Lent 2020 has been an unusual time for everyone in the Church and in the world! The unprecedented situation created by the coronavirus crisis has touched all of our lives. But Holy Mother Church always remains close to her children. She urges them to keep their eyes on the eternal goal. Just like a true mother, when anxiety is at its height, she gives us something beautiful to meditate on… reminding us… This was the case on Laetare Sunday 2020, when Julia O’Leary was accepted as a Novice of the Sisters, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Laetare! Rejoice! All public Masses were cancelled, so the MICM religious and the O’Leary family gathered in the small convent chapel, called Gate of Heaven, to witness this young woman ask for the habit of a novice. What a beautiful contrast to the worries of the world!

Julia O’Leary, the third of Christa & Denis O’Leary’s five children, was raised in Texas. She and her sisters became acquainted with the Sisters through the Morning Star Camp program, and travelled to attend the NH sessions for many years. After graduation from high school, Julia thought of God first, and was received as a postulant of the Sisters in September 2019.

Now, 6 months later, Julia received  the habit of a Novice and a new name in religion on March 22, 2020 ~ Laetare Sunday. She will be known henceforth as Sister Pia-Marie, taking the great Saint Padre Pio for her patron saint! Please keep Sister Pia-Marie in your prayers as she begins the two year program of study and formation that will one day lead to First Vows as a Bride of Christ!