On 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation, Sr Monica Tauiliili of the Beatitudes Community made her perpetual profession as a consecrated sister in St Mary's Pro-Cathedral. The vows were received by Sr Theresia Schuschnigg, the regional superior of the sisters' branch, who then announced to all gathered, including Sister Monica (for the first time) her new name. "Our newly professed sister is now called Sr Giovanna Maria of the Holy Eucharist."
Long time family friend and mentor of Sr Giovanna, Fr John Jolliffe SM, celebrated the Mass, which reflected a rich mix of cultural, traditional, solemn, and charismatic elements. Samoan hymns, Latin motets, and Beatitudes songs of praise filled the already packed Pro-Cathedral for what was a joyous occasion — a wholehearted celebration of the spousal love between Christ and His bride.
Thomas Alexander (aged 15)
After the ceremony and festive lunch, the Beatitudes and the family of Sr Giovanna Maria hosted a reception at the Beatitudes' Leithfield shrine of Mary, Mother of the Light. There, under the large marquee, the feast went on into the evening with singing, dancing, laughter, heartfelt speeches, and prayers of thanksgiving. In the week prior to the profession, stormy weather had plagued the preparations, and with only days left to decorate the shrine, gale force winds took hold of the large marquee, causing three large tears in the special fabric. Not at all deterred, the Beatitudes prayed and called for the people of New Zealand to help them to get the necessary repairs done at very short notice. Thanks to the generosity of people from far and wide, and the good will of a local tent repairer, by the day of the profession, the marquee was ready and when the time came, the shrine of Mary glowed with a most serene light into what was a clear and beautiful evening.
Sarah Alexander (aged 13)