Sister Mary Monica signs her perpetual vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience as a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mother Mary Magdalene witness her oblation. Bishop Carl A. Kemme’s crosier is visible at the right. (Courtesy photo)

By Sr. Cora Marie Goenner, IHM
Sister Mary Monica Augustine professed perpetual vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience as a Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Wichita Saturday, Nov. 24, at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church.
Bishop Carl A. Kemme was the main celebrant for the Mass of religious profession. During his homily, he spoke of how attending a religious profession is like “receiving a Catholic booster shot,” where one is reminded of the truth, goodness, and beauty of our Catholic faith, and where one can be encouraged by the example of a young woman who has dedicated herself entirely to God.
During the ceremony Sr. Mary Monica was solemnly consecrated to God. The solemn prayer for consecration, prayed by Bishop Kemme, contains the line, “Strengthened by the vows of consecration may she always be one with you in loving fidelity to Christ, her only bridegroom.” The ring that Sr. Mary Monica received after the consecration prayer signifies this perpetual spousal relationship with Christ.
Sr. Mary Monica said: “Our Lord can never be outdone in generosity. I experienced this on the day of my perpetual profession of vows. He gave me so many spiritual graces and natural gifts, including the beautiful Church, the music, the flowers, and the fall weather, which all pointed to the reality of God’s constant love for his bride. Throughout the Mass, it was as though He placed a joy in all who were present and there was a profound sense of Christian happiness, something that must be similar to what the saints and angels experience eternally in Heaven.”
Sr. Mary Monica, originally from Colby, Kansas, is the daughter of Luther and Donna Augustine. Many family and friends were able to attend the ceremony, including three priests from the Diocese of Salina, and five priests and several seminarians from the Diocese of Wichita.
A dinner was served afterward in the parish hall. Family and friends were able to greet Sr. Mary Monica and extend their congratulations.
Sr. Mary Monica will continue teaching at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita, where she will strive to live out the words of the final blessing: “God inspires all holy desires and brings them to fulfillment. May he protect you always by his grace so that you may fulfill the duties of your vocation with a faithful heart.”