By Sister Joan Helm, SSND
In 1864, Mother Theresa introduced the tradition of celebrating with the Jubilarians. She wrote to the congregation, “This year on April 17 and October 28 a number of Sisters will celebrate the 25th anniversary of their profession, and this celebration, God willing, be repeated in the coming years for the sisters after them. Mass will be offered to thank the Lord for all the graces and benefits granted during these 25 years and to ask for new blessings, that she remain faithful…. and contribute to His glory as long as it pleases Him.”
On Sunday, July 5, the Notre Dame Convent community, Waterdown celebrated our Jubilarians: 70 years – Sisters Kathleen Haley, Gertrude Huber and Chabanel Schumack, 60 years – Sister Vivian Zoller and 50 years – Sister Maxine Poppa (who is currently living in Wilton). The 320 years of ministry of these sisters extended from Western Canada to the Northwest Territories, Bolivia, England, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Ghana.
With the light shining through the stained-glass windows in the beautiful chapel depicting our SSND heritage, our community gathered for the Eucharistic liturgy for our Jubilarians.
A festive dinner at noon began with the sound of church bells announcing prayer for all those impacted by COVID-19. Glasses were raised to toast our Jubilarians, “for their years of fidelity and service to the congregation, the church and the world.”
In the afternoon, a Power Point presentation showcased our Jubilarians in their various ministries through the years. This was interspersed with a quiz, prayers and hymns, including a video of a choral group of young girls from St. Paul’s College, Pasig City (Philippines), singing “Jubilee Song.”
Although COVID-19 precautions prevented the Sisters on the Health Care floor to join the larger community in person, they participated in the same program.
We relished a summertime treat of ice-cream banana splits, as we continued lively conversation while enjoying the view of our Jubilee Garden.
May our Jubilarians experience anew the fidelity and intimate love of our God and the invitation to ever-deepening communion.