Sister Georgina Acquah, CSC, reflects on making her perpetual vows
Sister Georgina Acquah, CSC, professed her perpetual vows in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross on July 1, 2022, at St. Brother André Chapel in Brafoyaw, Cape Coast, Ghana. Sister Mary Tiernan, general councilor, received her vows.
by Sister Georgina Acquah, CSC
“God, I come to do your WILL”
This strong phrase echoes within me as I reflect on my vocation. Yes, it is God’s will that I come to do. Throughout my Christian journey, I have pondered and reflected on God’s will as a way of responding to God’s call. This has nurtured me in every decision I have taken, including my lifelong journey in Holy Cross.
Over the years, during my experiences in the initial stages of formation—discernment, candidacy, novitiate and as a temporarily professed sister—I have found deep inspiration. These experiences have sustained my quest to pursue a radical way of relating to others, just as Christ did, which makes my happiness complete.
To me, these experiences are in line with John 3:30, where St. John says, “He must increase, and I must decrease.” Throughout my formation, my willingness to know God has increased my knowledge of seeing him as the core of my being. This has helped me to do away with temptations that may seem to please me. Instead, I have listened deeply and responded to what pleases God, and this has served as a transformation for me over the years of my initial formation.
My Joyful Yes
July 1, 2022, was a joy to behold as I professed my perpetual vows. It was indeed a bundle of joy, a moment to relive and re-echo in my life the singular act of faith, like Blessed Mary in her yes to the Lord.
Hearing Sister Theresia W. Mbugua, CSC, coordinator of the Area of Africa, mention my name, my heart was filled with awe and wonder. And in my response to her call—“God has called me. Here I am!”—I felt a deep conviction that God was with me and realized that “Yes, Georgina, God has called you.” Walking down the aisle with my parents, I felt peaceful thinking about the story of Samuel and how God called him. I was conscious that I had been called by God, and that just as he gave Samuel the courage to minister to his people, God would continue to be with me.
As I pronounced my vows, which were received by Sister Mary Tiernan, CSC, I knew for certain that my vows of chastity, evangelical poverty and obedience were the foundation of my vocation in Holy Cross. My final commitment to live the vows until death serves as my radical generosity and deep choice to serve God and humanity.
During the homily, I was inspired by the theme, “To consecrate myself more deeply to God,” chosen by Archbishop Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, the main celebrant for the day. The archbishop explained in his homily that the ultimate goal of the evangelical counsels is not only to proclaim the goodness of Christ but to try to live like Christ. It is to live a life of service and selflessness, to the point of death. Obedience is a virtue by which Christ accepted the will of the Father. And as a consecrated person, obedience will help me to know the will of Christ and act upon it.
Poverty also is not only an evangelical counsel but humility for the sake of Christ in service. Celibate chastity is an eschatological virtue; it is a life of dying to self to yield divine fruit. All these deep insights made me more aware. And I felt deep within me that by choosing religious vocation I would follow in the footsteps of Christ more profoundly while living the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience. Also, I was reminded I should never boast of anything except the cross of Christ. I was very grateful for these insights.
The presence of my family, priests, archbishops, my holy cross sisters, other religious and friends reassured me of their physical and spiritual support. This was expressed in the prayers, songs, dance and their joyful participation. It made me realize the spiritual presence of the angels and saints on my big day. This gave me the deepest assurance that my journey has been sealed and that the grace of God will lead me for the rest of my life. I encountered the greatness of God throughout the celebration.
My Deepest Thanks
As our founder Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau wrote in one of his Circular Letters, “It is God’s hand which has guided everything, and it is God whom we must thank above all.” I found God’s hand in all my vocation journey. Indeed, God’s hands have guided me, and I am very thankful for God’s goodness.
I am very thankful to my family, friends and the entire Church of Saint John the Evangelist in Abrem Agona, my home parish, for their prayerful support, love, and encouragement.
I also thank all the sisters in Ghana, who have served as the foundation of my formation, for their loving support. I give profound appreciation to Sisters M. Adria Connors, CSC, and Susan Kintzele, CSC, who have journeyed with me and helped me to understand what it means to be a Holy Cross sister while encouraging me to carry that identity with honor. Much appreciation goes to Sister Patricia Anne Clossey, CSC, whose constant encouragement taught me to live the religious call with grace and confidence in my ability to emulate Christ, who is the center of my Christian journey.
The General leadership, sisters in the areas of North America and Africa and the Congregation at large have supported and prayed with me and for me throughout my formation journey, and I am eternally grateful.
One of my favorite lines in Richard Gillard’s “The Servant Song” is “We are pilgrims on a journey, we are travelers on the road, we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load.” I realized this in the early stage of my formation; I became aware that we needed one another to grow. I knew that we were on a mission to help one another know and love God. I learned that God works through different people, and to live a fulfilled and happy life, I needed the community to hold my hand and walk with me to continue Christ’s mission on Earth.
The song always reminds me that my Holy Cross family invited me to open myself and to support all my community, and to allow them to do the same for me. I saw this happening through the support I received from the members of the congregation in my formation journey. This is my song of gratitude to Holy Cross for walking and being patient with me and nurturing my gifts, that I might see myself as God’s chosen over the years.