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Sisters’ lifelong devotion to promise appreciated

Posted By October 24, 2013 | 12:48 pm | Local
Consecration of Life photoWEB

By Michael O’Connell
CFP Correspondent

LEOMINSTER – This was a day to, in Bishop McManus’ words, celebrate “the making and the keeping of a promise.”
Celebrating the annual “Mass for Consecrated Life” for active and retired nuns, the Bishop thanked all religious sisters from the region for pledging their lifelong devotion to God. Just as important, he said, we should all honor God for keeping his promise – to sustain these sisters with his never-ending support.
“When we make a promise to each other, it gives us all hope,” Bishop McManus said during a post-Mass gathering at the Presentation Convent on Oct. 19. “These sisters have made a promise, and they have given of themselves faithfully. In turn, God keeps his promise. To believe that is a great sign of hope for all of us as we live every day.”
Sisters came to Leominster from nearly two dozen religious orders throughout the Worcester Diocese to attend the annual Mass and luncheon. Some came from the host convent itself; others traveled on a balmy October morning from as far away as Worcester or Springfield.
While many dioceses host annual celebrations on or around the World Day for Consecrated Life in February, the organizers of the Worcester diocesan event shifted their celebration to October several years ago for safety reasons.
“We here in Worcester don’t bring anybody out in a February storm,” said Sister Paula Kelleher, SSJ, the Vicar for Religious for the diocese, whose office funds the celebration.
Sisters who turned out for the event said they enjoyed the chance to celebrate the promises they have made – and received.
“Events like this are important to us because they give us an opportunity to get together and recognize the various congregations,” said Sister Lucille Pleau, with the Sisters of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in Worcester. “We promise to live our lives according to God, and he gives us what we need. We always have to count on him doing things for us. We always have to count on God’s help.”
“It’s because we are who we are,” Sister Paula said. “I love being a Sister. It’s something I wanted since I was a little girl. … That’s what all of us were called to do. We were called to be sisters.”