Sacred Heart School nuns profess perpetual vows

(L-R) Sr. Mary Peter Julian Lawrence, LIHM; co-concelebrant Abbott Cletus Meagher, OSB; Sr. Mary Therese Lopez, LIHM; and Sacred Heart Church Pastor Fr. Patrick Egan, OSB. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Ragsdale)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Two nuns who teach at Sacred Heart School made their Professions of Perpetual Vows recently during liturgical services at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church on the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Sr. Mary Peter Julian Lawrence and Sr. Mary Therese Lopez made lifelong commitments to the Leaven of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (LIHM), an international religious order with a community based near Hanceville.  

Barbara Ragsdale of Sacred Heart Church said, “Many years of religious life and prayer and discernment preceded this momentous decision of these two young women to dedicate their life and love to the Church and the Blessed Mother.” 

Abbott Marcus Voss presided over the ceremony with Abbott Cletus Meagher and Sacred Heart Pastor Fr. Patrick Egan. The priests are members of the Order of St. Benedict at St. Bernard Abbey. Voss is the current Abbott of the community. 

The LIHM order is based in the Philippines, with members located throughout the world, serving with a focus on the education and spiritual formation of children and youth. Many LIHM sisters attended the ceremony, as well as family members from as far away as California, according to Ragsdale. 

A luncheon followed the liturgy and included a video presentation featuring the professing sisters from their childhood until the present day. Several of their fellow sisters performed music for the gathering. 

About LIHM 

According to its website, the Hanceville LIHM community described the order: 

“Our community was born in campus ministry and officially founded in the Philippines in 1991. We devote ourselves to the evangelization and formation of youth and their families. We especially encourage the young to love human life and dignity by embracing a life of purity and goodness. 

“We take Mary as our mother, guide and inspiration in all things. Every LIHM Sister strives to acquire the same dispositions that the Blessed Mother exemplified in her life, imitating her spirit of generous service, humility, docility, love for sacrifice, obedience and her creative and charitable silence, so as to be continuously united with God and ever aware of His indwelling presence in her soul. 

“The Eucharist is the irreplaceable center of every LIHM community, our source of unity and only treasure. It is in Jesus that we find nourishment and true fulfillment.” 

For more on the Leaven of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, visit

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