Cathedral of Saint John Berchmans
Shreveport, July 3, 2023

A Saturday morning, that was very different for the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows and especially for Sr Heather Sikes.  At the Cathedral of St John Berchmans, at the presence of Bishop Francis Malone, of several priests, deacons and seminarians, surrounded by her family, relatives and friends, and accompanied by the sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows living in the USA, Sr Heather made her Profession of Perpetual Vows.

After the opening rites, the calling of Sr Heather to publicly express her desire to follow Christ, Monsignor Matthew Long, who had known Sr Heather from the beginning of her training with the OLS sisters, in his homily connected the life of Bl. Elisabetta Renzi with Sr Heather’s calling to religious life.   Starting from a phrase of the Foundress – “A child cannot look at its mother without tenderness, without wanting to become better.” – He said: “I thought that was a perfect way to begin this homily. Because for the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows, Blessed Elisabetta is the Mother of them all, so to speak.” He continued to present Bl. Elisabetta’s life and experience as reflected in her daughters, the OLS sisters, and in Sr Heather’s journey in religious life with her love for the Eucharist and Jesus Crucified.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that, when asked for a small reflection on that day Sr Heather wrote:

“When Mother Elisabetta arrived in Pietrarubbia, it was a moment in her life in which she resigned herself to God in a unique, special way – a way that distinguished her love for God and her communion in His love. She resolutely lived in her resignation with a commitment and clarity that this world does not know.

 Why am I talking about Mother Elisabetta in Pietrarubbia? On the day of my perpetual vows, I also can relate to these moments of Mother Elisabetta. I lived those moments of profession resolutely, invoking her presence near me as I prayed those words – desiring to continue growing into a strong, faithful daughter of hers. May her journey always remain a bright light for my sisters and I, for the greater glory of God.”

Together with Monsignor Matthew Long, we wish Sr Heather to walk with Him each day, no matter what trials and tribulations come. We hope she may be able to echo with Bl. Elisabetta – remembering her most beautiful words, “The Alleluia dwells beyond Calvary,” but even more importantly, the second part of that sentence, “I thank God that He has chosen me for this life.”

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