FARMINGTON HILLS — On July 13, Sr. Renée Kettering, RSM, professed final vows as a Sister of Mercy of the Americas during a ceremony held at Mercy Center Chapel in Farmington Hills.

With her profession, Sister Renée became a permanent member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, one of the largest congregations of Catholic sisters in the United States. The perpetual profession of vows is the final step in the multi-year process of becoming a member of a religious order.

“This day is a celebration of a lifelong commitment to God and God’s people,” Sr. Kettering said. “I am grateful for the encouragement and support of the community, friends, and family.”

The daughter of Tim and Christina Kettering of Cincinnati, Ohio, Sr. Kettering earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer information systems from Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Ky. She entered the Sisters of Mercy in Farmington Hills as a candidate in August 2009 and was received as a novice in July 2011. 

As a novice, she spent a year focusing on prayer and study at the novitiate community in Laredo, Texas. In the second year of her novitiate, which focuses on service, Sr. Kettering served at St. Peter's School in the mission district of San Francisco, Calif.

Sr. Renee professes her perpetual vows at the altar with Sr. Judith Mouch, RSM, (left) as witness. To Sr. Renee’s right is Sr. Marie Henderson, RSM, and to the far right is Sr. Susan M. Sanders, RSM, leader of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest.

The chapel was filled with nearly 200 Sisters of Mercy, family members, Mercy associates and friends who brought joy and loving support. 

After formally pronouncing her vows, Sr. Kettering received a ring symbolizing the promise of her vows and inscribed with the motto she chose, “Thanks Be to God,” which will continue to inspire her life.

"It’s truly a joyful day to witness Sr. Renée’s public profession of the vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and service to the poor, sick and uneducated,” said Sr. Susan M. Sanders, RSM, leader of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, West Midwest. “Since her entrance into the Sisters of Mercy in 2009, our sisters have engaged with her in prayer, ministry, and community life, and have benefitted from the questions and insights she shared as she was discerning her call to religious life.”

Sr. Kettering is the fifth young adult to profess final vows this year. Four others did so at a Eucharistic liturgy June 8 in Merion, Pa.

“Having just attended the profession of final vows by four other passionate and talented young women, I feel a new energy in our community,” said Sister Patricia McDermott, RSM, president of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. “We are very blessed to have Sr. Renée among our newest members and 17 other young women in various stages of the process of becoming a Sister of Mercy.”

Sr. Kettering is currently an information technology specialist at the University of Detroit Mercy, where she has worked since 2013. 

Information for this story was provided by the Sisters of Mercy, West Midwest Community.