Jubilee Day, feelings overflow in my heart

In many ways my Jubilee day on July 22, 2019, began as any other Monday at Maria Droste. We prayed a beautiful morning prayer together. We had our breakfast. And then we separated to accomplish our different responsibilities.

Sister Agnes and I worked together in the Altar Bread department. We packed and labeled orders to be shipped that day. As I look back on my Jubilee day, in some ways I might have been a bride doing what was familiar so as not to be too nervous about pronouncing her wedding vows. I had a deep joy in doing “ordinary things.” My heart was already re-committing myself to renew the vows I had made 60 years ago.

Sister Beth was quietly and secretly decorating our convent for my Jubilee party. I had peeked into the dining room and couldn’t help smiling with delight; it looked like the “Queen’s Banquet!” The chapel was already arrayed with St. Mary Magdalen’s icon lovingly placed before the altar. Sister Anna Tram was arranging flowers to put the finishing touches in our chapel. Sister Beth created little hand-made butterflies and was distributing them where we would gather later in the evening. Her theme for our special day was “Fly while you still have wings.” She borrowed the motto from the lovely book Joyce Rupp wrote about her mother.   

Eucharist highlights Jubilee day

Of course the Eucharist celebrated by Fr. Ron Chochol highlighted my Jubilee day. We were blessed to welcome many of our Apostolic Sisters from all around our area and even from Mason Pointe. Singing was full and beautiful. As I prepared to renew my vows I hoped that I had endeavored to live in union with Jesus, the Good Shepherd, striving to continue His redemptive mission. 

Jubilee day
Sr. Sharon Rose Authorson

I renewed my vows with a heart filled with gratitude for God’s goodness to me. My vow of Zeal “to live and pray for the salvation of persons, especially those served by our congregation” is what motivates my every breath and every prayer each day. At the end of Mass I tried to express the feelings overflowing in my heart. 

Years ago a priest told us that we sign a blank contract when pronouncing our first vows and we, together with God, will fill it out as the years go by. So many memories came to mind with thankfulness all during this blessed Jubilee day. I would not be where I am today were it not for the Good Shepherd Sisters who showed me God’s love. They introduced me to our Foundress, St. Mary Euphrasia, and through their own dedicated, faithful lives helped me realize and believe that each of us is indeed of “Individual Worth.”

We still had a delicious, festive meal waiting for us to enjoy and celebrate

together.  Trish, our cook, with the help of Sr. Beth and Sr. Agnes, had prepared a banquet for all of us.  We had International food with a special, very unique Filipina dish.  Laughter and joy permeated our Maria Droste convent and this will be a feast that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  I think St. Mary Magdalen and Saint Mary Euphrasia were rejoicing with us too. Again, I say from my heart “thank you Sisters.”

Sister Sharon Rose Authorson

Sister Sharon Rose Authorson

Sister Sharon Rose Authorson is a Contemplative Sister with the Maria Droste Contemplative Community in St. Louis, Missouri. She has been in charge of the Altar Bread department for many years.