Around this time of year you may hear of priests’ anniversaries of ordination and religious sisters’ jubilees. Some religious orders mark the years from the time of entrance into the community as postulants. My congregation marks jubilee from First Vows. (The first vows a Sister makes are temporary for a few years until her Final Vows or Solemn Profession.) This year’s celebration ranged from 25 to 75 years of religious profession.
For many, the community’s celebration of jubilee is the high point of the year, whether one is a jubilarian or not. This joyful time is a time of laughter, memories, and foods beyond the typical convent fare. Above all, it’s a time of gratitude. It’s a custom in our community that when the Mass is over, the program performed, and the food cleared, that the Sisters celebrating jubilee have a chance to address the community. Whether in song or poetry or paragraph, the message of each group is the same: