By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger
CLINTON — Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton celebrated their jubilarians’ significant milestones during Mass last month in Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Catholic Church. Bishop Thomas Zinkula presided at the liturgy, held on a warm, sunny July 21.
The honorees in attendance were Sisters Rosalie Noder, 70 years; Paschal Hocum, 60 years; Judith McKenna, 60 years; and Dorothy Stolmeier, 60 years. Those not able to attend were Sisters Mary Paul Hummer, 70 years; and Kathleen Cleary and Shawn Kelley, both 60-year jubilarians. Clinton Franciscans and their families and friends also remembered deceased sisters who would have celebrated jubilees in 2018: Sisters Karlene Hughes, Michele Cale, Marie de Lourdes Davenport, Mary Ann Phelan and Evelyn McKenna.
Reflecting on the Gospel reading from Matthew about love of God and neighbor, Bishop Zinkula said, “Love was the reason the jubilarians entered the Clinton Franciscans and made their final vows: love of God, love of your religious sisters, love of your order’s mission.”
Bishop Zinkula spoke of their mission to be instruments of God’s peace, promoting active nonviolence and peacemaking, seeking justice for those who are marginalized, and caring for all of creation. He marveled at their years of commitment to the community and love of one another. “Haven’t you gotten sick of each other by now!” he kidded. He spoke of their love of God and of the greater community’s gratitude for their service.
Afterwards, the sisters present renewed their vows before Sister Janice Cebula, president of the Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton. “At religious profession you chose to deepen your commitment. Today we are celebrating what has been, what is and what is to come,” Sr. Cebula said.
The jubilarians present promised before God almighty, the blessed Mary, ever virgin; their holy father St. Francis; St. Clare, and all the saints, to renew with the ardor of their hearts their vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty, according to the spirit and way of life of the Sisters of St. Francis of Clinton, Iowa.