Five Women Religious Mark Jubilees Totaling 265 Years
Five Sisters ministering in the Diocese of Raleigh will be honored at a Mass of Thanksgiving Saturday, February 7. The Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 11 a.m., followed by a reception in the Clarion Hotel on Hillsborough Street. Their length of service in Religious Life totals 265 years.
Sister Marion McGillicuddy, S.U. – 65 Years
Sister Marion McGillicuddy is a member of the Sisters of St. Ursula. She has taught elementary school, high school, college and ESL. For several years she was Director of Education at Covenant House in New York City. In 1997 she was missioned to Rome, Italy, where she spent a year assisting religious women from the Third World with their university studies. Sister came to St. Mary’s parish, Wilmington, N.C., in 1998 where she began an ESL program for Latino newcomers. In 2001, she moved to Transfiguration Parish in Wallace, N.C., where she continued teaching and doing advocacy ministry for Latinos in a local high school, at a chicken processing plant and at the convent in the evenings. In 2006, Sister returned to St. Mary to resume her ESL program. Sister Marion attributes her vocation to her faith-filled Irish parents, who kept God at the center of their lives.
Sister Gerry Megel, O.P. – 60 Years
Sister Gerry Megel, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Mich., also taught for many years, before beginning a series of ministries which reflect the universal call to address social justice. Sister Gerry founded and directed a shelter for families in crisis in Columbia, S.C. She then worked as a chaplain at Harper Hospital in Detroit, MI, before returning to the south to minister at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Greensboro, N.C. She later moved to Toronto, Canada, to help establish Romero House, a refugee center there. In 1994 Sister Gerry became the Director of The Caring Place in Lebanon, Ky., a home for abused women and children. In 2002 she began service in the missions. In South Africa, she worked with other religious Sisters at a job skills program where young persons were given opportunities to learn a trade. Now retired, Sister lives with another Dominican Sister in Raleigh and serves with Catholic Parish Outreach. She is part of a team that prepares meals at Shepherd’s Table, the soup kitchen in downtown Raleigh. Sister Gerry came from a devout Catholic family in Detroit where she was encouraged in her vocation.
Sister Carol Loughney, I.H.M – 50 Years
Sister Carol, a member of the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton, Pa., identifies herself as a woman who loves the Church and has given her life in ministry. She has loved every ministry of her 50 years as a teacher, school administrator, literacy teacher and now Pastoral Administrator at St. Bernadette Church in Butner. Starting with 15 people at Mass nine years ago, St. Bernadette now welcomes more than 200 parishioners each week. In all her ministries, Sister has been involved in parish life, preparing parishioners for the sacraments and visiting the sick. At St. Bernadette, she is delighted these ministries now draw members of the parish who prepare the parish plan, catechize children for First Sacraments, visit sick parishioners and assist with developing a new church building. Sister is now turning to the many hospitals and prisons in Butner to develop a Catholic presence there, in ecumenical collaboration with area churches.
Sister Jeanne Morgan, S.S.J. – 50 Years
Sister Jeanne Morgan is a Sister of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. Sister taught in parochial schools for 15 years before branching into pastoral ministry as a Director of Religious Education, working with RCIA, adult faith formation, and spiritual guidance. Currently, Sister Jeanne is Pastoral Administrator at St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Raeford. St. Elizabeth of Hungary dedicated its new church in August 2008, and within weeks, the congregation grew by a third. She loves the involvement with the parishioners, helping them to see themselves differently in relationship to God and reconciling them with themselves and with the Church. Sister entered her Congregation when she was 18, inspired by the Sisters who had taught her in elementary and high schools. At each juncture in her life, she recalls that this is where God wants her and it is the best place for her to be.
Sister Anne Heath, R.S.M. – 40 Years
Sister Anne Heath is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, a relatively new congregation formed to incorporate smaller communities of Mercy Sisters throughout North and South America. Sister was raised in a family that emphasized a life of service. She met the Mercy Sisters early in her life, and the Mercy Sisters were her teachers in high school. Sister served as a primary school teacher for 14 years. She earned a master’s degree in Pastoral Studies at Fairfield College and served as director of faith formation for the next 17 years, 14 as the founding director of faith formation at St Andrew Parish. Sister received her master’s in social work from the Catholic University of America and is now a licensed clinical social worker in the Diocesan Office of Catholic Charities. She values the trust that adults, children and families put in her to hold their vulnerability while they work through critical areas in their lives.