Catholic Free Press

Catholic Free Press Digital Edition

  • Oct
  • 24

Honoring faithful servants of God and Church

Posted By October 24, 2013 | 12:46 pm | Lead Story #3

By Tanya Connor

RR_4814BishSrTheresaWEBWORCESTER – The religious sisters honored at Mass Sunday at Christ the King Parish have lived out the day’s Scripture readings, Bishop McManus said in his homily there.
Receiving the annual Retired Religious Awards from Bishop McManus were Sister Lorraine Normand, a Sister of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin; Sister Jacquelyn Alix, a Little Franciscan of Mary, and Sister Theresa Khen Doan, a Religious Venerini Sister.
Sister Paula Kelleher, a Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield and vicar for religious, spoke about different kinds of consecrated life. She said all members of a community are honored when one is and that the women being honored represented the charisms of their communities.
At a reception after Mass, members of the communities and supporters congratulated the awardees.
Bishop McManus preached about how the sisters served God and the Church by being faithful and persistent in prayer, as spoken of in the readings (Ex 17:8-13, 2 Tm 3:14-4:2, Lk 18:1-8). He said the sisters faithfully lived out the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
The judge in the Gospel, likened to God, finally decided to give the persistent widow justice to get rid of “this pain in the neck,” he said. But he said God is not annoyed by persistent prayer; he rejoices when people turn to him in their time of need or praise or adoration.
The bishop said he suspected the sisters’ time in prayer was spent praying for others more than themselves, perhaps heeding a request to pray for a sick child, an elderly mother adjusting to a changed living situation or refugees needing protection while seeking a new homeland.
(Sister Lorraine spent 40 years teaching and is now regional treasurer for her congregation. Sister Jacquelyn too is treasurer for her congregation, having served for 30 years as administrator of what is now St. Francis Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. Sister Theresa, a Vietnamese refugee herself, has been program administrator for Catholic Charities’ Refugee Resettlement Program since 1978.)
“Through the person of Jesus, God comes into our life and wants to lead us home to him,” Bishop McManus said, speaking of what the sisters receive in exchange for their promises.
He spoke of the test of fidelity, when the going gets tough, and said these women have seen many changes in the Church and religious life.
“In my name and the name of the Church, I thank the sisters and ask God to bless them,” for their love, faithfulness and giving life, the bishop said. So, he said, it is only fitting that they should be honored at Mass, where Catholics receive the Body and Blood of Christ, a help for being faithful to ones promises.