This past Saturday we had the joy of celebrating Sr. Mary Catharine’s Silver Jubilee of Profession. A Silver Jubilee is the 25th anniversary of a sister’s First Profession; Sr. Mary Catharine professed her First Vows on Nov. 21, 1993. Even though the actual anniversary of Sister’s profession is not for another week or so, Jubilees aren’t limited to the actual day but often are celebrated as jubilee years. While Saturday’s celebration consisted of a public Mass and reception for Sister’s family and friends, on Sister’s actual anniversary the community will celebrate.
Expecting a larger crowd than St. Dominic’s hall has held before, a new table arrangement was tried; placing the food tables outside the room left plenty of space for more tables. In the days leading up to the celebration, the monastery humming with activity. There was food to make, tables to decorate and set, flowers to arrange, music to practice, and, for one very busy Jubilarian, cheese to make, altar linens to sew and embroider, etc.!
Sr. Mary Catharine invited Archbishop Hebda who, for a brief while, was Co-adjutor for our diocese, and we were grateful that he was able to come. The Mass was absolutely beautiful. Sr. Mary Catharine chanted the first reading, Sr. Mary Martin read the second, and our chaplain Fr. Gregory Salomone chanted the Gospel. Fr. Roger Landry gave a wonderful homily interspersed with quotations from different articles that Sister had written over the years about her vocation. Fr. Peter Stravinskas acted as Master of Ceremonies, flawlessly directing the celebrants. We are grateful that Fr. Stravinskas is always happy to perform this role. Con-celebrating were Fr. Jack Carmichael, Fr. John Vidmar, OP, Fr. Benedict Croell, OP, Fr. David Adiletta, OP, Fr. Patrick Seo, Fr. Douglas Milewski, and Fr. Tom Barry. Richard Sofie and Luis served the Mass.
After the Mass and obligatory pictures in the chapel, the guests headed down to St. Dominic’s hall for refreshments. As a privilege for her Silver Jubilee, Sr. Mary Catharine was given permission to leaven enclosure to mingle with her guests. Sr. Judith Miryam roamed with the camera, capturing the event.
It was an exciting and joyful day as we gave thanks for the gift of Sr. Mary Catharine’s yes” to her vocation these past 25 years as well as for Our Lord’s faithfulness to Sister, upholding her with His grace and enabling her to persevere in her vocation.