By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Religious sisters who served or are serving in ministry in the Quad-City area were honored May 24 at St. Pius X Parish.
The Faith in Action committee invited sisters from the various religious orders with motherhouses in the area and extended invitations to those who have served here.
The evening began with vespers in the church. Around 50 sisters attended the service. “We honor you for your years of consecrated life,” said Msgr. Mark Merdian, pastor of St. Pius. Following the service, the sisters were honored with a dinner in the parish’s hall. Each sister was treated to a small box of chocolates and a bookmark with a prayer for consecrated life. Many lay persons from the Quad-City area joined the sisters for the meal.
Standing behind a cardboard cutout of Pope Francis, Msgr. Merdian again thanked the sisters for their hundreds of years of combined service. Coming out from behind the cardboard pope, he said the sisters’ ministry included taking care of children, teaching in schools, nursing and whatever was needed by the community.
Sister Kathleen Henneberry, CHM, said it was an honor to be at the dinner. “Who else has vespers and a meal for us?” She currently lives at the Humility of Mary Center in Davenport and keeps busy chauffeuring sisters and doing other volunteer work.
Sister Cathleen Cleary, OSB, was grateful to all who put on the vespers and dinner.
Sister Charlotte Seubert, FSPA, said when she received the invitation she thought it was a nice gesture. She currently works at Christ the King Parish in Moline, Ill., and formerly worked in Muscatine.
St. Pius parishioner Pat Doherty said the sisters built their missions around the needs of the communities. His first encounter with sisters was when he was stricken with polio in 1955. Just 6 years old at the time, he was in the hospital in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where the sisters cared for him. Through seven hospitalizations and six surgeries, the sisters were there for him, he said.
Three Benedictine sisters at the special event were celebrating 66 years and one was celebrating five years since professing their first vows.