“IT was the happiest day of my life,” newly professed Canossian Sister Linh Dinh said about her first profession at the order’s Canossa Chapel at Oxley on Saturday, September 14.
“It was so wonderful, it was a grace-filled moment of my life.”
Vietnamese community chaplain Divine Word Missionaries Father Joseph Vu celebrated the profession Mass, who was also a celebrant at Sr Dinh’s thanksgiving Mass the next night with the Vietnamese community in Inala.
Canossian Sister Melissa Dwyer said Sr Dinh looked radiant with joy during the profession.
She said when Sr Dinh was clothed in her religious habit, everyone could see her joy and contentment with her decision.
Sr Dinh said many told her she “looked brighter and lighter after receiving the habit and also after taking the vows”.
Sr Dinh was an accountant before she discerned a call to religious life.
“It’s hard to think to leave something so profitable… to encounter a life that is so simple but is joyful,” she said.
“It was God’s grace and God’s amazing work.
“God (made) it happen.”
Contemplating God on the Cross
Her choice to join the Canossian Daughters of Charity was first realised in her love and contemplation of God on the cross.
“Whenever I gaze upon Him, I realise the wounds that He had are also the wounds that I caused, the wounds that I pierced,” she said.
“The more that I look at Him, the more I want to be changed, to be transformed and to love Him in the way that He loved me.”
A life filled with this kind of love could be realised with the Canossians and fundamental to this life was her vows.
But she said her vows were more than simply her vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.
“It’s more like – with Christ, chaste; with Christ, poor; and with Christ, obedient,” she said.
“I don’t do it alone… God is with me to do it.”
She said the life of simplicity and joy she was searching for could only be found in the Canossian sisters.
“How they care and look after one another (is) most amazing,” she said.
“Also the community life – we live together, we share together and in the spirit of unity I think that’s very important for me to be in a family.”
Sr Dinh came to Australia in 1999 with her family when she was 17 years old.
She met the Canossian sisters in 2014 at St Mark’s Church, Inala for the first time.
She began her postulancy with the Canossian sisters in 2016 and did her novitiate in the Philippines in 2017.
She was transferred to the Spring Hill Community after her profession and hopes to serve in parish ministry.
A life of faith and love
Sr Dwyer said religious life was about taking a step in faith and it was a viable option in today’s society.
“Our Church and our world need young women who are courageous enough to respond to God’s call, seeking to make a difference in their lives, and respond in love,” she said.
“It’s about taking that step in faith.
“Just as Linh did, she’s made that step in faith to commit her life to serving God and her brothers and sisters.
“This is something that we need in our Church at this moment, young women who are committed to doing that.”