Friday, August 5, 2011

Sixty Years of Fidelity!

August 5 is very special day for many Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity. It’s the anniversary of the day they entered the Congregation, or as we say their “entrance day”.
Today I was privileged to celebrate with one of our Sisters who is a dear friend. Sister Catherine Francis, MSBT celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of her entrance to the Community.
Sister is now missioned to St. Patrick’s Parish in Wareham, Massachussetts where she is responsible for ministry to the homebound parishioners.
As you know, part of our charism or gift to the Church is encouraging an apostolic spirit in the laity. Sister Catherine has spent many years doing precisely this. One of her assignments was working with several of our priests and Brothers as they went about the various missions assisting members of both congregations with practical means for carrying out this aspect of our charism.
Sister also worked in several dioceses in Parish Social Ministry travelling from parish to parish enabling all to live out their baptismal call to holiness and ministry, particularly the social dimension, service to the poor and abandoned.
Today the pastor asked Sr. Catherine to be a Eucharist Minister in the Mass. In accord with her strong belief in lay ministry, she would have preferred that one of the parishioners do this. Frankly, I was pleased that he asked her. The Eucharist is such tangible sign of Christ’s love for us. Sister Catherine Francis has spent the last sixty years inviting so many, laity, religious and clergy to live out and be Christ’s love and presence in the world. The Eucharist is the “sun and center of our apostolic life”, and this has certainly been the case with her.
Congratulations and thank you, Catherine, for being a “wisdom figure”, an example par excellence of faithfulness and a wonderful mentor. May God gift you with many more years of love and service. It was a joy and a privilege for me to receive the Blood of Christ from you today.
It is no small coincidence that Sr. Olivia and I were here in Wareham to begin a discernment weekend for young women who might be considering religious life. Please pray for this and that there may be many more “Sister Catherines” in the future.