Sr. Deirdra Mary of the Divine Will, O.Ss.R. celebrated her Temporary Profession as a Redemptoristine in the Monastery of St. Alphonsus in Dublin, Ireland last Thursday, January 11. The Dublin community welcomed Sr. Deirdra’s family and friends – both in person and online – for this joyous occasion. Fr. Dan Baragry, C.Ss.R. presided at Mass, with concelebrants including several Redemptorist confreres from the Irish Province and clergy from the Archdiocese of Dublin, including Right Rev. Msgr. John J. Dolan, Episcopal Vicar for Religious. Fr. Ryan Holovlasky, C.Ss.R., served as Master of Ceremonies.
Hailing from New England, Sr. Deirdra experienced a renewed call to her vocation after working many years in the high-tech industry, and later at the Diocese of Bridgeport in Connecticut. She initially discerned her vocation with the Redemptoristines in Liguori in 2019. She spent a little more than a month with the Redemptoristines in Beacon, NY, while awaiting her immigration Visa, and then fully entered and began her formation at the Redemptoristine Monastery in Dublin. She was very pleased to be reunited with Sr. Louisa and Sr. Ann Marie, who moved from Liguori to Dublin in May of 2023.
In his homily, Fr. Dan stressed that at the heart of our Christian vocation is the belief that we are all called and chosen by the Lord. “It’s not simply that some are called to the priesthood or religious life, for example, but that each one of us is called by name and chosen to share in the very life and ministry of Christ. The call to – and the challenge for – each of us is to hear God’s call in our lives and to respond to it: to be able to say ‘Yes, let Your will be done.’ Occasionally, very occasionally, God’s call and our ‘yes’ can be a dramatic life-changing event, which overwhelms a person and turns their life upside down, as it did for Mary, our Mother. In the majority of cases, however, our efforts to hear God’s call and to respond to it is a lifelong task. Rather than it being a matter of us proclaiming our simple dramatic ‘yes’ to God, our response is more often than not a series of little ‘yeses’ that will finally enable us, hopefully, to understand what God may be calling us to,” he said, adding. “This day has, for Sr. Deirdra, been a long time coming, and is the result of a lifetime of openness to discerning that call and a willingness to constantly say ‘yes’ to the many little steps and challenges which eventually led her to this moment. We give thanks that she has indeed heard the call of the Lord in her life, and for her generous response and ‘yes’ to his invitation.”
In addition to those who were present in the chapel, nearly 1,500 people from around the world viewed the live-streamed Mass, which is available at: https://www.churchservices.tv/redemptoristines/ archive/recordings/GN9Q6w8f03Ki5bW
The dinner reception after the Profession ceremony was cheerfully decorated with an American theme – red, white, and blue Stars and Stripes table-settings and balloons. A rousing rendition of “God Bless America” was requested, and Sr. Deirdra’s guests gladly sang it with great delight.
Sr. Deirdra assures the entire Redemptorist family and friends in the USA and beyond of her prayers, and kindly asks for theirs in return.
by Kristine Stremel
(courtesy: Denverlink, issue of January 19, 2024)