“Come, follow me.”

Mass honors religious sisters celebrating jubilee anniversaries

By Mary Powers

More than 70 years ago, influenced by the joyful presence of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet through grade school and high school, Sister Noreen O’Connor entered religious life.

“Influenced by the spirit of the sisters, the call, “Come, follow me,” resounded loudly as I went about my life as a teenager,” said O’Connor. “Jesus did not give up. He called again and again. Figuratively speaking, Jesus stretched reached out his hand, whispered, ‘Be Courageous. Trust,’ and I came. However, I quickly found out that our vocation is the slow work of God, transforming the heart.”

Sister Noreen, along with sisters from nine other religious orders celebrated their jubilee anniversaries at the annual Mass for Consecrated Life on October 1 at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. The sisters celebrated jubilees of 25, 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80 years of religious life within the orders of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Little Sisters of the Poor, Sisters of Mercy, the Dominican sisters, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, among others.

Archbishop Cordileone thanked the religious jubilarians for their service and witness in living God’s will in their lives.

“On this day, we thank [God] for the gift of our sisters and brothers who have embraced the call of religious consecration to the evangelical counsels and so model for us the wisdom of God’s way, a way that is so very different from our own.  We pray that many young people will take inspiration from their example and embrace this extraordinary vocation for their own sanctification and that of the entire Church.”

The sisters who attended the Mass renewed their vows during the liturgy, and the faithful present promised their ongoing prayers and support.

Following Mass, there was a reception and lunch to honor the jubilarians.

2023 Jubilarians

25 Years

Sister Sally Lowell, OP
Sister Mary Paschal Ezenevoli, LSP

40 Years

Sister Kathryn Keenan, SNDdeNamur

50 Years

Sister Marguerite Bartling, RGS
Sister Anne Eppig, RSCJ
Sister Mary Gemma O’Keeffe, RSM
Sister Suzanne Marie Prows, OP
Sister Mary Emilie Simon, LSP

60 Years

Sister Judith Kay Campbell, OP
Sister Irene Cullen, RSCJ
Sister Phyllis D’Anna, SNDdeNamur
Sister Betty Dunkel, DC
Sister Hildegard Heukamp, RSCJ
Sister Columba Kim, RSCJ
Sister Carmen Rodriguez, RSM
Sister Judith Romero, PBVM

70 Years

Sister Yvonne Bondi, SNDdeNamur
Sister Natlia Carrasco, SNDdeNamur
Sister Denise Bourdet, PBVM
Sister Corita Burnham, RSM
Sister Bernice Garcia, OP
Sister Joan King, OP
+Sister Nancy Lassotovich, RSCJ
Sister Ann Therese Lynch, PBVM
Sister Frances Meyer, DC
Sister Nancy Morris, RSCJ
Sister Roseanne Murphy, SNDdeNamur
Sister Noreen O’Connor, CSJLA
Sister Suzanne Toolan, RSM
Sister Anita Maria Torres, PBVM
Sister Marian Clare Valenteen, RSM
Sister Rosanne Van Housen, OP

80 Years

Sister Mary Rose Christensen, OP