On this day we pause to rejoice in God's
graced presence in each of you,
by Sr. Mary Persico, IHM
July 29, 2007
I, in the name of our congregation leadership and all of you, congratulate and honor our forty-four jubilarians whose lives individually and collectively, have brought light and joy and goodness and love to the world in countless and uniquely beautiful ways for 2,525 years collectively.
For twenty-five, fifty, sixty, seventy-five, and even eighty years, God's grace has been abundantly alive in the women we celebrate today.
Eighty years! Sister Basil, your life has embraced many generations. Humble, gentle, always a lady, the twinkle in your eye and your knowing smile help us to experience what it's like to see the face of God.
Sisters Wilhelmina and Gerard, for one hundred fifty years combined, you have shared with the world your unique gifts as individuals. And so, like the harmony of a long practiced duet, your spirit and love for the congregation, your uncanny grasp of reality, your joy in community, and your prayerful spirit all teach us the marvels of the diversity of God.
And our Sisters who delight in seventy-years of joyful, loving, service! Sisters Paula and Gillet, Mary Earley and Edmunda, Aloisa and Helaine, Wilma and Joanella, Virgilius and Edwardine, you have been our companions on a lifelong journey to holiness. You stay the course, day in and day out; you have the wisdom we all still seek and in you we see the faithfulness of God.
Rosalian and St. Paul, Eleanor and Bernardus, Alexius and Fidelis, Anne Fulwiler and Dolora, St. Gerard and Anne Pickard, Kathryn and Celesta, we thank you for the friendships we share with you, the still vibrant memories of ministry and community lived in joy these sixty years. You are the lovers of the dream – summoning us, empowering us, encouraging us, and in you we hear the spirit of God calling us to goodness.
And imagine fifty years, Sisters Christina and Lois, Maureen and Vincentia, Lillian Marie and Catherine Ann, Michael Marie and Ann Newell, Mariam and Ann Marie, Mary Schoberg and Ellen, Marie Lourdes and Louis Marie, Regina and Eva! Your lives proclaim the greatness of our God in far away places or right at home. You are faithful in matters of justice and loyal to those you serve, wherever they are, wherever you are. Because of you, the lowly are lifted up and in you we find the compassion of God.
And Ruth, Donna, and Annmarie, the vitality of your lives given in love for twenty-five years inspires in us the courage to dream new dreams for the life of the world. You enliven us with your energy and give us passion for the future. In you we touch the hope of God.
And with tender remembrance we bring into our hearts and minds our Sisters Faith and Maristella who were born to new life in this year of jubilee. In you we see the promise of God fulfilled.
On this day we pause to rejoice in God's graced presence in each of you, our jubilarians. Your quest for God has brought you to this moment - healers, peace-makers, teachers, lovers, friends. We, who have shared this IHM journey with you, now ask God to bless you as we renew our commitment of prayerful support in community. You have touched our lives and changed us, and with all our hearts, we thank you.