Monday September 28th will be acknowledged as a meaningful date in the history of Carmel. On this day Teretia Ioteba, a 35 year old lady from the atolls of Kiribati in the middle of the Pacific, made her simple profession in the Monastery of Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, in Morristown, New Jersey. This is the first time that a girl from Kiribati formally entered the family of Carmel.
The celebration was simple yet significant.
Within a sung mass celebrated by Father Pius Sammut, Discalced Carmelite and accompanied by Father Hector Larrea – both of them missionaries in Kiribati, Sister Naomi Batarah of Christ The Lord – as she is known in Carmel – read the formula of profession, which she herself had written, in the hands of her Prioress, Mother Therese.
Jesus Christ chose Sister Naomi Batarah to be His and His alone in a life of chastity, poverty and obedience.
After placing the profession document on the altar, Sister Naomi received a cross, “as a sign that you are now espoused to one Bridegroom – Jesus Christ.” She will keep this cross always near to her heart! She then approached the Sisters and embraced them profusely in Christ Jesus.
The celebration was live streamed across the oceans to Tarawa Kiribati and to Tal-Virtu Rabat Malta.
“Vocation, or the call to consecrate oneself to God, is a privilege: a privilege which does not depend on personal merit, but on God’s good pleasure alone. God chooses whom He wills, when He wills, and as He wills…
The story of every vocation can be summarized by saying that God’s glance has rested with special love on one of His creatures. That this creature is poor, weak, and wretched does not matter...” – Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene, OCD