August 11th I had the joy and privilege of celebrating my 25th jubilee as a School Sister of Notre Dame with family/friends, parishoners and my SSND sisters during the 10:30 a.m. mass. The words of the opening song, “Lift up your hearts to the Lord! Praise God’s gracious mercy. Sing out your joy to the Lord, whose love is enduring” sum up the spirit of the celebration.
Our SSND constitution You Are Sent states “Because God first loved us, we respond in love freely choosing to follow Christ.” Jubilee celebrates first, God’s faithful love and also then our efforts to faithfully respond to God’s call and invitation to love. And truly I felt nothing but love all around me as we celebrated!
One special addition to mass included a call/response prelude song, “Do You Love Me?” that was used at both my first and final vows and held many special memories. In addition all the sisters present renewed our vows followed by a sung 3-part harmony Magnificat – one of my favorite traditions. SSNDs have a long history at Corpus Christi and several who had served at Corpus Christi were present and acknowledged.
I was so deeply touched by how I was embraced by the parish in celebrating. My guests commented on how welcoming the parish community was and noted that it was so clear that parishoners know one another and are truly a community. They also commented on how wonderful it was to hear the parish participate so fully in the music and the responses of the liturgy. They felt life and love. That certainly echoes my own experience.
I am deeply grateful for the generous hearts and spirits of all who helped to make the celebration so beautiful by attention to the many details of liturgy, music, environment and hospitality. You were truly a part of the Dance of Divine Love that day!
Sr. Stephanie Spandl
School Sister of Notre Dame