7 Benedictine Ravens Make Final Vows

“Ravens are flying high in the sky, cheer them on their way!”

Visitors were surprised to hear those words of the Raven Fight Song ring out at the reception after the solemn Aug. 15 event at at St. Mary’s Parish in Alton, Ill., in a ceremony presided over by Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill., with five bishops concelebrating.

But seven former  students of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., had taken their final vows as Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George, and they couldn’t hold back.

“It was a beautiful way to share the consecration and covenant with my family and friends present and to show them how much it means to me.  It was a day overwhelmed with grace that was indescribable,” Sister Mary George Brown, Class of 2005. “I turned my heart over to the One Who created it forever.”

Thirteen sisters in total made their final vows. This is the final step in a long process. The sisters have been in the convent  for 8-10 years: Three years of initial formation and the rest in temporary profession.

“Through Final Profession of Vows, the young Sister hands over her life to God ‘forever’ within our Community,” the sisters’ website explains. “She receives a ring as the sign of her commitment to Jesus.”

Seven sang the Raven Fight Song, said Vocations Director Sister M. Consolata, FSGM.  “Not all of them graduated from the school, but they are all Ravens,” she said.

The Benedictine College graduates:

  • Sister M. Catherine Welter, ’07
  • Sister Mary George Brown, ’05
  • Sister M. Vianney Ebben, ’08
  • Sister M. Christiana Lanuzga, ’11

Students who entered the congregation prior to graduating:

  • Sister M. Clementia Toalson (Tracy Toalson, studied with the class of ’05)
  • Sister Mary Jude Marsella (Rachel Marsella, studied with the class of ’06)
  • Sister Mary David Tappan (Andrea Tappan , studied with the class of ’05)

In his homily Bishop Paprocki told the sisters not to be satisfied with being good, but to be great, which means to be holy, to be a saint.

Shown with the sisters above, left to right, are the five concelebrating bishops: Cardinal Justin Rigali; Springfield, Ill., Bishop Thomas Paprocki; La Crosse Bishop William Callahan; Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky; and Bishop Edward Rice, St. Louis Auxiliary.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.