Like most feast days of Mary, her birthday on Sept. 8 has a long tradition in our BVM congregation. From simple festivities on the prairie to rather noisy entrance days for decades, this annual feast continues to elicit the celebrative dimension of our charism. While we may make some special plans or take time to share some entrance day stories, let the day be welcomed as a special pause at the end of summer. The pause during this Year of Reflection on Mary’s relationship with us as associates and sisters may call us to visualize or visit Mount Carmel’s main entrance.
It was customary on entrance day to be welcomed at the main door, and then probably never again use those steps until some Jubilee photo. Let us pause today to revisit that entrance and let its message of new beginnings touch our hearts. Even as Mount Carmel’s front door was a symbol of formal entry to BVM life and mission, today it is a symbol of entry into a new era. Stand there with all the past, present and future persons who have and will grace that entry and gather them in grateful and hope-filled blessings as we wish a “Happy Birthday” to Mary!