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77 religious jubilarians honored for being a 'gift to the Church'


PASSAIC - Smiles shined like the spring sun outside May 20 at the diocesan Religious Jubilee Mass expressing the joy felt by the 77 jubilarians marking their jubilees in religious life. Bishop Serratelli was the principal celebrant for the annual Mass at St. Mary Church here, which included diocesan priests and religious priests as concelebrants.

Bishop Serratelli welcomed the jubilarians: "You are gift to the Church. We are grateful to such faithfulness for so many years. We are grateful to you and all your communities of religious life."

 At the Mass 75th, 70th, 65th, 50th and 25th anniversaries were honored of religious who serve or have served in the Diocese of Paterson. Many religious communities were in attendance.

In his homily, the bishop said, "As religious, the vows you have taken place you in deep contact with God. They deepen your own baptismal commitment and remind the rest of us of ours. The vows you have so courageously lived in our day say to us what we so desperately need to hear. God matters more than things.

"His will can accomplish more than ours. His love fills the human heart with self giving for others," said the bishop. "Faithfully living out those vows made you signs of God's grace for us - a visible sign we need to see. For all the distractions in the world today, we can easily forget the basics.

"True happiness, real joy comes not from ourselves but the work that we do. But real joy comes all from God. We see this so often in the smiles on your faces and the work you do for others. We know the sacrifices you make and we know the hardships that you bear but we also know the love you have that kept you faithful to your vocation."

During the Mass, those in consecrated life, including religious who attended to celebrate with jubilarians in their order, renewed their commitments in keeping the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. They also recommitted themselves to serve the Church asking for prayers and support.

Following Communion, Sister of Christian Charity of Mary Edward Spohrer, chancellor/delegate for religious for the diocese, recited the names of all the jubilarians in attendance as they came forward to receive scroll and individual recognition by Bishop Serratelli.
After the Mass, the jubilarians enjoyed a reception together to share in the joy of their significant anniversaries.

Missionary Sister Margaret Reid, who has served in religious life for 50 years, said, "I feel wonderful today. This has been an amazing journey and I am just grateful for every moment. Vocation is something really precious."

Also celebrating 50 years, Precious Blood Sister Rosario Carlino, who continues to work helping the elderly and the young, said, "I am very grateful to God and to my congregation."

Salesian Sister Christine Hellen, who celebrates 65 years, said, "I feel like God's love followed me all these 65 years." In all those years Sister Hellen has served in various places such as Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Florida and California. Currently she serves at Mary Help of Christians Academy in North Haledon, and said, "working with the young ladies at the school is my enjoyment right now."

Sister of Christian Charity Leonie McTague is grateful to have been serving in her community for 60 years. She said, "I am grateful to God. He showed me this community. They have been there for me, with me and I am a very happy to be a Sister of Christian Charity."

For 75 years, Franciscan Sister M. Apollonia Morelli has been able to spread joy and love of God to others. "I feel very good and happy continuing the joy I started 75 years go. Without God, I can't do anything and He has poured out all these blessings for me."  Sister Morelli has been in teaching ministries through her vocation and is a former teacher and principal at St. Catherine School, Ringwood.

Filippini Sister Lillian Ernest, who has served for 50 years, said, "I am delighted with abundant joy to join my fellow jubilarians in giving much praise to God. I thank Bishop Serratelli for celebrating the Mass."

Currently, Sister Ernest continues that joy working with the novices at Villa Walsh Academy in Morristown and she also helps in the infirmary with her fellow Filippini sisters. 

The bishop in his closing remarks to the jubilarians encouraged them to invite young men and women to religious life. Said the bishop, "Do not be afraid to go up to young people ... I challenge you again and again ask our young people. There is idealism in youth. There is a willingness to sacrifice. We had it when we were young and we still have today so let's bring that out. I'm sure as the years go on there will be many, many religious as good and as holy and as dedicated as you are."

[Beacon photos/Joe Gigli]

75 Years
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Teresa Vincent Drigel
Sister of Christian Charity Mary Frances Eiden
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Hildegarde Marie Mahoney
Franciscan Sister M. Apollonia Morelli
Filippini Sister Concetta Notarianni
Filippini Sister Angelina Pepe

65 Years
Franciscan Father Lawrence Burke
Franciscan Father Thomas Fox
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Anne Marita Haggerty
Salesian Sister Christine Hellen
Filippini Sister Victoria Li Puma
Filippini Sister Virginia Liberatore
Filippini Sister Josephine Longo
Franciscan Father Henry Madden
Franciscan Father Joel Munzig
Filippini Sister Mary Pezzino
Franciscan Father Leon Ristuccia
Filippini Sister Rose Schimizzi
Filippini Sister Grace Scordo
Franciscan Brother Paul Slaby
Filippini Sister Antonina Vellelunga
Missionary Sister Cecilia Whitleigh

70 Years
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Catherine Laboure Connell
Filippini Sister Josephine Cucuzella
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Gertrude Vincent Hayden
Filippini Sister Henrietta Pagano
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Theresa Dorothy Leland
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Florence M. Pakenham
Trinitarian Father Stephen Quinn
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Mary John Regan
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Catherine Shea

60 Years
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Maria Angela Brady
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Jacqueline Burns
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth M. Angelica Doris
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth M. Nicoletta Gargana
Filippini Sister Mary Garozzo
Filippini Sister Agatha Intelisano
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Virginia Keane
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Ursula Mary Kendig
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Kathleen Koerner
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Jean Kolb
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Alice Lubin
Sister of Christian Chairty Leonie McTague
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Kathleen Murphy
Franciscan Father Quintin Neyland
Filippini Sister Margaret Pierro
Filippini Sister Giovanna Sabia
Salesian Sister Ruth Stecker
Salesian Sister Felicia Tanzella
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Helen Mary Woods
Felician Sister Mary Roberta Zelek

50 Years
Franciscan Sister M. Dolores Alfone
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Ethel Beneville
Salesian Sister Letizia Bocanegra
Franciscan Father Edward Burke
Precious Blood Sister Rosaria Carlino
Society of Sister of the Church Theresa Chiappa
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Anne Cunningham
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Rosemarie DiCenso
Franciscan Father Stephen Doyle
Filippini Sister Beatrice Ena
Filippini Sister Lilian Ernest
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Barbara Garland
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Anne Haarer
Sister of Christian Charity Joan Daniel Healy
Missionary Sister Margaret Mary Newkirk
Missionary Sister Mary Jude Nicholson
Salesian Sister Louise Passero
Missionary Sister Margaret Reid
Sister of Christian Charity Edmund Joseph Reif
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Joseph Nelida Richard
Missionary Sister Consuela Scott
Sister of Charity of St. Elizabeth Virginia Thomas

25 Years
Franciscan Father Gregory Gebbia
Salesian Sister Pauline Joss
Felician Sister Alexandra Marie Kolat
Salesian Sister Ana Palacios


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