Religious sisters celebrate Jubilees, renew commitment
By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Reporter
KANSAS CITY - Talking quietly, hugging friends and smiling broadly, more than a dozen religious sisters gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Feb. 19 for a Mass to celebrate their Jubilee years.
Marty Denzer/Key photo
Jubilarians renew their religious commitment at a Mass at the Cathedral. From left, Sister Frances Dillman, Sister Glenna Carroll, Sister Mary Therese Pfeifer and Sister Kathleen Zahner. At right is Sister Jean Beste, diocesan vice-chancellor.
The Mass, celebrated by Coadjutor Bishop Robert Finn, honored 17 religious sisters for their years of service.
In his homily, Bishop Finn recalled the words of the Scripture readings from the Book of Genesis and St. Paul's Letter to Timothy: "'The Lord said to Abram, 'Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father's house to a land that I will show you.' . Abram went as the Lord directed him" (Genesis 12:1-4a).
"We come today in celebration for these consecrated religious who have lived out this summons with great trust and apostolic love," Bishop Finn said.
"Those many years ago the same eternal word sounded in your hearts, and like Abraham you went forth. Never looking back you gave everything so that the Gospel message could be lived in the midst of God's people.
"Like the Apostles who needed the glimpse of the glory of Christ at his Transfiguration in order to endure the hardship, the scandal of the Cross, we continue to need you sisters to be visible, identifiable, faithful witnesses to the hope of Christ's glory, 'mysteries of light' in a world otherwise dark.
"We thank you that you have persevered, by his grace, to 'bear your share of the hardship for the sake of the Gospel'; that you have gone forth from the land of your kinfolk and from your father's house to a land that he has shown you."
Immediately following the homily, Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Jean Beste, Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. St. Joseph, called the jubilarians by name and invited them to come to the front of the altar to renew their religious commitment. Each sister in turn received congratulations and a long-stemmed yellow rose from Bishop Finn. The congregation of friends and family gave the sisters a standing ovation.
Jubilarians honored included Sister of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mary Therese Pfeifer, 60 years; Franciscan Sister of Mary, Mary Christine Berner, 50 years; Dominican Sister Glenna Carroll, 50 years; Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Kathleen Marie Henscheid, 50 years, and Mary Pat Johnson, 40 years; Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Frances Dillman, Agnes Irene Huser, Marilyn Peot, Ann Schorfheide, Mary Annette Schorman, Ruth Stuckel and Joan Tolle, 50 years; Mercy Sister Kathleen Zaner, 50 years; Benedictine Sisters Wilmarie Ehrhardt, 40 years, and Mary Jo Polak, 25 years; and Franciscan Sisters Dorthie Ann Hall and Barbara Hanses, 25 years.
A reception in the O'Malley Room at Cathedral Towers following the Mass honored the jubilarians.