Desert Nuns

Radiant Bride of Christ

December 13, 2016 by  
Filed under Nun News Blog

With high praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God, we are happy to share with you that on December 12, 2016, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sr. John-Mark Maria became a perpetually professed Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration.

Our much beloved Bishop Olmsted celebrated the Mass of Profession along with Bishop Nevares and over a dozen priest friends of our community *including Sister’s pastor from Little Flower Parish in Hartville OH.  We were also blessed to be joined by a large number of Sr. John-Mark’s friends and family from around the country (mainly the great State of Ohio).  The Church was full to overflowing with many who came from around the Diocese to join us in celebrating this great day. 

Sr. John-Mark’s journey with us began back in 2009 and came to fruition yesterday as she gave her YES to a lifelong commitment of love to the Lord in our community, as a perpetual adorer of the Most Blessed Sacrament, as an intercessor, as an extern Sister, as a contemplative with a heart wide enough to carry the entire world…as a Bride of Jesus Christ, committed to offering Him the sacrifice of praise all the days of her life…truly it is a commitment that reaches beyond the bounds of this life into eternity.  This is evidenced in the ceremonial itself when, in the Solemn Blessing of the Newly Professed, the Bishop prays:

Lord, Holy Father, guide and protect our Sister in all her ways.
And when she comes at last before the throne of grace,
may she not hear in fear the voice of her dread judge,
but rather may she hear with joy the voice of Christ,
her Bridegroom calling her to the
Wedding Feast of Heaven.

The entire Rite of  Perpetual Profession is poignantly beautiful.  Perhaps the most touching part, though, is the sequence of events that follows the Litany of the Saints – when Sister professes her Vows, receives her Profession Ring, then makes the following declaration:


Behold, what I have desired, I now see;
what I have hoped for, I now possess.
I am joined to Him in Heaven,
Whom I have loved on earth with my whole heart.
I am espoused to Him Whom the Angels serve,
Whose beauty the sun and moon admire.

Sr. John-Mark did so without any quivering in her voice, though I’d guess that the rest of the congregation (me included) was choking back tears!  She did so as one who knew the truth of the words, as one who had experienced to the very core of her being the strength of the Bridegroom’s love.  She said it as one who is accustomed to beholding and longing for His beauty, as one who is convinced that nothing on this earth (save Him alone) can satisfy her heart.  She said it with humility and conviction.  The Sisters and I were behind her for the whole of the ceremony – having just now taken a look at the photos, I am struck by the peace and JOY that radiated from her countenance…that beautiful smile must not have left her face for the whole of the 2 hour Mass! 

It’s my hope to put together a video of all the photos.  Truly they are stunning…and we have our dear friend and photographer John Bering to thank for that.  Kudos John!  But as we catch up on all that got behind with all the Profession preparations, it may be a little bit before we find the time to put that video together for you all.  And so, until then, we hope you enjoy this sneak peek of the photos.  Click on any of the thumbnails below to see the full sized photo.

Please join us as we give thanks to Almighty God for the gift of this our Sister!


Enter the Conversation...

11 Responses to “Radiant Bride of Christ”
  1. Mary Roegrs says:

    What a glorious day for Sister, she is a beautiful bride. The pictures are terrific makes it feel like I was there. Thank you for sharing this wonderful blessed day.

  2. Judy Kallmeyer says:

    Dear Sister John-Mark Maria,
    You are radiating the joy you are experiencing as you pronounce your definitive “Yes” to the Lord’s invitation to follow Him as a Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration. I have been following you since your first entered the novitiate and am thrilled to see these beautiful pictures of your “wedding day.” Surely your Spouse must have been smiling on you and pouring out His most special graces and blessings upon you as you give yourself entirely to Him for all of your life. I share your joy, Sister. What a great moment in your life! May your love for the Lord grow deeper and stronger every day. May the wonder of this occasion never leave you.
    Judy Kallmeyer

  3. Bonnie Creeger says:

    It was truly a beautiful & joy-filled day & Lloyd & I were blessed to be able to make the trip. I agree with Sr. Mary Fidelis…Sr. John-Mark was glowing with the joy & love of our Lord. It was so wonderful to be there to celebrate with all of her family & friends. Thank you to everyone who made her day so special. May God bless you Sr. John-Mark Maria & may He give you strength as you fulfill your “yes” to His call. You are a beautiful Bride of Christ & we love you!

  4. Deb Huff says:

    CONGRATULATIONS Sr. John Mark. Your smile looks absolutely radiant. What a precious gift for Our Lord. Thank you for your YES. I think it is so awesome to take that BEAUTIFUL step of final profession. CONGRATULATIONS to you and your community and a promise for prayerful support.

  5. Fr. Daniel Hoffman says:

    Dear Sr. John-Mark Maria,

    Deo gratias! Congratulations! Ever since I made my first retreat at your place all of you sisters have had a special place in my heart. Please know my prayers of gratitude to Almighty God for your vocation and for your beautiful, radiant, and joyful “yes” in receiving it and living it. You all have my prayers, love, and support. May you all have a blessed remainder of Advent and a truly joyous and holy Christmas season. Looking forward to seeing you in February for my retreat along with a priest friend that I am bringing along with me who will be here for the first time to meet you.

    Peace of the Newborn King to you always!

    Fr. Dan Hoffman

  6. peg kline says:

    Sister John Mark Maria,

    Both Don and I can see the spirit of Christ’s love radiating from you. You are such a treasure and blessing to everyone who knows you. You have listened to HIS calling with a trust and open heart that can only continue to grow closer to HIM. You will be always in our prayers. Deo Gratias for YOU !

  7. Steven Espenschied says:

    Sr. John Mark Maria:

    Congratulation! The last time you were at Little Flower when I was there teaching and heard that you were leaving I knew you were called to do something greater. I’ve been keeping track of the progress and will continued to pray for the project to be completed.

    I’ve been to NV to see my brother and his wife and if I do it again, I will make an effort to stop by.

    <ay the Peace of the Newborn King continued to bless you and the sisters now and in the coming yewar.

  8. Debbie Toscano says:

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos with us. Sister John Mark Maria looks so beautiful and so happy! Thank you for your vocation. May God bless you and all the sisters.
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Cindee Case says:

    Sister John-Mark Maria –

    Be assured of MUCH prayer support still coming from the Diocese of Youngstown and those who had the blessed opportunity to know you and serve with you.

    Congratulations on your final vows. May Christ’s light continue to shine in you and through you!

  10. Emma Coleman says:

    Congratulations Sr John Mark Maria. You were such a blessing in my life when I was baptized and confirmed Catholic at the age of 21. You even helped me choose a confirmation name before you left Walsh. You are such a role model for women to follow. May Christ give you strength in all that you do.

  11. Liz says:

    We can only hope to be as holy as you Sr. John Mark Maria. It was very humbling to witness your final vows and very
    inspirational. I hope to see you soon.

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