Celebrating the Year of Consecrated Life . . .
Father Sam Esposito, chaplain, celebrated the Eucharistic liturgy for the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord for the sisters of the provincial house in Beaver Falls, PA, yesterday, February 2.
As is customary on this feast, he blessed the candles used for liturgical purposes. The sisters also brought their own special candles for blessing. After the homily, with lighted blessed candles, the sisters renewed their vows to commemorate World Day of Consecrated Life. S Judith Marie Blizzard provided guitar accompaniment for the joyful singing.
The sisters were mindful that S Constance Marie Tomyl, provincial councilor, and SM Sharon Iacobucci from their number were in Rome for the initial General Chapter Planning Meeting. Sisters on the Committee, as well as sister residents of the Generalate, participated in the celebration of World Day of Consecrated Life at St. Peter’s with Pope Francis, also a consecrated religious.
On Monday evening, a number of sisters from the Generalate joined parishioners of the local parish, Santa Maria del Carmine e San Giuseppe, for its celebration of the World Day of Consecrated Life. SM Alina Krasowska proclaimed the first reading and SM Celestine Giertych, minister general, offered one of the general intercessions. The sisters joined other religious from the area for a social following the Mass.
. . . in Buffalo, NY
Sisters from Blessed Mary Angela, St. Francis Residence, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Convents gathered in the chapel on Monday evening, February 2, to celebrate the World Day of Prayer.
The special Holy Hour was fittingly titled, “In Thanksgiving to God for the Gift of Consecrated Life.” After a short introduction about consecrated life, everyone joined in singing the hymn “Breathe on Me Breath of God,” asking the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance to be faithful to their commitment to God.
The holy hour consisted of a reading followed by a reflection, interspersed with communal prayers. Volunteers led the sisters in praying the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary with a reflective phrase. All joined in singing “Mary’s Song,” to thank the Blessed Mother for her guidance through the years in the Felician Congregation and to ask her continued accompaniment on the journey. During the singing of this hymn, SM Georgette Zielinski carried a fresh bouquet of flowers and placed them before the statue of Our Lady.
Pertinent intercessions were read and responded to and all continued to pray together. In closing, sisters joined in singing the hymn, “In the Footprints of Jesus.”
SM Angelette Helak said, “As everyone participated in the Holy Hour, one could sense their serious commitment to Christ in their personal vocations to the consecrated life. The experience of this Holy Hour was spiritually uplifting.”
. . . in the New Jersey area
The annual Mass for Consecrated Life in the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, took place at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark on Sunday, February 1. The Most Rev. Manual A. Cruz, D.D., auxiliary bishop, Archdiocese of Newark, was presider and homilist for the noon Mass. The Most Reverend Bernard A. Hebda, co-adjutor archbishop, was among the concelebrants. The archdiocesan choir led the music ministry.
Eighteen Felician Sisters joined hundreds of other religious from various congregations during this Mass. Two Felician Sisters were recognized on the occasion of their jubilee:
SM Joanita Ziemba, celebrating her 60th anniversary, and S Janet Marie Kurgan, celebrating her 50th anniversary.
S Theresia Maria Holtschlag, delegate for religious, announced the names of the attending jubilarians at the end of the Eucharistic celebration. Both Bishop Cruz and Archbishop Hebda personally congratulated each jubilarian and presented each with a gift from the Archdiocese.
Sister Janet Marie carried the gift of bread during the Offertory Procession.
Sister Theresia announced that the Archdiocese of Newark is planning future events to mark the Year of Consecrated Life as proclaimed by Pope Francis. Both Bishop Cruz and Sister Theresia encouraged the religious to be aware of the theme for this year: WAKE UP THE WORLD.
. . . in the Delaware area
SM Barbara Ann Kemmerer joined many other religious in the Wilmington, DE, area for solemn evening prayer to observe the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life on Monday, February 2, at St. Joseph on the Brandywine.
Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, DD, who presided, told his audience that there are 38 religious communities with 310 religious ministering in the Wilmington diocese. Sister Barbara said, “Imagine I am one of them–the only Felician.” She added, “The evening was well attended, considering the temperature is 16!”