standing: Sister Nancy Wilson (60 years) Sister Connie Kaufmann (50 years) Sister Irene Wilson (60 years) Sister Virginia Amodeo (60 years)
seated: Sister M. Alberta Gallagher (70 years) Sister Gracia Whalen (70 years)
BY CHRISTINE ROSS
370 years of religious life was marked during a special Jubilee celebration June 8-9 at Providence Motherhouse.
Six Sisters were honoured for their 50, 60 and 70 years of service in various ministries including health care, pastoral care, parish ministry, missionary work, teaching, spiritual direction, vocation/formation ministry, leadership, pharmacy, Motherhouse hospitality and administration.
Father Pat Dobec, longtime friend of Sister Nancy Wilson, presided over Saturday’s Mass. Homilist Father Santo Arrigo, CSsR, a cousin of Jubilarian Sr. Virginia Amodeo, told the celebrants, “Thank you for living your humble life in a bold way. You took a risk and branched out, following the heart of God.”
During Friday’s Jubilee tea in the Sisters’ dining room and under the constant and loving gaze of St. Vincent’s photo, the celebrants were acknowledged by General Superior Sister Sandra Shannon. “Our first and last vocation is to love. Each of you has lived lives of love that have been seared by trials, purified by personal growth, shaped by persistent dedication. Sometimes you carried us, your Sisters, and sometimes you allowed us to carry you. This is service, this is community, this is our congregation.”
In the past, Jubilarians choose one celebrant to respond with thanks. This year, there was a twist. Three Sisters, calling themselves ‘Sister Act’ each spoke about religious life from the early years, to today including adaptation and renewal. “We certainly have had fullness of life and we trust that it will continue into the future,” said Sister Irene Wilson. She drew chuckles when she quipped, “We feel honoured to celebrate our Diamond Jubilee at the same time as the Queen…but without the rock band!”