In a spirit of great joy and thanksgiving, Sister Juliana Wuur professed her first vows as a Sister of the Precious Blood on July 1, the Congregation’s traditional feast day.
A “packed house” at the Salem Heights Chapel, located at the Community’s central house in Dayton, enriched the celebratory atmosphere, with many Sisters and visitors in attendance. The event took place following the conclusion of the Congregation’s Assembly, which is held every four years, enabling Precious Blood Sisters from across the U.S. and from Chile and Guatemala to also attend the rite and luncheon.
The event was further enriched with joyful Ghanaian singing and dancing by Sister Juliana, as well as other Sisters, visiting religious, and family and friends. Ghana is Sister Juliana’s country of origin.
Sister Juliana wrote in the rite’s program about two important images she chose to highlight on the occasion of her first profession.
Sankofa, represented by a bird looking backward and carrying an egg in its mouth, means “go back and fetch it.” “Sankofa is important because it helps us to connect with our past and understand our present,” Sister Juliana wrote. “I have chosen this symbol to give thanks to God for all that has been my life in the past and entrust the future into the hands of the Almighty One and to show my connection with my heritage and culture.”
In addition, Sister Juliana chose the image of a basket of fruits to represent the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in Chicago, where she spent time with Precious Blood Sisters in ministry during her novitiate formation. PBMR serves communities in the south side of Chicago with a variety of initiatives aimed at fostering peace and reconciliation. One initiative, spearheaded by Sister Carolyn Hoying, is a large urban farm.
During Mass, Sister Joyce Lehman, incoming president of the Congregation, gave a reflection on the readings, which were taken from the books of Exodus and Ephesians and the Gospel of Luke. “Today’s readings really are a literal feast, holding within them so many different offerings we can choose to be fed from at the table of the Word,” she said. “Unlike the experience in Exodus, Jesus did not give his followers a series of commandments, statutes and ordinances to show them how they were to relate to God and how they were to live as a community. Rather, the new covenant established by Jesus has only one commandment: as I have loved you, love one another.
“Our Precious Blood spirituality and our covenant of love with the God who calls us are made concrete in the invitation of the second reading. We are called to bring into one, through the Blood of Christ, those who are near and those who are far off. We are no longer a chosen people; rather, all people are invited to participate in the covenant. … In the midst of our struggles, we are to remember to work toward unity, to create a covenant community.”
Sister Juliana recently completed an intercongregational collaborative novitiate program in Chicago and is now studying nursing at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati.
— Story by Mary Knapke