The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth (CSFN) in the New
England region celebrated the jubilees of three sisters today: Sister Mary
Victoria (75 years), Sister Mary Barbara (50 years) and Sister Maryann (25
years). We also remembered Sister Jeanette who died in December and who was to
celebrated 50 years.
The Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated by Father Jim
Meszaros (of NY) and the homilist was Monsignor Robert Weiss, pastor of Saint
Rose of Lima (Newtown, CT & friend of Sister Barbara); six priests concelebrated.
Sister Mary Ellen did a very nice job with the music that was selected by a
The Mass included the renewal of vows of the jubilarians.
After giving thanks for the graces of perseverance and service, the sisters
promised to continue to be faithful to Mother Foundress’ vision and spirit
cooperating with Christ and the Church as women of prayer and service. The
example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the saints were invoked
for supernatural assistance. A striking line from Blessed Mary of Jesus the
Good Shepherd were striking: “Once again I had the unmistakable evidence that
human hearts are in the hands of God, that we depend upon Him alone, and that
His Will guides the course of our lives.”
Guests from all over New England and New York and
Pennsylvania came to pray and celebrate. The Sisters had a delicious dinner for
us. I enjoyed dinner and conversation with friends and colleagues Sisters Mary
Ellen, Thaddeus, Rose, (at right) Virginette and Mary Anthony. The company was truly
delightful and the hospitality warm!
Following our midday dinner Sister Mary Ellen (in the gray habit) gave me a
gracious tour of the beautiful grounds and the CSFN heritage room. Since I love
the history of religious life and the Sisters of this congregation, I was much
happy to see how the CSFNs have labored in the Lord’s vineyard.
Among the sisters at the Monroe convent are my second and
fifth grade teachers plus a few other sisters I’ve known since my grammar
school days. Sister Mary Constance is doing well for 86 (65 years in the
convent) and Sister Mary Estelle is living with Alzheimer’s and was peacefully
sleeping. I also saw Sister Hedwig at dinner.
But who are the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth
(CSFN)? In their own words they are:
the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, an international apostolic
Congregation, believe that the Holy Family of Nazareth, three persons in
communion with God and each other; obedient and faithful to the will of God,
reveals to us the profound reality that God is present in the most simple and
ordinary experiences of human life. This vision, which so captivated our
Foundress, Blessed Mary of Jesus the Good Shepherd (Frances Siedliska), is the
source and inspiration for our life and service. Sharing in Jesus’ mission of
spreading the Kingdom of God’s love, we engage in a variety of ministries with
and in the Church. Mindful that it is an environment of love that persons come
to fullness of life, we witness a family spirit among ourselves, and are
dedicated to the moral and religious renewal of family life. We are committed
to create communities of love and hope, which celebrate the oneness of the