On August 15, 1958, Rose Anita Jackman left her family home, to enter the cloister of Rosary Monastery, St Ann’s (Trinidad). This was in response to the call she felt deep in her heart to give her life totally in service to God. She was 18 years old.
Rose was the first-born child to Frank and Marjorie Jackman who were blessed with 12 more beautiful sons and daughters in the years following. Life began for Rose in Barbados and her introduction to religion was through the Anglican Church to which both her parents belonged. It was when the whole family moved to Trinidad and her wise father recognised the benefits of Catholic education that they became converts. Rose recalls that it was the influence of both the Carmelite and St Joseph of Cluny sisters that lead her to think of a religious vocation.
Rose remembers that choosing an extreme religious vocation, such as becoming a cloistered sister in the Rosary Monastery, was not an easy decision and caused both her parents much pain. Her mother, she says, “felt that after six weeks or so, I would realise that this was not the life for me and I would return home.”
On February 2, 1960, feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Rose made her first vows and took the religious name of, Sr Assumpta. There would be no turning back.
The next 16 years were spent learning the ways of the Lord and about community life with her new family of sisters who she came to know and love. It was a wonderful life of prayer, work and contemplation. Sr Ann who entered the Rosary Monastery a few years after Rose, remembers the joy and laughter that “Sr Assumpta” brought to their times of recreation. It was a good life and Rose looked forward to spending the rest of her days behind the walls of the cloister. God however, had other plans.
In 1974, Rose did a Life in the Spirit Seminar and the Holy Spirit began to work in a new way in her life. She was inspired to go out and share with all people that it was possible for lay persons to obtain a prayer life and become holy men and women in the world.
She felt the Lord saying that He would send someone into her life to help her and that when the time came she would recognise that person. Rhonda Maingot had already experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in her life and had started a personal journey. In God’s perfect timing they were introduced to one another and spent many months praying together and discerning God’s will. Eventually Rose would leave the Monastery and she and Rhonda came to live together in a small apartment in Braemar Road, Cascade, where they committed themselves to prayer and preparation for whatever God wanted. It was there that they began in a very small way, the Wednesday night Charismatic prayer meetings that continue to today.
Sr Ann confirms that although it was a difficult time for Rose and the Rosary Monastery Community, there was never any ill feeling or sense of abandonment. They sensed that this was a new call from God and they believed they would have a friend and sister in the outside world that they could count on for support. Time has proved this to be true.
On the evening of February 2, 2010, the family of Living Water Community – over 300 Covenanted members – were present at the celebration of Holy Mass in honuor of Rose. Also present were members of Rose’s own family including her very proud mother. The Mass was celebrated by four of the priests Rose helped to form spiritually – Monsignors Michael de Verteuil, Jason Gordon, Robert Llanos and Fr Christopher Lumsden.
In his homily, Msgr de Verteuil acknowledged that God in His wisdom used the spiritual depth that Rose had acquired in Rosary Monastery to provide a tremendous resource for the foundation and building of the Living Water Community. Rose left the Rosary Monastery but the gift of her consecration was never broken. The form of living it out may have changed but only so that something new could be born.
We, the members of the Living Water Community, acknowledge the gift of Rose’s consecration to God and His gift of her to us, every day of our lives.
What marvels the Lord has worked for us, indeed we are glad. To God be the glory!