Ten years ago, I walked the Camino de Santiago for five days, as part of a pilgrimage in Spain. Backpacking thirteen to seventeen miles a day was exhausting, but the experiences made the journey unforgettable. The road led our group along the side of highways, through villages, and into local farmers’ fields. We relied on each other for help and encouragement, and on the providence of God to get us through each day and for all of our needs. The highlight was daily Holy Mass in whichever beautiful Spanish church we found ourselves, and at the end of the journey, we rejoiced at the Pilgrim’s Mass in the Basilica of Saint James in Compostella.
This year, by God’s grace, I will profess perpetual vows in the Sisters of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. I find an extraordinary parallel between my experience on the Camino and the path of consecrated life. Serving on ecclesial family teams has given me a true family to walk beside and rely on. Being in mission in areas of deepest apostolic need has led me to Latino, White, and Native American communities. My vow of poverty enables me to travel lightly through this world, relying on the Providence of my Father. Chastity makes me a bride of Jesus Christ, united to Him through a complete offering of myself to Him. Obedience enables me to live God’s will for my life each day, confident that I will not get lost on the path. And I await that glorious day when I will be united with all peoples in the feast of Heaven.
The collect prayer for the Mass of Perpetual Profession states that it is through the grace of baptism that consecrated persons follow “more closely in the footsteps” of Jesus. I believe this very deeply, because I knew from a very young age that I was called by God to be a sister. Please pray for me as I profess perpetual vows, so that I may enter this new chapter of my vocation with renewed grace, following Jesus, my Bridegroom, Who is The Way.
Sr. Mary Rachel Craig is originally from South Texas. She is currently serving in Benque Viejo, Belize, as she prepares for her perpetual vows.