Two women were joyfully welcomed into the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary religious congregation as novices in a reception ceremony held Aug. 13 at Villa Maria House of Studies in Immaculata. The entrance of Caitlin Blum and Stephanie Tracy into the novitiate marks the women’s formal introduction to religious life.
Sister Lorraine McGrew, I.H.M., general superior, welcomed each newly received sister, gave each a copy of the constitutions of the congregation and pronounced her religious name. The women entered chapel appearing for the first time in the I.H.M. habit.
In religion, Caitlin will be known as Sister M. Caitlin Rose and Stephanie will be known as Sister M. Stephanie Gabriel.
Sister Caitlin Rose hails from St. Mary Parish in Schwenksville and is the daughter of James and Kathryn Blum. Sister Caitlin Rose is a 2010 graduate of Millersville University, where she earned a degree in elementary education. In 2013, she earned her master’s degree in English as a Second Language and technology from Arcadia University.
Sister Stephanie Gabriel is a native of All Saints Parish in Manassas, Va. She graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, in 2003 with a degree in journalism. In 2004, she earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
The sisters entered the I.H.M. congregation in September 2013. The first year is called the postulate year, during which the two sisters lived the life of an I.H.M. sister and learned about religious life. The postulancy afforded them the opportunity to discern and follow their call by God to enter religious life.
During the year the two young women took part in all aspects of community life including private and communal prayers, daily living of community life and participation in the mission of the sisters to evangelize, to catechize and to teach.
As first year, or canonical novices, the sisters will take part in classes related to prayer and theology. In the second year of their novitiate, the sisters will also learn more about the mission and prepare to actively participate in it.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it with youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: