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SNJM Community Celebrates Sister Sophia Park’s Final Vows

Feelings of joy and thanksgiving overflowed as the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary celebrated the profession of perpetual vows of their newest member, Sr. Sophia Park, in a ceremony filled with music and laughter.

Sophia Parks Final Vows - Copy

Pictured are Sister Sophia with the Province Leadership Team (from left): Sisters Jane Hibbard, Mariellen Blaser, Kathleen Hilton, Sophia Park, Mary Ellen Holohan and Marcia Frideger.

Gratitude filled the Holy Spirit Chapel in Campbell, California on Nov. 21, a few days before Thanksgiving. Special moments included singing in English and Korean, Sr. Sophia's native language. Prayers were said for the Korean Church and her former religious community, the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Scripture and readings throughout the celebration centered around the phrase, "Go Deep." They included the story of how Jesus instructed Peter and his companions to go into deep water to lower their fishing nets, as a prelude to leading them into a new life as his disciples. Co-Presider Rev. John Endres, SJ, noted that Sr. Sophia's life demonstrates a deep plunge into the SNJM commitment to educate and serve people, especially those who are poor and marginalized.

Sr. Sophia, born Jung Eun Park, studied at Ewha Women's University in Seoul before coming to the United States, where she earned an M.A. in Christian Spirituality at Seattle University and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She is a member of the faculty at Holy Names University in Oakland, where she teaches theology and spiritual direction. She is a respected author on the topics of cross-cultural spiritual direction and religious life from a global feminist perspective.

Participating in the ceremony were Sr. Catherine Ferguson, General Superior of the SNJM Congregation; Sr. Mary Ellen Holohan, Provincial of the SNJM U.S.-Ontario Province; Province Leadership Team member Sr. Marcia Frideger; Co-Presider Rev. Salvatore Ragusa, SDS; Sr. Mary Pat LeRoy; and numerous Sisters who played instruments, sang or did readings.

Sisters who were unable to be present were able to follow the proceedings via live stream, and Sr. Sophia capped the celebration by standing in front of the video camera, waving and delivering a greeting in Korean.