This past Saturday, July 2,2016, we had the great joy of celebrating God's fidelity in the lives of nine of our sisters who celebrated 25, 50, and 60 years of religious profession as Daughters of St. Paul. Below are the comments of Sr. Mary Leonora Wilson, Provincial Superior, at the end of the Mass.
The Jubilarians with Bishop Richard Lennon, who presided at the Liturgy, and the concelebrants.
A jubilee of religious profession is always a very special and meaningful celebration, one that fills us with great joy. It’s a celebration of gratitude and praise, of spousal love and of community support.
Nine of our sisters are celebrating their jubilees today: 25th, 50th and 60th. The scripture texts chosen by the jubilarians give us a glimpse into the real meaning of this day: it’s all about the absolute faithfulness of God. “I have called you by name; you are mine. … I will be with you…; I am with you. I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. … Whatever you ask in my name, I will do.” All these promises God makes to us because, as HE says: “You are precious in my eyes and I love you.” No wonder St. Paul proclaims: “For His sake I have accepted the loss of all things and I consider them so much rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.”
Sr Maria Joseph Estrada, FSP celebrated her 60th Anniversary of Religious Profession.
JESUS is the cause of our joy today! JOY for the gift to be His spouses and apostles – JOY for these sisters, who have received that gift for 25-50-60 years. JOY because it is the most spontaneous expression of how good it is to live in the house of the Lord, to be with Christ and sent in his name, entrusted with the proclamation of His holy Word.
And this same JESUS is the cause of our gratitude: GRATITUDE because, as St. Paul says, the One who calls us is faithful! GRATITUDE, because even though we are poor, weak, incapable…, our poverty, our weakness and our incapacity become the very place where God manifests his love, strength and fidelity. Dear sister jubilarians, may our Divine Master continue to manifest His power in your lives until the day of that glorious, eternal profession! We need to trust fiercely and forever that God is the Faithful One, the One who has given us all and continues to give and will never stop giving.
Sr. Paula Marie Splain, FSP celebrated her 50th Anniversary.
With Paul you have been taken hold of by Christ; may you strain forward to what lies ahead as you confess, sing, shout out: The Lord is my joy, the Lord is my song. With Him at my side I have no fear.
My wish for all of you is found in the last verse of the closing song chosen by you for today: May each of your lives be a hymn of great joy to our God. May the Lord’s fidelity continue to strengthen and energize you, your families, your friends and all of us in the years to come.
Sister jubilarians, all of us here today thank you, love you, rejoice with you. We carry you in our hearts. God bless you.
Sr Mary Lou Winters (right) celebrated her 50th Jubilee and Sr. Gioan Linh Nguyen (left) celebrated her 25th Anniversary
Sr. Maria Ruth Reyes and Sr. Patricia Shaules both celebrated their 50th Anniversary.
Bishop Richard Lennon, bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland and a good friend of the community presided at the Liturgy.