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Scranton IHM Sisters Celebrate 85 Years in Diocese

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The Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton, PA, are celebrating their 85th year of ministry in the Diocese of Raleigh. Their anniversary was marked December 2, 2011, with a Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge at the Catholic Center, followed by a luncheon in their honor.

Six Sisters of the order are currently are serving in the Diocese. They are Sister Betty Bullen, IHM, Pastoral Administrator of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in Raeford; Sister Carol Loughney, IHM, Pastoral Administrator of St. Bernadette Church in Butner; Sr. Kieran Williams, IHM, Pastoral Administrator of Holy Trinity Church in Williamston; Sr. Monique Dissen, IHM, and Sr. Grace Campbell, IHM, Pastoral Associates at St. Paul Church in New Bern; and Sr. Maria Goretti Timpiero, IHM, Sacramental Catechist at St. Paul Church in New Bern.

In remarks at the luncheon, Sr. Carol explained that the IHM Sisters began their ministry in 1926 at the invitation of Most Reverend William J. Hafey, First Bishop of Raleigh, who asked them to serve the African American community in New Bern. Sister Carol said the religious women were referred to at that time as the “Black Sisters,” because they cared for African American children at what was St. Joseph Elementary School.  From that first call ministry, Sisters from the Order have served in 22 parishes and schools in the Diocese of Raleigh.

Bishop Burbidge expressed his sincere gratitude to God “for the generous and dedicated service of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton.” The Bishop said, “The Sisters have been and continue to be a special gift and a source of inspiration for those they have been sent to serve.”

Sister Therese O’Rourke, IHM, President of the Religious Order, was unable to be present for the anniversary celebration because of a ministerial trip to South America. Sister Betty read a letter from Sister Therese, who wrote that the Order has “been honored to share in such a rich history of early missionary work that in time created a deeply rooted faith community. Today our hearts and prayers are focused on the people of Raleigh, our extended family.” 

Sister Carol echoed that sentiment. “We have been honored to serve the people of the Diocese of Raleigh in our missionary work. North Carolina has been a wonderful place for us to live and minister to the people of God.”

Read letter from Sister Therese O’Rourke, President of IHM of Scranton (PDF)

Watch Sister Betty Bullen reading letter from IHM President (Windows Media)

Above:Bishop Michael F. Burbidge with Sisters, Servants of Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton, who are serving in the Diocese. (Left to right) Sister Kieran Williams, Sister Betty Bullen, Sister Carol Loughney, Sister Monique Dissen, Sister Grace Campbell and Sister Maria Goretti Timperio. (Click photo to view larger.)

Below: Sisters, Servants of Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton and those attending the 85th anniversary celebration. (Click photo to view larger.)