A life ‘needed now, more than ever’

BRIDGEPORT—Through their vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, religious women and men lead radical lives that inspire the Church with their faithful witness, said Bishop Frank J. Caggaino at the Pontifical Mass honoring Consecrated Life held yesterday afternoon at St. Luke Church in Westport.

“Now more than ever we need the witness of consecrated life,” said the Bishop to the religious women, many of whom were Jubilarians celebrating their 25th, 60th, 65th , 70th and 75th anniversaries of consecrated life. Most notably, Sr. Theresa Curly, a member of the Sisters of Mercy who was unable to attend the Mass and reception that followed, was recognized for celebrating her 75th anniversary of Consecrated Life.

“Thank you for your presence, your zeal, your commitment to the pursuit of holiness, and for your effect on the life of the entire Church,” Bishop Caggiano said to the 70 women and men who gathered for Mass. Father James Vattakunnel, Father John Mulraney, S.J. and Father Frank Hoffmann concelebrated the Mass with Bishop Caggiano.

Among those in attendance were members of the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Community of the Mother of God of Tenderness, the Sisters of Mercy, the Congregation of Notre Dame, , The Lovers of the Holy Cross of Go Vap, and the Convent of Saint Birgitta.

Those who choose consecrated life, represent “a prophetic voice in a secular world that lives only in the present moment and often seeks the mediocre.” Their humble and uncompromising response to the call to holiness provides “a radical witness and a holy reproach to those who do not,” the bishop said.

By putting others first and walking, laughing crying and sitting with them, the Sisters “remind the baptized what it means to be full participants in the Kingdom of God, and that every human being is called to be one in Christ,” he said.

The Bishop cited the Dominican Sisters as important figures in inspiring his own spiritual life and vocation as a young boy in Brooklyn.

In a moving moment following the bishop’s homily, all the religious stood and renewed their vows together, “Faithful God, we renew this day in your presence, and under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the vows, which we made at our professions. In faith, relying on your love and strength, we promise to live the Gospel and to observe chastity, poverty, and obedience. We humbly and earnestly ask you to grant us the grace to live our consecration in love and with joy. Amen.”

The Bishop then prayed, “We ask your continued blessing upon our brother and sisters in consecrated life who have renewed their profession in your presence…”

After Mass the jubilarians and others guests gathered to share a meal in the parish hall, where they were presented a red rose by Bishop Caggiano. In lieu of gifts, the religious asked that a donation be made on behalf of each Jubilarian to a charitable agency.

Music was provided by Dr. William Atwood, diocesan director of music ministry and Laura Intravia, cantor.
Special thanks are in order to those who worked to make this event so special: The Office of Clergy and Religious with a committee including; Sister John Vianney SSND, Sister Maria Iannuccillo SSND, Laurie Furey from the Diaconate Office, Sister Pat Ells, Father Frank Hoffmann, Vicar for Clergy, Susan Baldwin from the Clergy Office, Dr. William Atwood, Music Director, Father Peter Lenox, Vicar for Liturgy and Renee Stamatis from the Communications Office.

Jubilarians Celebrating a 75th Anniversary

Sr. Theresa Curly
Sisters of Mercy

Jubilarians Celebrating a 70th Anniversary

Sr. Valeria Belanger
School Sisters of Notre Dame

Sr. Madeline Mary Hanson
School Sisters of Notre Dame

Sr. Eleanor Verrastro
Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame

Jubilarians Celebrating a 65th Anniversary

Sr. Mary Ann Socha
Community of the Mother of God of Tenderness

Jubilarians Celebrating a 60th Anniversary

Sr. JoAnn Compagno
Congregation de Notre Dame

Sr. Kathleen Cornell
School Sisters of Notre Dame

Sr. Theresa Lamy
School Sisters of Notre Dame

Sr. Katharine Lawless
School Sisters of Notre Dame

Sr. Catherine Whalen
School Sisters of Notre Dame

Jubilarians Celebrating a 25th Anniversary

Sr. M. Nithya Ligori
Convent of Saint Birgitta