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Celebrating a Golden Jubilee in Elm Grove
2017 July 2

2017 Elm Grove Jubilee

Our sisters celebrating in Elm Grove, Wisconsin

“We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe” was the theme filling the days that 24 golden jubilarians shared from June 16-18 at Notre Dame of Elm Grove. This unique gathering included sisters from the Central Pacific and Atlantic-Midwest Provinces, as well as two classmates who are now members of the Province of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Province of Africa. A committee of eight sisters, Joanne Dehmer, Jane Mary Lorbiecki, Janet Mallak, Barbara Neist, Judy Obermark, Marcelle Stos, Doris Mary Turek and Christine Woyach (chair), planned electronically for more than a year to prepare for the days of prayer, reflection, faith sharing and celebration. Participants from the Atlantic Midwest Province included Sisters Barbara Bowers, Eileen Reilly, Doris Mary Turek and Louise Vanderploeg.

A few words from S. Barbara Neist, Central Pacific Province:

“We Remember, We Celebrate, We Believe” was the theme filling the wonderful days that 24 golden jubilarians shared from June 16-18 at Notre Dame of Elm Grove. This unique gathering included sisters from the Central Pacific and Atlantic-Midwest Provinces, as well as two classmates who are now members of the Province of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Province of Africa. A committee of eight sisters, Joanne Dehmer, Jane Mary Lorbiecki, Janet Mallak, Barbara Neist, Judy Obermark, Marcelle Stos, Doris Mary Turek and Christine Woyach (chair), planned electronically for more than a year to prepare for the days of prayer, reflection, faith sharing and celebration. Participants from the Atlantic-Midwest Province included Sisters Barbara Bowers, Eileen Reilly, Doris Mary Turek and Louise Vanderploeg.

Service to others in the Milwaukee area was included in the celebration days as the jubilarians spent Saturday morning visiting sisters at Our Lady of the Angels and Notre Dame of Elm Grove, touring Guest House, a homeless shelter, and preparing sandwiches for lunch, and volunteering at the Riverwest Food Pantry. Reflection and sharing about experiences was done in the context of the meaning of Eucharist as expressed in You Are Sent and culminated in the celebration of the liturgy for the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

What did these days mean for the Jubilarians who were able to be present?

  • “What a privilege to share our charism and spirit with one another – the meaning of Jubilee is much broader because of this shared looking at the past, present and future.”

  • “We are connected and even more intentionally praying for and with one another as we move forward with hope, trust and openness to a life-promising future.”

  • “We have matured well. The growth and depth in our sharing was a delight.”

  • “A precious time to come together to remember the journey – to celebrate the gift we each offer and to believe in the future.”

  • “I feel relaxed and refreshed as I celebrate this weekend of Jubilee. The presence and sharing of so many sisters has been a blessing. It is especially meaningful that we end on the Feast of Corpus Christi to celebrate our oneness in the Lord.”

  • “This Jubilee celebration was a real experience of unity in diversity. It was an enriching experience to meet Sisters from so many different areas but to know we are all celebrating the same number of years of commitment. The deep sharing of past and present experiences and ministry gave us much to take with us.”

  • “Many gifts. . .given/received. . .to keep refreshing/renewing us”

  • “What wisdom in this group!”
The gathering ended with expressions of deep gratitude and joy. The experience can be summed up well in the words of the Elder Indian Woman shared by one of the participants: “Walking, I am listening in a deeper way. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.”