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May 4, 2023, Barangay Mining, Angeles City, Philippines – “Forever I will sing of the goodness of the Lord," the responsorial psalm on the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, captures well the song of our hearts last April 25, a special day of honoring Sister Evangelina G. Fernandez, OP, one of the pioneers of the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter, based in the Philippines.
It was fitting to thank God for the gift of 91 years of Sister Evangeline’s blessed life, as well as her Diamond Jubilee as a Dominican religious. It was a grace-filled celebration, attended by Sister Vangie's brother, close relatives and friends, and the Sisters.
The thanksgiving liturgy held before the Mass became a venue to affirm our love and gratitude for her generous sharing of faith and life with our community. The Eucharistic celebration itself was officiated by our ever-supportive Archbishop Emeritus, Apu Ceto, with Rev. Father Ramon B. Torres, a friend of the community.
Fellowship and meal sharing near the convent's meditation garden concluded this special celebration of God's generosity and fidelity!
Originally a separate Congregation, the Dominican Sisters of Our Lady of Remedies was founded in the 1960s with assistance from Adrian Dominican Sisters in the formation of its founding members. The two congregations merged in 2011, with the former Congregation established as a Chapter of the Adrian Dominican Sisters.
By Angie Kessler
Director of Communications
June 16, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – A celebratory mood enveloped the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse Campus the weekend of June 10, 2022, as Sisters celebrating their silver, golden and diamond jubilees were on campus for a weekend of liturgies and communal celebrations. This was the first time since the pandemic that Sisters were able to celebrate Jubilee in person at the Motherhouse.
The celebrations included meals and other events in honor of the 25 women who represent 1,330 years in ministry.
“I just have to say it is so good to be home with all of you … this is just wonderful,” said Sister Kathleen “Katie” McGrail, OP, homilist during the liturgy honoring six deceased Sisters who would have been celebrating their jubilees this year.
“God called them by name,” Sister Katie said. “God said, ‘You are mine, Melba Beine, Mary Ann Dardy, Sharon McGuire, Lorraine Morin, Christine Ostrowski, Mary Lisa Rieman.’ God said, ‘You are precious in my eyes. You are honored and I love you and I send you to my people.’ God did not love these women because of what they did any great sacrifice they made. God loves these women and each of us because of simply who we are. We are precious in God’s eyes.”
On Saturday, the liturgy was in honor of living Jubilarians.
Prioress Sister Patricia Siemen, OP, opened her homily saying, “My dear Sisters and friends, indeed today we all break forth in shouts of joy and songs of praise! We are grateful for the 1,330 years of your consecrated life in the service of the Gospel as represented by our 2022 Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilarians.”
In recalling the ministries of the Jubilarians, Sister Patricia said they have shared the Good News in places near and far. “You have preached the Good News from Chicago to the Philippines, from Vietnam to California, from Adrian to Norway, from Detroit to Tucson, from Miami to Las Vegas, from Atlanta to the Dominican Republic,” she said. “You reflect a global community through your many faceted ministries, whether a university president, a Congregational leader, pastoral care minister, educator, artist, counselor, healthcare provider, teacher, retreat director, sustainable healthcare ecologist, canon lawyer, religious educator, Native American spiritual guide or author of spiritual reflections and formator. Each of you are sister, friend, aunt, and mentor to so many whose lives you have touched. You have helped to heal the world of so many wounds and broken relationships, including our kinship with Earth our common home. Your very vulnerability and integrity is what makes each of you so attractive to God and others.”
In reflecting on the Gospel, Sister Pat recalled how Mary called Jesus to his first miracle during the wedding at Cana. “Mary places her trust in him and tells the servants, (mind you, not Jesus), ‘do whatever he tells you.’ (That’s probably good advice for all of us!) It seems that Mary knew Jesus better than he knew himself at that moment.”
Sister Pat asked how many times others have called us to new ministries or greater work that we weren’t confident about. “Then God worked in and through us as we responded to ease the pain, or restore hope in others,” she said.
In closing, Sister Pat said, “You, my dear Jubilarians, have been and remain gifted with the fine wines provided by Jesus whose Spirit walks with you – yesterday, today, and tomorrow. We rejoice in your years of faithfulness. May you find your hearts full of joy - and discover that the best wine has been saved for now.”
Also celebrating this year are 29 Jubilarians: one 80-year Jubilarian, 12 75-year Jubilarians, and 16 70-year Jubilarians. They will formally celebrate their Jubilees throughout the year with their Mission Chapters.
The full list of Jubilarians and videos of both liturgies are available here.
Sisters Jenny Fajardo, OP, left, and Marissa Figueroa, OP, Silver Jubilarians from the Our Lady of Remedies Mission Chapter in the Philippines, ceremonially dress the altar during the Offertory.