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Sister Elizabeth makes her solemn profession

Sister makes solemn profession at Cecilia’s Abbey in Ryde, on the Isle of Wight

By on Thursday, 26 January 2012

Sister Elizabeth Burgess, centre, is pictured after her solemn profession at St Cecilia’s Abbey in Ryde, Isle of Wight

Sister Elizabeth Burgess, centre, is pictured after her solemn profession at St Cecilia’s Abbey in Ryde, Isle of Wight

The solemn profession of Sister Elizabeth Burgess at St Cecilia’s Abbey, in Ryde on the Isle of Wight on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany, was a celebration of joy, thanksgiving and song.

Sister Elizabeth joined the Benedictine community at Ryde six years ago when she was 19. Bishop Crispian of Portsmouth, who has not been well, delegated his role to Fr Abbot Cuthbert Brogan of Farnborough, who was accompanied by the two young juniors from his community.
Sister Elizabeth belonged to the Oratory parish in Oxford and five Oratorians were present, including the Provost Fr Daniel Seward who preached the homily.

Canon Thomas Farrell of Coventry, Fr Finbar Kealy, prior administrator of Quarr, Fr Nicholas Spencer, also of Quarr, and Fr John Redver-Harris of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham were also present in the sanctuary.

After the Creed Sister Elizabeth came forward with a lighted candle singing in Latin “Now with all my heart I follow you… I seek your face.” After pronouncing her vows she sang the traditional threefold Suscipe with arms held up in prayer and signing the chart of her vows on the altar, she received the monastic cowl and then prostrated for the Litany of Saints and the Prayer of Consecration. She then received the black veil, gold ring and book of the Divine Office.

Sister Elizabeth’s mother died when she was a novice and so her profession ring is her mother’s wedding ring. Sister Elizabeth then placed her two joined hands between those of Mother Abbess, to signify her obedience, after which she received the kiss of peace from each member of her community.

  • Mxk300

    May God bless this woman and all religious. They are part of the life blood of the Church and their undivided giving of self to fulfil God’s will is one of Satan’s greatest defeats.

  • Kennyinliverpool

    It’s so strange that I used to know Clare – the one on the left – at university …
    I hope they’re happy and fulfilled … ! If at any time they stop being happy or fulfilled there and want to leave I hope they have the strength to do so – leaving isn’t a sign of failure…. 

  • Anders

    What a peculiar comment.

  • berenike

    “If at any time they stop being happy or fulfilled [in their marriage] and want to leave [their husband or wife] I hope they have the strength to do so …”

    It’s a tragedy when marriages break down. It’s likewise tragically sad when someone’s vowed relationship to God breaks down. In both cases there are bad patches to work through :) Monasteries aren’t career choices. 

  • Kennyinliverpool

    Not really I know a lot of ex-nuns and ex-seminarians – that’s life – staying in a convent after you realize it isn’t working is a bad idea.