On Saturday, December 8 2012, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Sister Therese Maria Touma professed First Vows as a Maronite Servant of Christ the Light during the Qurbono at Saint Anthony of the Desert parish in Fall River, MA. His Excellency, Bishop Gregory Mansour, several concelebrating clergy and over 200 people attended the celebration. Mother Marla Marie received Sister Therese Maria's vows after the homily (as you can see from the photos).
It was a beautiful and blessed day in the journey of the foundation of the Maronite Servants. Sister Therese Maria addressed the congregation at the close of the Qurbono:
“My soul rejoices in the Lord my Savior…The Mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” (Luke 1: 47, 49)
Yes, truly he has filled me with the fullness of his awesome love. Thank you to all for your encouraging presence and prayers, and for sharing with me such a joyous occasion. In gratitude to our Good God, I thank him for the gift of my calling as a Maronite Servant of Christ the Light, and for the grace to respond to this life-giving invitation to be all for Jesus, and to love and serve our Church.
I thank my parents Youssef and Jackie for all their sacrifices and love in raising me and my siblings Alison and Roumanos. I am honored to have my mum here with me all the way from Australia, representing my loved ones, family and friends back home in Sydney.
There are many who have touched my life and made a positive difference. They know who they are and I thank God for each of them.
In particular, I thank His Excellency Sayedna Gregory Mansour for his inspiring words, caring presence and faithful witness of fatherly and brotherly love.
I am deeply grateful to the generous abounas (priests) who have supported me in my journey of discernment and formation, and especially for those here today.
In a special way, I thank you Mother Marla Marie for your self-giving dedication and uplifting presence in my life as a guide, formator, and dear friend. In the last three years of formation, I have seen myself grow in the acceptance of my humanity, and in compassion for my neighbor. Thank you for your goodness, for all the joys, challenges, and the sharing of your life experiences with me, in community. This all has helped me to grow in my understanding and living of true communion and love.