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Fr. John's Column - August 13, 2017

Congratulations to Sister Margaret Lamberty as she celebrates her 50th Anniversary of making her First Profession as a School Sister of Notre Dame. Whether teaching in our school, visiting with parishioners, or being with us at Sunday Mass, it is a great blessing to have Sister Margaret as a part of our parish. During many of her years with us at Saint Patrick Parish she has been best known as a dedicated and outstanding teacher of our children in our school. More recently as she as battled health issues, she has been a great witness to what it means to trust God in all things.

We welcome her family, many friends, former students, and her Religious Sisters to Saint Patrick Parish as we honor her during the 10:30 Mass this Sunday. The celebration will continue as we join for a free meal after Mass in the parish hall. Reservations are not necessary for the meal, and all are welcome.

As we celebrate Sister Margaret’s anniversary, it is interesting to reflect on the role that Religious Women have played in our Church, our country, and the world. Even in the Church we may forget how important they are, but for much of the 1900’s and continuing today there are more Sisters in the United States and throughout the world than there are priests. Worldwide there are over 670,000 Sisters, or about one Sister for every 11,000 people.

Sister Margaret’s community traces its own beginning to October 24, 1833, when three women began a common religious life in Neunberg vorm Wald, Baveria. Among the women was Caroline Gerhardinger, who at the age of 15 was already a certified teacher. She was an enthusiastic, encouraging, and gifted educator. Gradually she recognized the call to form a new religious community. On November 16, 1835, she professed religious vows and took the name Mary Theresa of Jesus.

As she sought to give her new community direction, she sent the Sisters who joined the community out in small groups of two or three to small towns and villages. There they taught primarily girls who would have otherwise been deprived of an adequate education. On November 17, 1985, Mary Theresa of Jesus was declared “Blessed” by Saint Pope John Paul II.

Within fifteen years of the founding of this new community in Bavaria, after the Sisters had moved their motherhouse to Munich, they were approached by missionaries from the United States who asked if Sisters could be sent from Munich to teach the children of German immigrants. In June, 1847, Blessed Theresa and five Sisters traveled from Munich to Pennsylvania. Upon arrival they faced great hardships because they had no letters of acceptance or any means of support. Though the Sisters were advised to return home, by that September they opened their first school in St. Mary, Pennsylvania.

Blessed Theresa next traveled to Baltimore where, with the assistance of Saint John Neumann, she was able to open a motherhouse and three German parishes. As additional Sisters began arriving, Blessed Theresa and Saint John Neumann traveled more than 2,500 miles west in order to examine new places to extend their mission. By 1850 the Sisters were staffing six schools. 

Prior to leaving the United States, Blessed Theresa placed Sister Caroline Friess in charge of the community in America. Among her first tasks was to establish a motherhouse in Milwaukee. Under her leadership that lasted until her death in 1892, the Sisters continued to expand their work, eventually staffing hundreds of schools and caring for many children in orphanages and homes for children, always giving preference to helping children who were poor and never giving concern to a child’s country of origin.

Just as the many children who were educated and cared for by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, hopefully most of us can remember one or more Sister who is important to us. Whether we know her well or had a casual meeting, likely we were impressed with her kindness, moved by her simplicity of life, captivated by her life of prayer, encouraged by her commitment and dedication to her community, and moved with her love for God. If you have not had such an opportunity come and meet Sister Margaret or visit the Carmelite Sisters who live here in Hudson. You will be richly blessed by being in their presence.

Fr. John Gerritts



~ Friday, August 11
8:00 AM Mass
1:30 PM Altar Server Training
5:30 PM Wedding Rehearsal

~ Saturday, August 12
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions

3:00 PM Wedding
5:00 PM Mass

~ Sunday, August 13
8:30 AM Mass
10:30 AM Mass

11:30 AM Sr. Lamberty's 50th Jubilee
7:00 PM Mass

~ Monday, August 14
8:00 AM Mass
9:00 AM Bakery and Produce Giveaway
6:00 PM Boy Scouts

6:30 PM High School Choir Practice
7:00 PM Food Shelf Meeting

~Tuesday, August 15
8:00 AM Mass - Assumption of Mary
8:45 AM Divine Mercy Cenacle
4:00 PM Extended Food Shelf Hours
4:00 PM Back to School Night
6:00 PM Family Rosary
6:30 PM Mass - Assumption of Mary

~ Wednesday, August 16
8:00 AM Mass
10:00 AM Mass
at CCH
7:00 PM Oasis

~Thursday, August 17
6:45 AM Toastmasters
8:00 AM Mass
9:30 AM Small Group Faith Sharing
10:30 AM Mass at Comforts of Home

~ Friday, August 18
9:00 AM Mass at the School

~ Saturday, August 19
8:00 AM Dustbusters
10:00 AM Confessions

5:00 PM Mass

6:00 PM RCIA Inquiry

~ Sunday, August 20
RCIA Inquiry After Masses
8:30 AM Mass

10:30 AM Mass

1:00 PM Boy Scout Merit Award
7:00 PM Mass

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