Sister Mary Peter RyanDenelle Ryan enters novitiate; named Sister Mary Peter

MERIDEN, CT (12-16-2012) - "Rejoice! I say it again, Rejoice!" acclaims the Reading for Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent. The Community has a special reason for rejoicing. In a private ceremony preceding the Community Mass for Gaudete Sunday, Denelle Ryan was received into the Novitiate of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. Rebecca LaFever, Postulant, read Denelle's chosen reading from St. Paul, after which Denelle presented her request for Novitiate to Mother Shaun Vergauwen, Mother General. Mother Shaun blessed the new habit, cincture and veil to be worn by the new Sister. Upon returning to the chapel, clothed in the Franciscan habit, Denelle knelt before Mother Shaun to receive her new name which Mother announced as "Sister Mary Peter."

During her two years as a novice, Sister Mary Peter will study Franciscan spirituality, the theology of the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience and have multiple daily opportunities to serve the Community.

Sister Mary Peter is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Ryan of Belmont, Massachusetts. Growing up in a military family, Sister Mary Peter lived in Texas, Louisiana, Virginia and Massachusetts in the U.S.A. and in Germany and Russia. As a family, her siblings and parents traveled together to Egypt, Estonia, Ireland, Sweden and Norway. She had the opportunity to travel extensively on school trips while living abroad, visiting Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania, Finland and the Ukraine. In college, Sister Mary Peter participated in mission trips to Jamaica, Mexico and the Philippines. As a pre-postulant, she spent several days in the Holy Land. Given her travel experience, it is not surprising she majored in history in college, receiving a B. A. degree in History from George Mason University. She is in the process of completing a Masters degree in History at Southern Connecticut State University.
Rebecca LaFever, fellow postulant and friend of Denelle reads from Scripture at the beginning of the ceremony.
Denelle presents her request while kneeling before Mother Shaun Vergauwen, Mother General.
Mother Shaun blesses the new habit, veil and cincture to be worn by the new Sister.
Above left, newly-clothed in the Franciscan habit, the novice returns to the chapel and is greeted by the Community's applause. Above right, the new Sister shares with the Community what her postulancy medal has meant to her this past year.
Sister Mary Peter smiles as Mother Shaun announces her new name, a surprise to all.

Above left, Sister Mary Peter receives a blessing from Mother Rosemae Pender, FSE, Mother Foundress, who uses the words of St. Francis to his Brothers: "I bless you all that I can and more than I can, and what I cannot, I ask God to do in you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Above right, Sister Mary Peter radiates the joy of these sacred moments.

Sister Mary Peter with her formation directors, (left) Sister Mary Elizabeth Endee, Pre-postulant Director;
and Sister Catherine Mary Clarke, Postulant Director.
Sister Mary Peter's peers congratulate her in this next step of formation. From left, Postulants Christine Elliott, Ken Root, Rebecca LaFever, Mary Silver, and Novices Sister Mary Peter, Sister Faith Marie Woolsey and Sister Mary Kolbe Heffern.