Celebrating the beauty of consecrated life

DANBURY—More than 90 women religious recently gathered at St. Joseph Church in Danbury to participate in a Pontifical Mass celebrating Consecrated Life followed by a reception.

Celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, the liturgy was said in honor of Jubilarians celebrating their 25th, 50th, 60th, 65th and 70th anniversaries of consecrated life. Most notably, Sister Marie Anna Motz of the School Sisters of Notre Dame celebrated her 80th anniversary!

During his homily, the bishop reflected on the beauty of consecrated life, the witness of the religious profession in daily life, and the many capacities in which they serve; such as teaching, nursing, feeding the poor, working with the homeless, chaplain work, contemplative life and how that witness makes a profound effect for everyone including him.

In a moving moment, all the religious renewed their vows together.

After Mass all the gathered shared a delicious meal in the parish hall and each Jubiliarian received a rose from Bishop Caggiano.

Susan Baldwin of the Office of Clergy and Religious, remarked that the Mass was beautiful and served as a reminder that our lives should be centered around the Holy Eucharist. Moments that stood out to her were: witnessing the renewal of the vows, hearing the sisters sing together and meeting Sister Marie Anna Motz. “The religious teach me every day to think of others first,” she said.

In lieu of gifts, the religious asked that a donation be made on behalf of each Jubilarian to Catholic Relief Services.

Father James Vattakunnel, who celebrated his 25th year of ordination, concelebrated Mass along with Father Frank Hoffmann and Father Samuel Scott. Deacon Don Naiman assisted.

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, Father Frank Hoffmann, vicar for clergy, Susan Baldwin from the clergy office, Dr. William Atwood, music director, Father Peter Lenox, vicar for liturgy and worship, Anne Leclercq from St. Joseph Church in Danbury and Renee Stamatis from the Communications Office.