2013 Jubilee Celebrations
from Catherine Reuter rsm
Celebrating the life and religious commitment of twenty –three sisters
On Sunday 28 April 2013 the All Hallows’ Chapel provided a wonderful venue for the first part of the Congregation Jubilee celebrations – the celebration of Eucharist.
Prior to Eucharist sisters gathered in the Chapel exchanging stories, sharing laughter, reminiscing about sisters from particular profession groups who had died, reflecting on life and religious commitment across fifty, sixty and seventy years and posing for photos, that would later populate the Congregation’s gift to each Jubilarian - a ‘coffee table book’ publication of Jubilee Day 2013.
The celebrant of the liturgy for the fifth Sunday of Easter was Bishop Brian Finnigan, who with the Jubilarians, processed into the Chapel accompanied by the choir’s heartfelt singing of Bernadette Farrell’s Christ beside Us. The prayers, readings and hymns of the liturgy provided numerous opportunities for each sister to ponder graced companionship lived and experienced across the years. St John, through the gospel for the day, reminded the community that ... by this love you have for one another everyone will know that you are my disciples. Bishop Brian spoke of love as the only power and of the twenty-three sisters and their lives celebrated today who gave and continue to give witness to love’s power and energy through the lens of mercy.
The renewal of vows ritual was a highlight of the liturgy. The words of the renewal prayer –may you again entrust yourself ... to the loving heart of God - and light of Easter faith symbolised by the beautiful etched glass candles which each Jubilarian held served as a reminder to each sister of her religious dedication and commitment to continue the work of the Gospel.
The familiar strains of Quam Dilecta provided the backdrop for the community’s movement from the Chapel and on to part two of celebrations - a meal at The Pavilion function room at Albion. Here the sharing of stories and friendship continued over nibbles, drinks, a hearty main meal and tempting deserts. Patricia Bundell’s emceeing of the event saw dining punctuated by grace, toasts to and responses from Jubilarians, the cutting of Jubilee cakes, the sharing of memories and expressions of thanks to Peta Goldburg, Anne O’Farrell, Margaret Quane, Catherine Strohfeld, choir members, Elizabeth O’Connell, Liturgy Preparation Group, Kay Lane and team, Patricia Blundell, Shirley Myers, Maureen Keenan, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Nicola Mullins and Angela Lane - who had contributed to the planning, preparations and success of the Congregation’s Jubilee celebrations for another year.