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Mass of Thanksgiving Celebrated for Five Jubilarians

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A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated Saturday, February 7, in recognition of the Jubilee Anniversaries of five women Religious serving in the Diocese of Raleigh. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge was the celebrant with Bishop Emeritus F. Joseph Gossman concelebrating.

Sisters Marion McGillicuddy, SU, Gerry Megel, OP, Carol Loughney, IHM, Jeanne Morgan, SSJ, and Anne Heath, RSM, total a combined 265 years of service to the people of God.

Sister Marion, celebrating her 65th anniversary, is a member of the Sisters of St. Ursala. She attributes her vocation to her faith-filled Irish parents, who kept God at the center of their lives.

Sister Gerry, celebrating her 60th anniversary, is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Adrian, Mich. She views a consecrated religious vocation as being a visible sign of the compassionate love of Jesus.

Sister Carol, celebrating her 50th anniversary, is a member of the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Scranton, Pa. Noting that religious life has changed since she became a Sister, she says her life is sustained by prayer and the love of friends, family and community.

Sister Jeanne, also celebrating her 50th anniversary, is a Sister of St. Joseph of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, Pa. She says the root of all Sisters’ vocation is the love of God, supported through prayer and the strong support of her religious congregation and the good people she works with at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Raeford.

Sister Anne, celebrating her 40th anniversary, is a member of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. She is convinced that consecrated life will continue in the Church, serving through a more extended community of Sisters in parishes and the missions.

“As a Diocese, we congratulate our Jubilarians,” Bishop Burbidge said in his homily, “and express appreciation for their presence and ministries in our midst.”

The Bishop spoke of the importance of those living consecrated lives to have an intimate relationship with God. “This intimacy is essential because following Jesus, as today’s Gospel proclaims, involves the Cross and giving priority and precedence to Him over all other loves,” the Bishop said.

Quoting the words of St. Paul from the Second Reading, the Bishop concluded, “Sisters, may Christ dwell in your hearts through faith; that rooted and grounded in love, you may know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God now and forever.”

At the end of Mass, Sr. Carol Loughney offered a reflection on behalf of the five Jubilarians.

See Jan./Feb. issue of NC Catholics for more on the 5 Religious Women.

Above: Sr. Gerry Megel, Sr. Anne Heath, Bishop Emeritus F. Joseph Gossman, Sr. Marion McGillicuddy, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Sr. Jeanne Morgan and Sr. Carol Loughney before a Mass of Thanksgiving for the five women Religious.