On Saturday, September 17, 2011, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge met with consecrated Women Religious of the Diocese for Sisters’ Appreciation Day, an annual day of prayer, dialogue and recognition of the role Sisters play in spreading God’s Word and serving His people. The event, held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Raleigh, began with Mass celebrated by Bishop Burbidge. Concelebrating were Msgr. Jerry Sherba, Vicar Judicial and Chancellor of the Diocese, the Bishop’s Delegate to Religious Serving in the Diocese and a member of the Diocesan Council of Religious; and Fr. John Forbes, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes.
In his homily, the Bishop spoke of the Sisters as exemplifying the words in the day’s Gospel, “embracing the word of God with a generous and good heart and bearing fruit through perseverance.”
“More than ever,” he said, “it is essential that we help the people we serve to understand and to embrace the gift of perseverance. There are so many voices in our world telling people, ‘At the first sign of struggle in pursuing a goal, move on.’
“The example of your life,” the Bishop told the Sisters, “will help others to focus on Jesus Christ and...to reject the voices of this world and embrace the gift of perseverance.”
At the Offertory, the name of each of the Sisters was read, followed by the number of years she has offered her service in the Diocese of Raleigh.
Following the Mass, the Sisters gathered for a discussion with the Bishop, each speaking in turn about the ideals and the people who energized them in their ministries. Luncheon followed the discussion.
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Read Bishop Burbidge’s homily
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge speaking with the Consecrated Women Religious during annual appreciation gathering.
Below: Sr. Kieren Williams, IHM, Pastoral Administrator of Holy Trinity Church, Williamston, shares an inspiring moment in her ministry. Sr. Marie Renee Murphy, IHM, (left) and Sr. Barbara Marie Cady, SU (right).