her South American heritage with her adopted country. The Rite of Final Monastic Profession included songs in both Spanish and English and was followed by a Mardi Gras-themed dinner.

“I was so happy to incorporate both aspects of my past into the special day that celebrated my final monastic profession,” she said.

During his homily, Abbot Gregory Polan, OSB of Conception Abbey told those in attendance that “joy and hope mark this beautiful day of Sister Maria Victoria’s final profession.”

He spoke of her total gift of self to God who “speaks to us and calls each of us by name.” It can be difficult “to follow that voice, wherever it may lead us,” he said. “You either long for it or run from it. Today’s celebration mark’s Sister Maria Victoria’s decision to hear that voice and vow to follow it for the rest of her life.”

Abbot Gregory concluded by speaking of Jesus’s role as the Good Shepherd, one who never stops searching for us no matter how far we might stray and how we each can hear and heed the call of his voice.

“We do that when we feed someone who hungers, yearns for forgiveness, refuse to turn our back on someone who deserves our love,” he said.

When the official Rite of Final Monastic Profession began, Prioress General Sister Pat Nyquist, OSB echoed that sentiment, telling Sister Maria Victoria that the ways of the Good Shepherd are a vital part of the monastic profession.

“They are to be your ways and our ways in the unfolding mystery of vocation together as persons consecrated by God to carry out his mission of intercession for the sake of humanity,” she said. “May this good work that God has begun in you continue to unfold in joyful and grace-filled mystery.”

Sister Pat then reminded Sister Maria Victoria, who entered the Benedictine Sisters in 2007, that while a final monastic profession might indicate that her journey is complete, she is not done. While those in attendance quietly chuckled, Sister Pat continued, “There is more mystery waiting to unfold in your life and the life of the congregation.”

Afterward, Sister Maria Victoria promised her life to God and to the congregation both verbally and by signing her profession document. Then she sang the suscipe, the portion of the ceremony where she sings, “Receive me Lord, according to your promise and I shall live; and disappoint me not in my hope.”

Later, Sister Pat gifted her with her profession ring, a symbol of her permanent bond to God and her community. Then, one by one, Sister Maria Victoria greeted each of her Sisters, ritualizing her acceptance into permanent membership. The ceremony closed with the Eucharist, fitting as it plays a central role in the charism of the Benedictine Sisters.

“I want to grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord and to serve him in whichever way he desires me to and to grow in a deeper relationship with my Sisters,” Sister Maria Victoria said afterward.

 About Sister Maria Victoria:

  • Entered the Benedictine Sisters in 2007 and made her first monastic profession in 2010.
  • Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and moved to the United States with her family when she was 3.
  • Speaks Spanish fluently.
  • Her birth name was Clarisa. She chose Maria Victoria to honor her grandmother, who introduced her to Catholicism, and in honor of Our Lady of Victory.
  • Worked in early childhood education before entering the Benedictine Sisters.
  • Her job in the correspondence department includes database work. As a portress, she greets visitors, leads chapel tours and answers phone calls. She also assists in the finance department with organizing and filing duties.