St. Rose Parish celebrates two beloved Sisters

NEWTOWN—The St. Rose of Lima community recently celebrated two cherished women — Sister Thaddeus Rajca, who teaches 6th and 7th-grade religion and is the spiritual coordinator at St. Rose School, and Sister Mary Ellen Genova, who is the St. Rose parish outreach coordinator, helping people in various situations including the homebound and those families planning funerals.

On September 8, the birthday of our Blessed Mother, Sister Thaddeus and Sister Mary Ellen celebrated their 60th anniversary of taking vows and joining their religious community, the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In honor of this momentous milestone, Msgr. Robert Weiss said a special Mass at 9 am that was followed by a reception in the vestibule of the church where friends, family and parishioners greeted the Sisters with congratulatory hugs and conversation.

“To love and serve the Lord” is at the heart of Sister Thaddeus and Sister Mary Ellen’s ministry. In this spirit they have held numerous positions both here and abroad over their 60 years. Sister Thaddeus started at St. Rose Parish 21 years ago in the Religious Education office. Two years later she became the director of St. Rose Preschool. After seven years in that role she started teaching 6th and 7th-grade religion classes.  As the school’s spiritual coordinator, Sister Thaddeus plans the weekly Friday 9 am Mass that is attended by all students and faculty.  She helps prepare students to receive their sacraments, coordinates spiritual retreats and is a loving, faithful presence in the school’s halls and hearts. Sister Mary Ellen began her role as parish outreach coordinator in September 2004. She has an office in the rectory and spends her days ministering to parishioners who call and stop by to discuss various life issues.  Sister Mary Ellen works closely with the parish social concerns committee running food drives and other helpful outreaches. 

About The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth

The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN), are an international Roman Catholic congregation of vowed religious women dedicated to spreading the Kingdom of God’s love, particularly within families. They do this by serving families through active ministry in schools, hospitals, parishes, prisons and social service agencies. They also spread the Kingdom through their daily living in a community of prayer and commitment to God and the Holy Family. Today, this vision of Nazareth is being lived by some 1,100 sisters serving in 14 countries: Australia, Belarus, England, France, Ghana, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States, We are joined by 700 lay associates. Holy Family Province, the U.S. province of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, has some 200 sisters serving in Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The Provincialate is located in Des Plaines, IL, a Chicago suburb.