PURAK, Papar – The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (FSIC) accepted a new member into their order when Novice Edna Sylvester Yukun made her first profession on 6 Feb 2016 at their novitiate chapel at the Convent of St Mary of the Angels here.
Archbishop John Wong presided at his first Eucharistic Celebration with the Rite of First Profession, concelebrated with Fr Aloysius Fidelis, chaplain of the novitiate house as well as of the nearby Holy Family Residence for Senior Citizens run by the order.
In his homily the presider said that based on the readings of the day (Sat of 4th Week in Ordinary Time), one must prioritise one’s relationship with the Lord who calls one to be with him first before being sent out on mission. He likened the stages of formation to this call of the Lord: from being a novice (being with the Lord) to a young professed (being sent on mission). One must emulate Solomon’s prayer in the first reading – to ask for wisdom, for a discerning heart, to have right judgment.
Novice Edna then professed the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience for a year before Superior General Sr Grace Deosing, who accepted the vows, which was witnessed by Sr Lilian Unsoh and Sr Frances Mani. After doing so, the neo-professed changed into the habit of the congregation, signifying a new status, that of a temporary professed member of the institute. She is now Sr Edna. After the change of attire, the presider presented her with the Rule and Life of the Order Regular of St Francis. The rite ended with a sign of peace and welcome from the Superior General and her council, the Directress of Novices and the presider.
Born on 1 Apr 1983, Edna is the third child in a brood of seven girls and three boys born to Sylvester Yukun and Sylvia Koriki of Ranau. They were all present to witness her first profession. She was born in Ranau but grew up in Sandakan. After her father retired from the forestry department, the family moved back to Ranau. Edna, according to a spokesperson, had always the desire to become a religious, even when she was in kindergarten. She was actively involved in church activities. She was also a member of the Star of Yahweh Covenant Community in Sandakan. She entered the local institute in 2012.
After the Mass, Sr Grace announced that Edna would be sent to the new community of Our Lady of Consolation Nabawan together with Sr Sandra Yapp. It was noted by Abp Wong that her profession was the first profession after the Year of Consecrated Life and he encouraged her to join her fellow religious to “wake up the world” (theme of the Consecrated Life Year) through the witness of their lives.
Those who attended the event – around 90 – mostly fellow religious, family members and relatives, Secular Franciscans and friends – adjourned to the dining hall for a fellowship lunch.