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Young Sydney woman takes First Vows as Dominican Sister in the USA

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Sr Moana Grace OP after taking her First Vows in Nashville, Tennesse. PHOTO: Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia

A young 23 year-old woman from Sydney has made her First Profession as a Dominican sister in the USA.

Sister Moana Grace Taufa’ao OP, a former parishioner at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Sefton, made her first profession along with 10 other young women, on 28 July.

The young women professed simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as Dominican Sisters of the Saint Cecilia Congregation in Nashville, Tennesee.

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The Mass for the Rite of First Religious Profession was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville with Fr Dominic Langevin OP from the Province of Saint Joseph as the main celebrant.

Before entering the Dominican order Sr Moana Grace undertook her secondary schooling at Trinity Catholic College in Auburn and later studied education at the University of Sydney.

Eleven Dominican Sisters of the St Cecilia Congregation before their First Profession of vows on 28 July 2018. Sr Moana Grace OP is second from the right. PHOTO: Dominican Sisters of St Cecila

Born to Tongan migrant parents—Felilse and Leti Taufa’ao—Sr Moana Grace, formerly known as Sesilia, is one of seven children.

She announced her decision to enter religious life as a Dominican to family and friends at her 21st birthday party in 2016.

At the time she told The Catholic Weekly that she had often thought about the possibility of entering religious life even as a teenager. She was particularly influenced by the example of the Dominican Sisters who taught her at Trinity College.

“God always made a way to bring the vocation of religious life into my thoughts, especially through the Dominican Sisters…”

“God gave me many options to explore where He wanted me, but with the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia, it was a home run.

“When discerning, I wasn’t so fussed about what orders there were, or what their apostolate was. I was definitely amazed to see the many different orders, their works and their passion in serving Christ.

“My focus was whether religious life was for me and in taking that step God allowed everything to fall into place.

“In choosing the Dominican Sisters, I feel like God handed me a platter with everything I needed and later noticed everything I wanted. When I look back on my journey I cannot express the love God has showered upon me.”

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