By Darlene J.M. Dela Cruz
Hawaii Catholic Herald
On a gorgeous Aug. 2 morning in Waikiki, Hawaii at St. Augustine Church, Sister Cheryl Wint became the newest professed member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.
The high-spired landmark by the sea was packed for the 8 a.m. Sunday Mass with parishioners and Sister Cheryl’s family, friends and colleagues. The liturgy, celebrated by Sacred Heart’s Father Lane Akiona, was a joyful celebration of consecrated life.
Rich in symbolism, the rite of perpetual profession included the chanting of the Litany of Saints, a ring ceremony commemorating Sister Cheryl’s “life commitment to the Lord” and a blessing from the congregation’s leadership team.
“I, Sister Cheryl Wint, consecrate myself more fully to God and the service of the church,” she said as part of her vows. “I ask the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Blessed Father St. Francis, St. Clare and all the saints to help me keep this most sacred covenant and to ‘live in the house of the Lord’ all the days of my life.”
Reflecting on her profession a few days later, Sister Cheryl said that in making her final vows, “I really feel that I have found a home” where “I can live as faithful a religious life as I can.”
She said she was surprised by the impact the profession rite — which took place during a Sunday liturgy in a parish church rather than the usual convent setting — made on the larger community.
Sister Cheryl said she was filled with gratitude when parents brought their young daughters to meet and congratulate her. She and her fellow Sisters of St. Francis found the public’s response to the ceremony as “very overwhelming,” she said.
Sister Cheryl was born in England, raised in Jamaica and lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. She is a graduate of the Education for Parish Service program of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and has pursued undergraduate studies at Trinity University in Washington, D.C.
She spent time at the sisters’ formation house in Syracuse, New York while ministering at St. Joseph Hospital Health System. In 2012, she moved to Hawaii and began serving as pastoral associate at St. Augustine’s.
Sister Cheryl says vowed religious life motivates her to live joyfully and virtuously. “I am energized and motivated to go wherever God is calling me to go.”
Patrick Downes contributed to this report.
Photo by Darlene J.M. Dela Cruz. Pictured with Sister Cheryl Wint is Sister Roberta Smith, general minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.