SISTERS of St Paul de Chartres Theresia Nguyen and Maria Goretti Tran said their final vows at their perpetual profession held at the order’s chapel in Boronia Heights on August 15.
Sr Maria Goretti and Sr Theresia made their professions on the Feast of the Assumption surrounded by fellow religious sisters, friends, family and clergy.
“I think today is a great opportunity for us to say thanks to God and for all the people who have been caring for us a lot – especially our congregation, our own sisters, our families and friends,” Sr Maria Goretti said.
“And for those who have come here to witness this joyful celebration, it is graceful and is (a) very special occasion to remind us that we’re all beloved daughters and sons of God.
“So, we hope that this occasion will be a spark in everybody’s souls to a greater love that God has called us; God has called each one of us in different ways to come closer to Him.”
Sr Theresia agreed and said she looked forward to the future.
“I think our journey is not (at) the end, but a beginning,” she said.
“(We have) so many difficulties in front of us, but God is always with us, so we are not alone on our journey.
“And many people (are) praying for us, so we have confidence in God and in people.”
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge celebrated the profession Mass, flanked by priests from the archdiocese, interstate and even overseas.
In his homily, Archbishop Coleridge said it was easy to forget how extraordinary and revolutionary the words of the Magnificat were. (Luke 1:46-55)
“(God is) overturning the world as we know it, turning it upside down,” the Archbishop said.
“Because, you see, God is the God who turns the old, tired, conventional, death-dealing world on its head and that’s what he does here this afternoon at Boronia Heights.
“It doesn’t look very revolutionary, but don’t be fooled.”
Archbishop Coleridge said the Magnificat looked forward to the moment of Easter, where death itself was overturned.
“These two young women, born in Vietnam but blooming in Australia, these two young women are called by God and sent into the world as little signs of Easter,” he said.
“But, you see, for God: little is big.
“They’re not very big, in fact they’re little women.
“But what we celebrate here today is God’s decision – before ever they made a decision – God decided to choose them to be witnesses to Easter.”
Archbishop Coleridge gave thanks to Sr Maria Goretti and Sr Theresia.
“Today we thank you … for saying yes to the God who said yes to you long before ever you spoke,” he said.
“We say thanks to you for having the love, which becomes the courage, to follow wherever God leads you.”
In her vote of thanks, Sr Maria Goretti said even though she and Sister Theresia were short of stature, they trusted in God’s grace and love, who could turn everything small into something great “out of His abundant love for us”.
“We owe our special thanks to our congregation, the Sisters of St Paul de Chartres, particularly to the district of Australia,” she said.
“Our religious identity has been shaped, nurtured and cultivated in this holy soil.
“We are proud to be members of the (St Paul de Chartres) family, and our hearts abound in gratitude to the congregation and to all the sisters – especially to our sisters in the district of Australia who are our burden-bearing, laughter-sharing and forever caring sisters and friends.”