Becoming a nun was neither a choice nor a dream for Rachel Halafihi.
But for the woman who is now known as Sister Rachel of the Holy Spirit, it is a calling from God.
After five years of joining the Carmelites, Sister Rachel took her final profession yesterday before other sisters, families and relatives.
The service was conducted by the Archbishop, Alapati Lui Mataeliga.
“God inspires all holy desires and brings them to fulfillment,” he said. “May he protect you always by his grace so that you may fulfill the duties of your vocation with a faithful heart.”
In Sister Rachel’s vows, she asked the Lord to uphold her according to his promise.
Archbishop Alapati presented the black veil to Sister Rachel as a sign of her consecration and for her to keep with her heavenly bridegroom.
“It proclaims you belong entirely to Christ and to his Mystical Body, the church,” said Archbishop.
Sister Rachel grew up attending the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.
She did not think that one day she would convert to the Catholic church, where her father was brought up. In 2011, that happened and the 32-year-old born and raised in Faga, Savai’i entered the Carmelites in Tonga.
“I have been thankful since the day I entered the Carmelites till this very day,” she said with a smile.
Joining the Carmelites, Sister Rachel knew that there will be no returning. She made a vow to dedicate her life to God.
“I am not sad, I know that I can’t go back to my family but my work here is more than what I can do out there.”
Sister Rachel vowed to pray for Samoa and all corners of the world.
She is the daughter of Liufau Halafihi from Tonga and Unai Toala of Faga, Savaii.
Sister Rachel’s older sister Lavinia Meafoou was in tears and said this is one of the happiest celebrations her family has had.
“I am very happy that she is able to finish five years in the Carmelites,” she said. “She is a blessing to our family and now she is a blessing to the church and the world through what she has committed to.”
The service yesterday was well attended. Among the audience was the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi.