Six Buffalo Sisters Celebrate God’s Call
|Sunday, August 13, marked a great day of celebration in Buffalo, NY, for six Felician Sisters as they observed their 50 year anniversary of religious life.|
|To express their sentiments regarding this special day, they used the theme, “A tiny whispering sound, God called…, and the Journey began,” based on 1 Kings 19:12.|
The six sisters celebrating are: SM Fredrica Polanski, SM Melanie Jaworski, SM Kristen Pietrowicz, S Diane Marie Szylkowski, SM Rosalind Rosolowski and SM Renée Kurczaba.
In order to accommodate their guests, the jubilarians chose to have their celebration at Resurrection Church, Cheektowaga, NY. The pastor, Father Conrad Stachowiak, was so delighted with this choice that he even announced the event on the sign in front of the church as well as in the church bulletin.
| SM Angelette Helak said, “It was so pleasant to drive up to the church and to see the announcement.” Five yellow floral arrangements adorned the altar. A bouquet was also placed before a statue of Blessed MaryMr. Keith Kelly, the organist, played spiritual selections before the Mass began. The entrance procession moved down the main aisle as all joined in singing “Gather the People,” by Dan Schutte.
Angela, imported for the occasion.
|At center, Bishop Edward M. Grosz|
Auxiliary Bishop Most Rev. Edward M. Grosz, was the main celebrant for the Eucharistic liturgy, assisted by 16 priests and one deacon. Father Conrad officially welcomed everyone to the celebration. Bishop Grosz added his personal comments before beginning the Mass.
Sister Diane Marie proclaimed the first reading and Sister Melanie, the second. Deacon Heinz Friedman proclaimed the Gospel.
|Father Richard Jedrzejewski, pastor of Assumption Parish in Buffalo, delivered the homily. Using a story, Father Richard made his audience aware that God gives us the faith and ability to do the things he asks of us. He noted that the jubilarians, who were invited to come and serve God in a special way 50 years ago, responded and followed him faithfully. “May their hearts be filled with joy as they serve him in years to come and may they never be afraid.”|
|When the jubilarians came forward to renew their vows, Bishop Grosz also invited SM Celestine Giertych, minister general, to come forward to receive their vows. After the ceremony, everyone joined in singing John Michael Talbot’s arrangement of the Magnificat, “Holy Is His Name.”|
Following a round of applause, the jubilarians presented flowers to the Blessed Mother in memory of their living and deceased parents and in loving memory of SM Deborah Suflita, their jubilarian in heaven. Kathy Kotowski, sister of Sister Deborah, carried flowers in her memory. Sister Fredrica and Sister Kristen offered the general intercessions.
During the offertory, the jubilarians placed the white cloth on the altar and family members presented the gifts accompanied by the hymn “We Come to Your Feast,” by Michael Joncas.
The music enhanced the ceremony with SM Anna Falbo playing the flute. Sister Angelette said, “The singing was exceptionally full with many joining the choir members in singing.” The song “Clare’s Melody” composed by S Margaret Marie Padilla, accompanied by SM Claire Doyle on the piano keyboard and Sister Anna, resounded with the praise of God after Communion.
Before the final blessing, Bishop Grosz once again expressed his gratitude to all the Felician Sisters whom he had served as chaplain for 11 years, and wished the jubilarians God’s blessings in the years to come. In closing, everyone joined in singing the recessional hymn, “Be Exalted,” by Brent Chambers.
Dinner guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres at the Millennium Hotel in Cheektowaga. Before the meal was served,
SM Francesca Buczkowski extended a warm welcome to everyone and introduced prominent guests, Bishop Grosz and Sister Celestine; as well as SM Jolene Jasinski, S Constance Marie Tomyl and S Michelle Marie Stachowiak, members of the provincial leadership team. She also acknowledged the presence of SM Celeste Goulet, who ministers in the Northwest Territories and who is also celebrating her 50th anniversary of religious life in the Felician Congregation.
After introducing the jubilarians, Father Romulus Rosolowski, OFM, Conv., brother of Sister Rosalind, led the prayer before meals. Following the delicious dinner, Sister Rosalind and Sister Reneé shared a PowerPoint presentation that took sisters and guests on a walk down memory lane.
Sisters and guests enjoyed the evening as the dining room was transformed for dancing.
Reflecting on the day, Sister Angelette said, “God graced the jubilarians with a beautiful day, his powerful presence at the well-planned Eucharistic Liturgy, a delicious dinner, and the great love of family and friends.
It will be a memorable occasion for many when they take time to remember.”