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Share the joy of parents seeing their kids make final vows

Priestly ordination

Yandry_kw | Shutterstock

Sarah Robsdottir - published on 03/05/24

Two videos show the bittersweet joy and pride parents experience in the moment when their children have taken final vows and commit to religious life.

Two videos of young people entering religious life were released recently by the Rosary Soldiers of Christ, and the response on social media has been overwhelmingly positive. In a time of a vocations crisis in the West, where the numbers of young men and women heeding God’s call has been dwindling, it’s encouraging to see so many likes, shares, and loving comments surrounding the two reels — a newly ordained priest offers his first blessing to his parents and a religious sister says goodbye to her family.

In the first emotional video, the new priest steps down from the altar after his hands were anointed by the bishop; the young priest is then received first by his mother. From his hands, she unwraps the manutergium (from the Latin manu, “hand,” and tergium, “towel”). And in accordance with ordination tradition, the mother kisses her son’s hands and keeps the manutergium for her own burial. Similarly, although not shown in this particular reel, the newly ordained priest’s father will eventually receive the stole his son wore while hearing his first Confession. 

The second reel is truly bittersweet — a daughter says goodbye to her family in order to commit to religious life. While there is not a lot of information given in this reel, it’s obvious the young woman is entering some sort of cloistered life — symbolized by the door closing behind her as she’s received into a convent. Young women who embrace such a life of prayer and contemplation typically have very little contact with the outside world once they profess their vows. It’s very likely that the religious sister in this reel has gone from living with her family to only communicating with them a few times a year because her life is so deeply devoted to prayer and service.

Both of these touching videos were released within the past few weeks on the Facebook page for the Rosary Soldiers of Christ, a group run by Dominican friars based in Portland, Oregon, whose mission is to “preach the good news of Jesus Christ by promoting devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Within hours of each video’s release, both reels drew such a positive response that it’s easy to conclude there’s hope for the future of vocations even in times such as these, when the Church is facing unprecedented challenges all over the world.     

NunsParentingPriestReligious Life
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