Carmelite Solemn Profession: A “Delightful though Arduous Life”

October 6, 2023

Above: Sr. Mary Donna Fe Josef of Jesus O. Carm (crowned with roses) is pictured following the Mass of her Solemn Profession at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes with her Carmelite Sisters, Bishop Thomas Daly, and other members of the clergy.

By Sister Paschalina Marie, SMMC

In response to the Lord’s call to deepen the consecration begun in her by Holy Baptism, on Sunday, October 1, the liturgical feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, Sister Mary Donna Fe Josef of Jesus Escora, O. Carm offered herself to Jesus as a solemnly professed Nun of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel. In doing so, Sister Donna Fe took upon herself forever a “delightful though arduous life” marked with zeal and fervor in the Lord’s service, with the pursuit of perfect charity, and with the willing embrace of solitude and silence. Plainly, Sr. Donna Fe’s profession of solemn vows entails a life in imitation of Christ, the poor, chaste, and obedient One – a manner of life proposed by Him (Mt 19:12).

Sr. Mary Donna Fe Josef of Jesus lies prostrate during the chanting of the Litany of the Saints.

Rich in symbolic expression, the elements of the Rite of Religious Profession allow the faithful to perceive the gift of consecrated life in the Church as a prophetic sign of the union with Christ to which all are called to enjoy in the age to come. Called, crowned, and espoused, Sr. Donna Fe incarnated the song of love sung by the Bride to her Beloved, the song of praise to remain upon the lips of the Church until the end of time. “Buried” by a shower of rose petals like a grain of wheat hidden in the ground, Sister’s death to self to live completely for and in Christ will render her a fruitful spouse, a fruitful vine planted in the Lord’s House for years to come.

Sister Mary Donna Fe Josef of Jesus kneels before Bishop Daly to receive her ring and articles of Solemn Profession.

The fruit is already visible.

With the historic opportunity to be present for what was likely the first solemn Carmelite profession in the Diocese of Spokane, and before the time Sister Donna Fe and her Sisters take up their Pasco cloister (allowing the ceremony to take place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes), many of those who love and support the Carmelite community joined in a festive reception in honor of the wonderful occasion and to express great thanksgiving to God for the gift of Sr. Donna Fe, for her many sacrifices and trusting fidelity in response to her vocation, and to petition Jesus for the grace of Sister’s holy perseverance. Local young women are expressing active interest in entering upon the life of the Mater et Décor Carmeli Monastery. Please God, may many more flowers of Carmel blossom in due season and with splendor to the praise of Almighty God, especially within the garden of our diocese.

Many friends and loved ones traveled to Spokane from the Tri-Cities to celebrate with Sister. Following Holy Mass at the Cathedral, a delightful reception took place in the parish hall of St. Patrick Parish, Spokane.

For more information about the recent founding of the Carmelite Monastery by Sister Donna Fe’s community in Pasco, see pages 16-19 of the latest edition of the Inland Catholic.

Sister Paschalina Marie, SMMC is a member of the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church and serves as the Coordinator of Religious Education at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes. She additionally contributes to the work of fostering vocations in the Diocese of Spokane by sitting on the Diocesan Vocations Commission and being part of the Office of Vocations Leadership Team.