New Religious Order Begins With Vocation Explosion
BURGOS, Spain, FEB. 15, 2011
Nearly 200 young nuns processed from their cloister to the cathedral of Burgos on Saturday for the official establishment of their new institute of consecrated life.
Sister Verónica María Berzosa Martínez, formerly the abbess of the group is now also their founder.
Sister Berzosa, 46, joined the Poor Clares when she was 18. She felt called along with the sisters of her community to establish this new charism, which has now been recognized by the Church as an institute of consecrated life.
"I am as happy as I am overwhelmed by it all, especially the incomparable gift of being a Christian, of belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ, where every day I am more passionate about the gift of the call to follow him," she said.
The Mass was concelebrated by Archbishop Francisco Gil Hellín of Burgos, Archbishop Renzo Fratini, the Holy See's nuncio in Spain, and Cardinal Antonio María Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid and president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference.
Archbishop Francisco Pérez of Pamplona also attended, as did Sister Berzosa's brother, Bishop Raúl Berzosa of Ciudad Rodrigo.
The papal nuncio read the letter that Cardinal Franc Rodé, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life, sent to the Burgos archbishop, together with the decree of approval of the institute.
As the sisters kneeled, Archbishop Gil Hellín asked them three questions, similar to those formulated in the rite of profession. It was a rather symbolic act as the religious did not profess again since they had already done so as Poor Clares. In transforming the community into a new institute,"Iesu Communio", the Holy See held that the profession they made at the time is fully valid.
Sister Veronica entered the Poor Clares in 1983. In 1994 she was appointed novice master, and soon after there was a notable increase in the number of novices. In 2004, the Franciscans gave the community a monastery in La Aguilera as they already had problems with space, given that the community has more than 180 women religious.