Bishop England graduate Sister Maris Stella Vaughan professes vows
NASHVILLE, TENN.—Sister Maris Stella Vaughan professed final vows in the Dominican Congregation of St. Cecilia recently.
Formerly Katie Vaughan, she is a 2003 graduate of Bishop England High School in Charleston, S.C. and a member of Stella Maris Church on Sullivan’s Island, S.C.
Sister Maris Stella was one of seven young women who made their perpetual profession of the simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience as Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation in July. The Mass for the Rite of Perpetual Religious Profession was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville.
Bishop David Choby of Nashville was the principal celebrant, with the Most Rev. John M. LeVoir, of New Ulm, Minn., concelebrating.
Also serving as concelebrants were Msgr. Lawrence B. McInerny, pastor of Stella Maris Church, and Father Jeffrey F. Kirby, vicar for vocations in the Diocese of Charleston.
The homilist was Father Carlos A. Azpiroz Costa, O.P., former master general of the Dominican Order.
Sister Maris Stella showed early signs of a religious vocation. When she was at Bishop England, she served as leader of the 100-member campus ministry program. Katie and 17 group leaders guided the spiritual growth of the team and reached out to the community at large.
She served in other clubs and organizations and was chosen by her class as the 2002 Homecoming Queen.
Her freshman year of college was spent at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, after which she joined the Nashville Dominicans. She completed her undergraduate degree in education and has taught for the past two years in Virginia.
Sister Maris Stella is the daughter of John and Carol Vaughan, also parishioners at Stella Maris Church. Her brothers, Jason and John Vaughan also reside in Charleston.
The new sister received a Bachelor of Science degree in interdisciplinary studies (education) from Aquinas College in Nashville.
She is teaching at St. Mary Star of the Sea School in Hampton, Va., in the Diocese of Richmond. In addition to the sisters who made final profession of vows, 15 young women professed their first vows in the Congregation of St. Cecilia in July.
The Congregation of Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia was established in Nashville in 1860 and is dedicated to the apostolate of Catholic education. The community of 270 sisters serves in 38 schools throughout the United States, with a house in Sydney, Australia, and new mission houses opening this year in Houston, Texas; and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The order is one of the most successful in the United States. The sisters dress in distinctive habits, so there is no mistaking their purpose in life, and they adhere to traditional Catholicism.
The constitution of the 145-year-old congregation calls for respect for the priesthood and the magisterium of the Catholic Church, claims fidelity to the faith and reveres Mary as both mother and model. The St. Cecilia Motherhouse is located in Nashville.
For more information on the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation, visit www.nashvilledominican.org.