Two Presentation Sisters with connections to the Diocese of Davenport celebrated golden jubilees during July community days at Sisters of the Presentation motherhouse in Dubuque. Sister Mary Cheryl Demmer, currently of Muscatine, and Sister Mary Diana Blong, formerly of Iowa City, marked 50 years of religious commitment with classmates Sisters Richelle Friedman, Suzanne Gallagher, Elena Hoy, Sharon Kelchen, Beth Kress, and Corine Murray and Pamela Quade.
Sr. Demmer is presently director of religious education at Ss. Mary & Mathias Parish in Muscatine and St. Mary Parish in Wilton. She served as a primary, intermediate and junior high teacher in Catholic elementary schools in Dubuque, Osage, Mason City and Cedar Falls, Iowa, and in Shoreview, Minn., and in Chicago, Ill.; as principal in Catholic elementary schools in Humboldt and Muscatine, Iowa; and as director of religious education in several parishes in Iowa.
Sr. Demmer states: “Celebrating 50 years in religious life means for me that I found that St. Paul’s letter to the people of Corinth has sustained me: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I saw each new assignment as a wonderful opportunity to be stretched a little bit more and I was open to the graces that I knew that I would be given.”
Sr. Blong, formerly of Iowa City, is currently pastoral associate at Immaculate Conception Parish, Charles City. She served as
director of religious education and youth ministry in Iowa City and in Monticello, Minn.; as a high school teacher in Algona, Storm Lake and Dubuque, Iowa; on the congregational leadership team for the Sisters of the Presentation; as a chaplain at Methodist Hospital, St. Louis Park, Minn.; as pastoral associate in Monticello, Minn., Algona, and Marshalltown, Iowa; and as English and theology instructor at the Theological Pastoral Centre in Tanzania, East Africa.
“Jubilee invites me to remember and to give thanks. I am grateful for this grace-filled journey thus far, for the many surprises along the way and for all who have challenged, supported and inspired me with blessings beyond measure,” comments Sr. Blong.