After several years of religious formation and preparation, the day comes when a sister commits herself to the Congregation "until death" and consecrates her life completely to God. This act of total dedication is called perpetual profession. On September 18, 2021, Sr. Anna-Maria took this step and celebrated in Schwalmtal-Waldniel with many guests.
The Mass was celebrated by Thorsten Aymanns, the former pastor of the parish, and the homily was given by Sr. Judith. Since we were allowed to sing again in the summer (with masks), a schola had formed - from sisters of different convents. Afterwards, the celebration could continue outside in the beautiful autumn sunshine.
It was a special joy that finally again many guests were allowed to come - and did come: Of course, the family of Sr. Anna-Maria and the fellow sisters from various houses, plus quite a few employees of the Children's Village, friends, neighbors and some confreres. The whole celebration was as colorful as this mixture, which ended with the evening prayer and the subsequent barbecue.
During the service for the celebration of a perpetual profession, there is a dialogue. Several times the Prioress General asks the professed sister (in this case Sr. Anna-Maria), "Are you ready?" And she names various things that make up life at Bethany. Again and again, the Sister replies, "I am ready." Finally, the Prioress General says:
Our founders say that Bethany should be like the two women under the cross of Jesus: Mary, who is without sin, and Magdalene, the converted sinner. Both are united in the one pain and in the same love for Jesus. Therefore, they forget themselves for his sake and embrace each other. "This is Bethany, nothing else!" Therefore, I ask you, dear fellow sisters: Are you ready to accept Sr. Anna-Maria as a sister in this sense and to seek union with Christ together with her in the way we live it in Bethany?
All the fellow sisters present respond: We are ready!
Sr. Barbara, Bergisch Gladbach-Refrath