IHM Associates - Circles of Grace



“I long to see you… so that you and I may be mutually encouraged by one another’s faith.” - Romans: 1:11-13

Sister Robert Mary Murphy left her ministry at Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) Parish and moved to the IHM Center in January Robert Mary ministered at OLS in faith formation for 30 years and her departure was not an easy one for her or her beloved parishioners. At first Sister was able to meet with her Vestal Circle of Grace on a regular basis at OLS. After a period of time, Sister’s health necessitated that she no longer make the trip to Vestal. The associates carried on in their ministries and met regularly in Vestal with their Circle of Grace and, at times, with Jane O’Neill. In recent months, Robert Mary’s health has improved and she is now able to receive visitors at OLP. The associates seized the first opportunity and spent several hours with Robert Mary at OLP on Tuesday, June 11, 2019. The much anticipated visit was really a reunion for all present and a joyous one at that! After Mass and dinner, Robert Mary and the associates continued their visit, prayed together, and planned their Circle of Grace meetings for September 2019 through June 2020.

Vestal Associates with Sister Robert Mary. L-R front: Gloria Sinclair. Sister Robert Mary Murphy, IHM, and Jane O’Neill. L-R back: Peg Logalbo, Joan Eisch, Eve Jarrold, Yvonne Kay, Sherri Congdon, Lilly Pedroza, Debbie Fitzgerald and Janet Higham


Retreat Day with Cresco Associates, April 18, 2019: Sister Kathy Kurdziel, IHM, recently facilitated a day of retreat with some of our IHM Associates in Cresco, PA. Women from Most Holy Trinity Parish in Cresco also participated. The theme of the day was "What We Do for Love." Because the retreat took place on the Thursday before Holy Week, Sister Kathy reflected with the attendees on the Women of Holy Week, Martha and Mary, Veronica, the women servers at the Last Supper, the women at the foot of the cross and the Pieta.  Above Front L-R: IHM Associates and soon-to-be Associates Beverly Hartje, Gladys Gerber, Marguerite Morrow, and Rosemary Regner. Back L-R: Paulette Gallo, Arlene Calemmo, and Daniela Rivera.


Associates Day of Retreat in Cresco-April 2018

On April 5, 2018, some of the Cresco area associates and several women from surrounding parishes met for retreat with Sister Cor Immaculatum Heffernan at Most Holy Trinity Parish Center. Sister Cor presented the theme of Mary: The Grief of Lent and the Joy of Easter and focused on Mary as a witness to the whole Paschal Mystery. Pictured are some of the retreatants with Sister Cor in Most Holy Trinity Chapel.

Teens-Theresa Maxis Circle-Jan 2018

Following the commissioning ceremony in Gainesville, FL on January 10, 2018,  a group of teens participated in a Blessing of the Medallions  ceremony. Over a period of five months the teens have been learning about the IHM Core Values and have fashioned medallions that symbolize these values. During the ceremony, each teen shared her understanding of the meaning of a particular Core Value, how Mother Theresa Maxis  demonstrated the value, and how she, too, might do the same in her life. Ellen Maroney, IHM, then blessed the medallions and presented one to each teen. The closing prayer was one of Theresa Maxis’ to her IHM Sisters: “Tell all my beloved Sisters, those who know me and those I never saw, that I gather up all my beloved heart can contain of happy desires, wishes, and hopes for them. I scatter them in one single wish: May the Lord and His Immaculate Mother be always with you and with everyone.” L-R front: Anjali Vassou, Therese Rigor, Isabel Rosado, Ella MacMullen, Sister Ellen Maroney, Sister Nancy Elder. L-R middle: Sister Beatrice Caulson, Nadia Vassou, Jennie Dingle, Alyssa Shroeder, Emilie Rosado, Lara DeTurris. L-R back: Jane O’Neill, Amanda Romero, Michelle Hurst, Kaitlyn Maddux, Alisha Bokowy


CircleOfGrace-IHM Center-Nov 2017

On November 15, 2017, our Circle of Grace welcomed a new member, Renee Matillano, at the Founders' Day Prayer. Pictured are those who were able to attend dinner before the prayer and Renee's IHM Associate Commissioning ceremony. Seated L-R: Janice Richardson, Renee Matillano, Bill Manley, a guest of Renee's, Jane O'Neill. Standing L-R: Ann Williams, Chuck Wallinger, Sister Jane Snyder. Not able to attend were Mona Griffer, Judy Battle and Ellen O'Brien.

In January 2015, Sisters Beatrice Caulson and Nancy Elder along with the IHM Associates of Gainesville, Florida, initiated the gathering of a group for young teenagers and called it The Theresa Maxis Circle. The circle began with five young women from grade eight through high school. Pictured front L-R: Jordan Yachabach and Nadia Vassou. Middle L-R: Emma Bokowy, Alison MacMullen, Kaitlyn Maddux. Back L-R: Sister Beatrice Caulson, Jennifer Jones, Stephanie Bokowy, Sondra Moorhead, Pat Rohs, Mary Welch and Sister Nancy Elder.

Pictured are members of the three Circles of Grace from Vestal, NY, and a Circle from Scranton who traveled to Vestal to visit them. They enjoyed prayer, lunch and good conversation about next steps after the associate process is finished. For the Scranton group, the ride home included a visit to Old St. Joseph Church and cemetery where Mother Theresa Maxis first lived when she came to Pennsylvania. They commented that it was humbling to know they were on the same ground Theresa walked when she began her ministry here.

This Circle of Grace was delighted to discover they had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their photograph taken with Pope Francis during a recent visit to Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Vestal, NY. Pictured L-R are Lisa Kirby, Judy Battle, Janice Richardson, Pope Francis, Ann Williams, Chuck Wallinger, and Sister Jane Snyder.


L-R: Sister Redempta Sweeney, Facilitator of the Circle of Grace, Sister Ellen Maroney, IHM President; Jane O'Neill, Director of IHM Sister-Associate Relationship, and Jo-Ann Baca, Diane Braendly and Joyce Marchese, who were commissioned during the Eucharistic liturgy on Saturday afternoon.