“…you will set the whole world on fire.” These words proclaimed by Catherine of Siena nearly 700 years ago were true as the Catholic community of St. Francis of Assisi parish in Sangre Grande, Trinidad & Tobago, gathered to witness the perpetual profession of Sister Lystra Long, O.P. Our prioress, Mary Ellen Gevelinger, O.P. received Lystra’s vows, and there were twenty-two Dominicans of Sinsinawa present, along with five Associates, Lystra’s family, Archbishop Gilbert, priests and religious, and many friends of our Trinidadian Sisters and Associates.
The two-hour liturgy featured spirited liturgical music which was mostly Trinidadian, but also some North American, including “Sacrament Most Holy,” by Marcia Holthaus, O.P. (accompanied by Steel Pans, of all things!)
Then all 450 gathered under tents outside that had been decorated with red, white and black balloons, colorful tablecloths and stars, (which were a BIG hit with the children!) for a splendid Trinidadian feast, with wine and more music.
After the celebration ended there, the Dominican Family re-grouped back at the Community House on Piccadilly, for more singing and laughter and story-telling. A final surprise for Lystra was the appearance of a musical group “Viva Jesus,” whose lead singer was the brother of Gail Jagroop, O.P. These twelve musicians set up silently outside and then serenaded us with traditional Trinidadian “Parang” music for more than an hour. There was more dancing and singing, eating and drinking. It was true to both the Trinidadian and Dominican traditions.
How does your family celebrate a commitment?
Ruth Poochigian, O.P.
Madison WI (via Trinidad and Tobago)