INTRODUCTION TO THE CEREMONY OF THE DIAMOND JUBILEE OF SR. EDITH MARIE OF JESUS AND SR. MARIA PATRICIA OF THE BLESSED TRINITY We are gathered here for a celebration. Sixty years ago, Edith Cortez and Patricia Martinez said YES to God totally and forever. Today we celebrate these 60 years of God’s faithful love to Sr. Edith Marie of Jesus and Sr. Maria Patricia of the Blessed Trinity. We also celebrate their 60 years of YES to God’s plan in their life…sixty years of saying YES is not easy but they lived their YES gracefully and witness now in their life in community that it is possible to grow old graciously and even with physical limitations both Srs. Edith and Patricia show the JOY of a life FULLY GIVEN TO GOD, life giving presence. People who visit the community leave having been marked by their presence, their being, religious life fully lived. Both become gifts to those who come after them, signs of God’s fidelity and a person’s capacity to respond. Sisters Edith and Patricia did not know the Assumption as a Congregation; they were introduced to the Congregation, one through a spiritual director and another through an invitation to attend a retreat. Sr. Edith was attracted to the JOY she saw in the sisters, their kind and gentle ways, their affirming hospitality, and she joined the retreat for the first time in Assumption, Iloilo. Sr. Patricia was attracted to the presence of Jesus adored daily in the Blessed Sacrament, having always felt the call to live for GOD ALONE, as a Carmelite nun. God’s ways are mysterious. It is He who makes the call. Both incidentally were pre-med graduates of UST, both teachers, Sr. Patricia from Pangasinan and Sr. Edith from Aklan. Once they heard the call, the YES was given, and it is a YES of 60 years we celebrate today, a YES lived graciously in the different missions they were assigned to and in the different communities they lived in. As they look back to 60 years only GRATITUDE REMAINS. “What thanks can I render Thee for the gifts you have showered on me. Every day I will sing your praise and glory”, the praise and glory unto eternity. Death is no longer feared. It is a continuation of a life fully lived. 60 years is a lifetime of memories, of people, of life in abundance, of life with its attendant joys and sufferings, a life lived and given, hours of prayer and adoration, teaching and educating, reaching out and receiving. At the end of this long life, Sr. Edith has this to say, affirmed by Sr. Patricia: OLD AGE IS A TIME OF PROGRESSION, ALSO A TIME OF PROMISE AND PRODUCTIVITY, INTELLECTUAL AND SPIRITUAL VIGOUR, A TIME OF GRACE. This is what we celebrate!