Opening of Probation
This past September, the General Council of the Society of the Sacred Heart officially welcomed seven Religious of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) in their final stage of formation, known as Probation, to the Villa Lante in Rome. The RSCJ probanists are: Nataly Fabiola of the Province of Chile, Gloria Diaz of the Province of Colombia, Barbara Olejnik of the Province of Poland, Ruth Lema and Nancy Mabakuka of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Tchad Province, Mary Atukunda of the Uganda – Kenya Province, and Uchenna Oluoha of the United States – Canada Province.
From the time of Madeleine Sophie, Probation is the time and space an RSCJ is given to hear God in a new way and to deepen her relationship with Jesus Christ in immediate preparation for making a lifelong commitment as an RSCJ through her profession of final vows in the Society. Probation typically spans four to five months.
Since September, the probanists have been living at the Villa Lante, a historic property in Rome where Society founder Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat once lived, walked and prayed, and where many RSCJ have lived during their time of Probation.
During the opening of Probation service, Superior General Barbara Dawson, RSCJ, outlined the context in which these Sisters will live this time of Probation:
You are here together in probation as the whole Society prepares for the General Chapter of 2024. I am sure that over the past several years you have participated in many conversations and gatherings in your own provinces about the Society’s future – who God is calling us to be and what God is calling us to do? You are privileged to be together at this moment, to live in a cross-cultural, cross-provincial community and to have the space to create something new. Probation will give you the time and the space to share more deeply with your peers from other countries, to explore how to live this moment in the Society and discover your way to contribute to the future of our mission and our world as woman in the church, as professed Religious of the Sacred Heart.
For this specific Probation group, the directors Christine Mukoko, RSCJ, and Gerardette Philips, RSCJ, chose a modern-day icon to accompany the sisters during this journey. The icon they chose is the image of the Coronation of Mary.
Perpetual Vows Ceremony
All are invited to be with the Society’s probanists as they celebrate their Perpetual Profession in the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Saturday, February 3, 2024.
The Perpetual Vows ceremony will take place on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 11 a.m. (Rome Time), at the Chapel in the Villa Lante, Via di San Francesco di Sales 18, Rome, Italy.
From the Probanists
At the start of Probation, each probanist was asked to share what she was most grateful for. Click here to watch a video and hear their responses.