Women religious celebrate jubilees with Mass, reception

Diamond jubilarians celebrate 75 years of religious life. Pilot photo/Justin Bell

WEST ROXBURY -- Religious Sisters of the Archdiocese of Boston were honored at a Jubilarian Mass and dinner held at St. Theresa of Avila Parish on Sept. 11.

Auxiliary Bishop John A. Dooher presided over the Mass that marked the Jubilee year of entrance and profession for 150 women religious in the archdiocese who were marking anniversaries of 25, 50, 60, 65, 70, and 75 years. Combined, the women have given more than 5,100 years of service to the Church. (See list of jubilarians at the end of this story.)

"It is a privilege and an honor for all of us here together, to join with you in offering praise and thanksgiving for the way that the call is answered in each of your lives," said Bishop Dooher in his homily. "In the so many different ways in which your life ministry, at different phases, have somehow all been part of the mission of Christ to redeem the world."

Bishop Dooher noted the Mass readings' message of forgiveness in the context of the commemoration of 9/11. He also remembered all those who had lost loved ones that day.

"This date, these two events where one is joyful and one is very somber, ten years later and leads so many questions, they're part of a great mystery. And it is the great mystery that we celebrate as the Church that in every day, in so many ways, we are all called to build the kingdom of God," said Bishop Dooher.

"We thank God for all that you have done, and do, and continue to do by your ministry, by your life, by your prayer," he concluded.

After Bishop Dooher's homily, the Jubiliarians renewed their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Before the conclusion of the Mass, Sister Marian Batho, the delegate for religious for the archdiocese, offered some reflections about the unique vocation of a religious sister.

She said that courageous men and women founded religious communities, responding to a pastoral need of the Church, and they inspired many to follow them.

"Throughout the years sisters have trusted in the providence of God and given themselves totally to the service of others. Sisters are involved in a variety of ministries and are energized by the questions 'What should we do next?' and 'Where is the greatest need?'" said Sister Batho.

"Your ministry, presence, and prayer are sources of encouragement and healing. And so today we say thank you for the many ways that you have been the faces of God's mercy and compassion," she continued.

She also recalled the contemplative Sisters -- whose rule of life prevented them from attending the public Mass -- and Sisters unable to attend due to sickness who were also marking a Jubilee.

Following the Mass, the Jubiliarians, their family and friends, attended a reception and a dinner at the parish gymnasium.

Sister Declan Sullivan, 93, was the oldest jubliarian in attendance, celebrating 75 years of service. A member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, she taught at the now closed Boston School for the Deaf for 48 years and became a certified audiologist.

Sister Declan said she thought the Mass had been one of the most beautiful ceremonies that she had attended.

"Everything and everyone, (the) organization was suburb. Every bit, from the bishop down, it was beautiful," said Sister Sullivan.

Sister Sean Mayer, 45, the youngest of the Jubliarians, was asked to consider religious life by a religious sister when she was a teenager in Miami.

"I couldn't lie to a nun, I had thought of it. I had thought of it," said Sister Mayer.

A Daughter of St. Paul, Sister Sean entered the order when she was 14 and professed around the age of 20.

"My life is meant to be a life of Christ, becoming the message that I proclaim through my apostolate," said Sister Mayer who is involved with book editing and the choir with the Daughters.

Sister Sean said religious life is "like a jewel with a lot of different facets, but it works together as a whole."

Diamond Jubilarians

80 years

SISTERS OF THE PRESENTATION OF MARY

Sister Rita Henault, PM

SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Sister Theophane Smith, RGS

75 years

SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH OF BOSTON

Sister Mary McCormack, CSJ

Sister Declan Sullivan, CSJ

Sister Mary Elizabeth Hession, CSJ

MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE SOCIETY OF MARY

Sister Mary Hermine Deveau, SMSM

SISTERS OF CHARITY OF HALIFAX

Sister Rita Fitzgerald, SC

SISTERS OF THE ASSUMPTION

Sister Beatrice Charland, SASV

70 years

FRANCISCAN SISTERS OF ALLEGANY

Sister Eileen Rynne, OSF

SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME (BOSTON)

Sister Mary Ellen Sweny, SND

SISTER OF NOTRE DAME (IPSWICH)

Sister Anne Howard, SND

Sister Rita Miriam Barry, SND

Sister Bernadette Joseph Flood, SND

Sister Mary Frances Hurld, SND

Sister Marie Murphy, SND

Sister Anne Monica Ruane, SND

SISTERS OF ST. ANN

Sister Jacqueline Trottier, SSA

SISTERS OF CHARITY OF HALIFAX

Sister Catherine Crimmons, SC

Sister Gabriel Marie Ryan, SC

Sister Virginia Mary Lanigan, SC

SISTERS OF THE ASSUMPTION

Sister Grace Sanchagrin, SASV

Sister Claire Morin, SASV

Sister Bernadette Lemoine, SASV

SISTERS OF CHARITY (Nazareth)

Sister Helen McNulty, SCN

RELIGIOUS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Sister Winifred Behlen, RCE

65 years

SISTERS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

Sister Patricia Hessman, CDP

SISTERS OF ST. CHRETIENNE

Sister Jeanne Marie Fregeau, SSCH

Sister Therese Marceau, SSCH

Sister Angeline Martel, SSCH

DOMINICAN SISTERS OF PEACE

Sister Jean Delaney, OP

Sister Mary Esther Owens, OP

FRANCISCAN SISTERS OF ALLEGANY

Sister Bonaventure MacDonald, OSF

RELIGIOUS OF JESUS AND MARY

Sister Claire Lebreus, RJM

HOLY UNION SISTERS

Sister Beatrice Gerard Bouvier, SUSC

SISTERS OF THE PRESENTATION OF MARY

Sister Therese Roy, PM

Sister Sylvia Lariviere, PM

Sister Marie James Boucher, PM

SISTERS OF PROVIDENCE

Sister Caroline Hatch, SP

SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Sister M. Michael Kennedy, RGS

Sister Felicia Moore, RGS

Sister Theresa Marie O'Leary, RGS

URSULINE NUNS

Sister Pauline Belanger, OSU

Sister St.Martin Drouin, OSU

SISTERS OF THE ASSUMPTION

Sister Jeanne d'Arc Poirier, SASV

SISTERS OF CHARITY (Nazareth)

Sister Ann Whittaker, SCN

SISTERS DISCIPLES OF THE DIVINE MASTER

Sister Gioviana Fratelli, PDDM

60 years

SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH OF BOSTON

Sister Helen Halligan, CSJ

Sister Helen Thomas Colbert, CSJ

Sister James Frances Powers, CSJ

Sister Thomasine Knowlton, CSJ

Sister Patricia Malone, CSJ

Sister Mary Louise McCarthy,CSJ

Sister Helen Noonan, CSJ

Sister Anna Michael Griffin, CSJ

Sister Patricia Keefe, CSJ

Sister Florence Kahler, CSJ

Sister Patricia Lynch, CSJ

SISTERS OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE

Sister Helen Plivelic, CDP

SISTERS OF CHARITY OF OTTAWA

Sister Gertrude Coutu, SCO

Sister Jacqueline Dubuc, SCO

SISTERS OF ST. CHRETIENNE

Sister Lorraine Michaud, SSCH

Sister Jacqueline Ouellet, SSCH

SISTERS OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Sister Kenan Rebholz, OSF

SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME (BOSTON)

Sister Dorothy Higgins, SND

Sister Jane McAndrews, SND

Sister Christine Julie McGuirk, SND

Sister Agnes Stapleton, SND

SISTER OF NOTRE DAME (IPSWICH)

Sister Adrienne Curran, SND

Sister Helen Cornelia Lyons, SND

Sister Madeline Christine MacDougall, SND

Sister Julie McDonough, SND

Sister Margaret Welch, SND

RELIGIOUS OF JESUS AND MARY

Sister Agnes Bell, RJM

Sister Margaret Mary Dalton, RJM

Sister Annette Vanasse, RJM

HOLY UNION SISTERS

Sister Marcelle Theriault, SUSC

SISTERS OF ST. ANN

Sister Agnes Hanks, SSA

Sister Dolores Lavoie, SSA

SISTERS OF THE PRESENTATION OF MARY

Sister Dolores Garriepy, PM

Sister Francoise Rondeau, PM

Sister Audrey Bardsley, PM

CISTERCIANS OF THE STRICT OBSERVANCE

Sister Andree Cayant, OCSO

Sister Grace Forster, OCSO

SISTERS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Sister Elena Lawless, RGS

DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL

Sister Mary Paula Kolar, FSP

Sister Mary Louise Oddi, FSP

MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE SOCIETY OF MARY

Sister Esther Reid, SMSM

Sister Lucille Levasseur, SMSM

Sister Mary Carl Arsenault, SMSM

Sister Mary Jeanette Misiura, SMSM

Sister Mary Hager, SMSM

Sister Mary Elizabeth Bonia, SMSM

Sister Mary Stephen Maloney, SMSM

Sister Sylvia Kircher, SMSM

SISTERS OF CHARITY OF HALIFAX

Sister Margaret White, SC

Sister Regina Cushing, SC

Sister Claire McRudin, SC

Sister Catherine Rorke, SC

RELIGIOUS OF CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Sister Nancy Swift, RCE

Sister Joan Felton, RCE

SISTER OF MERCY OF THE AMERICAS

Sister Mary Patrick Burke, RSM

Golden Jubilarians

SISTERS OF ST. JOSEPH OF BOSTON

Sister Patricia O'Neil, CSJ

Sister Donna Curtin, CSJ

Sister Helen Sullivan, CSJ

Sister Carmella Abbruzzese, CSJ

Sister Mary Theresa O'Reilly, CSJ

DOMINICAN SISTERS OF PEACE

Sister Barbara Lavin, OP

SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME (BOSTON)

Sister Paul St. Katherine Murphy, SND

Sister Catherine O'Brien, SND

Sister Joyce Ann Khoury, SND

Sister Claudia Blanchette, SND

SISTER OF NOTRE DAME (IPSWICH)

Sister Janice Carmen, SND

Sister Judith Ward, SND

RELIGIOUS OF JESUS AND MARY

Sister Antoinette Gamache, RJM

HOLY UNION SISTERS

Sister Christine LaCroix, SUSC

SISTERS OF ST. ANN

Sister Norma Ethier, SSA

CARMELITE SISTERS OF THE AGED AND INFIRM

Sister Barbara Francis Higgins, O. CARM

Sister M. Virginia Webster, O. CARM

SISTERS OF THE PRESENTATION OF MARY

Sister Lorraine Pelletier, PM

Sister Claudette Lavoie, PM

CISTERCIANS OF THE STRICT OBSERVANCE

Sister Denise Daily, OCSO

Sister Marcia Tringue, OCSO

DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL

Sister Mary Mark Wichenhiser, FSP

MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE SOCIETY OF MARY

Sister Joyce Ann Edelmann, SMSM

Sister Agnes Anne Wilcox, SMSM

Sister Mary Alexia Streicher, SMSM

Sister Anne Quinn, SMSM

SISTERS OF CHARITY OF HALIFAX

Sister Catherine Meyer, SC

Sister Eleanor Ballantine, SC

Sister Maureen Forde, SC

Sister Maureen Harris, SC

Sister Carol Verville,SC

Sister Marie LaBollita, SC

Sister Maryann Sherlock, SC

Sister Glenna Lee Connors, SC

MEDICAL MISSION SISTERS

Sister Anne-Marie Desroches, MMS

DISCALCED CARMELITE NUNS (Danvers)

Sister Miriam Oberti, OCD

SISTERS DISCIPLES OF THE DIVINE MASTER

Sister Angela Chavez, PDDM

SISTERS OF THE HOLY CHILD JESUS

Sister Elizabeth Clarke, SHCJ

Silver Jubilarians

SISTERS OF NOTRE DAME (BOSTON)

Sister Helen Farrell, SND

DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL

Sister Marie James Hunt, FSP

Sister Sean D. Mayer, FSP

MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE SOCIETY OF MARY

Sister Shirley Faust, SMSM

SISTERS OF CHARITY OF HALIFAX

Sister Miriam MacKenzie, SC

MISSIONARY SISTERS OF ST. CHARLES BORROMEO

Sister Elisete T. Signor, MSCS

MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT AND MARY

Sister Luz Elena Vera, MSS

POOR CLARE NUNS (Jamaica Plain)

Sister Linnea Hawkins. OSC

Sister Lorraine Demers, OSC

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