Commitment takes courage, love and faith. These qualities, and many more, were so evident in the recent Eucharist to celebrate the First Profession of Sr JwanKadaibvm. Held on a radiant summer’s afternoon in the garden of one of the communities that Jwan has lived in during her time with Loreto, the Eucharist was a creative and sensitive meeting of Jwan’s Chaldean heritage and the story and vision of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Jwan’s Iraqi-Australian family members joined Loreto Sisters, friends, mentors and colleagues of Jwan in a true Mary Ward circle of friends. The celebrant for the Profession was Fr Khalid Marogi, a long-time friend of Jwan and her family. Khalid worked closely with Jwan to shape a liturgy that respected the dignity of the Chaldean Rite while at the same time being responsive to the unique context of this 21st-century Aussie First Profession. Supported by Novice Director, Angela Slattery ibvm, Jwan made her vows in the presence of Sisters from across Australia, Timor Leste, Vietnam and the Philippines. Mindful of the international flavour of Mary Ward’s Institute, Province Leader, Wendy Hildebrand ibvm welcomed Jwan thus:
“I am very conscious of a wide circle of friends praying with us this afternoon – across our land, across our South East Asian region and, in fact, right across our globe. I hope you are aware of those whose lives you have touched, Jwan, and feel supported in turn by the love of so many – in Iraq, Sweden, Los Angeles, detention centres, schools, the Cana communities, Mary Ward communities, Yarra Theological Union …”
Jwan is an accomplished teacher and educational leader with a passion for social justice. Jwan’s heart is particularly drawn toward the plight of young people who are incarcerated in our harsh juvenile justice system. She has also found a home with the Cana community in Sydney, sharing her life with people who are struggling on many different levels. To honour Jwan’s vocation, Deirdre Browne ibvm wrote a bespoke verse for her famous hymn, Come As You Are, to celebrate Jwan’s special day and commitment to love all:
Go to my people, sit with the broken Go to my people, stand in their pain Let love transform the darkest of places I will be with you, wherever you go.
The Profession was a beautiful reminder of the commitment we all make to follow our heart, to follow Jesus in our blessed and broken world, to follow Mary Ward as people of freedom, justice and integrity. This liturgy of courage, love and faith flows into a Province Assembly in the coming days. Jwan will participate in the Assembly as a Loreto Sister, helping to shape a vision and corporate commitment for the years ahead. After a break with family, friends and younger members of the Province, Jwan will return to Sydney to complete her thesis exploring Catholic Social Teaching in the context of restorative justice for young offenders. Jwan is also one of the driving forces behind Loreto Communications’ Talking Transformative Love podcast series.
A Profession calls us all to be people of courage, love and faith. Jwan’s Profession was an invitation for each one of us to dialogue with Jesus at the well of life-giving water. We offer our love and prayerful support to Jwan as she continues to discern God’s passion and promptings in her life.
BrekhtaJwan! Congratulations, Jwan!
Author: Anne Muirhead
Feature Image: Eucharist to celebrate the First Profession of Sr JwanKadaibvm
Photography by Robert Gorial.