Members of our Province of the Immaculate Conception gathered in Washington on December 6th to celebrate together the investiture of SSVM novices and IVE novices and to honor Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We were honored to have His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, preside over the Mass accompanied by many concelebrating IVE priests and diocesan priests.
For all of us united in the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word—IVE priests and seminarians, SSVM sisters and novices, as well as our lay Third Order members—we thank God for the gift of new religious vocations to our family.
Each time a young person hears the call of Christ and leaves everything to be His alone, the whole Church must rejoice. We are witnessing the vitality of the Holy Spirit in our own day calling souls to follow Christ in radical imitation of His Poverty, His Chastity and His Obedience.
The ceremony of investiture of the holy habit is an important moment in the life of a novice.
For the first time she joins her sisters clothed as a spouse of Christ according to the habit of her order. In our community, she also receives a new religious name, an avocation of Mary. This external sign of her desire to follow Christ in the consecrated life is marked with the white veil of the novice. She is beginning, she is a bride, but she has not yet professed vows. The time of the novitiate continues as a time of deep prayer, ongoing discernment, and deeper knowledge of the charism of the community.
While our brothers do not receive a new religious name, they are clothed in black clerics and the cassock, the habit of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE), as they prepare to be holy religious and missionary priests.
We congratulate our sisters and brothers as they move forward in their novitiate, and we ask the Lord to bless them and guide them onward in His love.