Final profession of vows
in her own words[/quote_box_right]Sr. Carrie Elizabeth Flood, IHM, professed perpetual vows of chastity, poverty and obedience as a Sister, Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at a Eucharistic celebration Oct. 4 at Our Lady of Peace Residence in Scranton, Pa.
Sr. Carrie, a native of Mesa, earned a bachelor of arts degree in French and German from The University of California, Berkeley. It was during her volunteer experience as a nurse’s aide at the Marian Convent that she came to know the IHM Sisters. She joined the IHM Congregation in 2004. Sr. Carrie will continue her current ministry as a systems analyst at TMG Health in Jessup, Pa.
Sr. Carrie’s “response” during the Rite of Perpetual Profession
Twenty-four years ago I said goodbye to the IHM Sisters and returned to my home in Arizona. I had just completed a two-year volunteer program working as a nurses’ aide at the Marian Convent, where I’d had the privilege of caring for Sister Samuel, Sister Graecia, Sister St. Joseph and our dear Mother Beata, to name just a few. As I said my tearful goodbyes, many of the sisters told me they were praying that I would come back someday. My dear Sisters in the prayer ministry, I have learned never to underestimate the power of your prayers!
In the Sonoran desert of the southwestern United States, wildflower seeds lie buried in the earth, waiting for the drenching rains that will stir them into growth. When the rains are sparse, the seeds wait, often for years, sometimes for decades, until the conditions are favorable to allow the seedlings to make their journey through the soil. My vocation as an IHM Sister is like those seeds. God planted it in the depths of my heart and then gifted me with a loving, Catholic family. Nurtured by family and friends into early adulthood, I began in earnest my journey of faith and the discernment of my life’s vocation. When it seemed like the soil of my heart was lying fallow, it was then that God was accomplishing, to use the words of Teilhard de Chardin, his “slow, quiet work.” Did I wait for God, or did God wait for me? No matter. God did not disappoint. In God’s wisdom that “the conditions were favorable,” God drenched my heart with the grace and courage to continue the journey of my vocation, to embark on the God-quest as an IHM Sister.
Nurtured by God’s ever-present and unconditional love, supported in community and mission by my IHM Sisters, and befriended and challenged in ministry by many wonderful people, I have become firmly rooted in my life as an IHM Sister. I choose to spend my life growing in love and service to God and the people of God. Like the wildflower that witnesses to God’s fidelity and care, I pray to be a witness to the presence of God in the world, proclaiming God’s love and God’s glory to the end of my days.
The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary are a congregation of 390 Catholic women religious who are engaged in a variety of ministries in education, healthcare, social service and pastoral ministry in the United States and Latin America.