Jubilee Year of Celebration
When the first group of Little Sisters destined for America left the Motherhouse in France on August 28, 1868, Jeanne Jugan was there to bid them farewell. From St. Jeanne Jugan’s humble heart flowed a great wave of charity that spread to the US and all over the world. Beginning on the Feast of Saint Jeanne Jugan (Aug. 30) we began celebrating a jubilee year marking the 150th anniversary of our arrival in the United States
In preparation for the commencement for this year-long celebration, Fr. Leo Fisher, CFR led us in a three day retreat. On Thursday, August 30, the Knights of Columbus led the procession as Fr. Leo, along with Fr. Tim Fairman and Fr. Matt Jameson (St. Theresa Parish), Fr. Tom Rzepiela (St. Thomas Parish), Fr. Terence Kannangara (brother of Sr. Christina), and Dr. Damien Graziano (our Chaplain) prepared to celebrate the Solemnity Mass of Saint Jeanne Jugan.
After the Gospel (Matt. 5:1-12 on the Beatitudes), Father Leo began his homily reminding us that this 150th Anniversary will be a jubilee celebration all year long. He spoke of Mother Teresa and her experiences in Calcutta of working among all poor, Catholics and Non-Catholics; people who worshipped one God, and others that worshipped many gods. Mother Teresa served all of the poor, she was their light.
Father then compared this to Saint Jeanne Jugan, and how when she began the Little Sisters, it was the enlightenment period during the French Revolution; a dark time with a culture of death. St. Jeanne’s life’s work was the light, the charism to the poor.
God has continued to plant the seeds of love and care in the Little Sisters as they continue their mission. Inspired by Saint Jeanne Jugan, the fruits of the Holy Spirit are living through them as they say “Yes” to living out their consecration of the evangelical call.
Father spoke of the beauty of the lives of the Sisters, living their lives needing God only; in relying only on Him, and loving Jesus. This is a great hope in our culture of despair. Father thanked the Sisters for loving and living the gospel through their lives.
After Mass, a delicious luncheon was held in our dining room. Each person was given a beautiful 150th Anniversary commemorative lapel pin and bookmark with information about this special day and the Little Sisters.
During the luncheon, Grand Knight Bob Novak and Knights of Columbus chaplain, Fr. Tom Rzepiela (Holy Ghost Council #4977) presented Mother Margaret a plaque in recognition of the Little Sisters’ 150 years of service in the United States to the church and community.
This was a grand beginning to what is sure to be a blessed Jubilee Year of celebration!