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Eastern Region Jubilees


Sisters, Associates, family members, and friends gathered on a beautiful almost summer-like day to celebrate 435 years of ministry of seven Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace: Sister Agnes Fox - 75 years; Sisters Cecilia King and Mary Donohue (we celebrated Mary in our hearts) - 70 years; Sisters Judy Boisvert and Clara Schroeder - 60 years; and Sisters Chris Backiel and Margaret Shannon - 50 years!

Our opening song, All are Welcome, set the tone of the liturgy which took place at St. Anastasia’s Church in Teaneck, NJ (for the second year due to the fire last year at St. Michael Villa).

The celebrants were Monsignor James Brady and Father Pat Donohue (the nephew of Sr. Mary Donohue). Our chaplain, Jim McDonald, gave a thought-provoking and challenging homily on the Beatitudes, our Gospel reading.

Some of the thoughts Jim shared: The key for unlocking the meaning of the Sermon on the Mount is simply this:  Jesus is the man of the beatitudes. In reflecting over the life stories of our honored Jubilarians, the women that we honor today, each in her own way, have been and continue to be Women of the Beatitudes.

Jesus ends the Sermon on the Mount with images of salt and light. His words challenge all of us gathered here today in this place. Live seasoned lives, he tells us - let your light shine for all the world to see.

I believe this path has been so totally and joyfully embraced by the Women whom we honor today. They have lived their lives faithfully as Women of the Beatitudes, as Sisters of Saint Joseph of Peace; they indeed have been salt and light to those they have encountered along the journey. …We end with words of gratitude and blessing (written by Noreen Twomey, CSJP on the occasion of Chris Backiel’s first profession of her vows as a CSJP)— for all of our Jubilarians, those present among us, Agnes, Clara, Cecilia, Judy, Chris, and Margaret, those celebrating in other areas of the Congregation; Monica Heeran, Elizabeth Linnane, Mary Theresa Sheridan, Mary Thorne and especially remembering Sr. Mary Donohue and Sr. Camillus Elliott who went home to the Lord two weeks ago and we are sure celebrating with us in heaven:

May the blessing of faith ground you,
The nurturance of community sustain you,
The cloak of peace protect you,
And may God continue to ripen in you,
Bringing you to fullness of bloom,
Watering daily the soil of your life. Amen!

(Read the entire homily.)

We travelled back to St. Peter’s College Auditorium in nearby Englewood Cliffs to continue our celebration with a delicious meal, much story-telling, laughter and dancing!

Thanks to Peter Pieroni for his photos.


Eastern Region Jubilees

(l-r) Sisters Chris Backiel, 50 yrs., Cecilia King, 70 yrs.,
Clara Schroeder, 60 yrs., Agnes Fox, 75 yrs.,
Margaret Shannon, 50 yrs., Judy Boisvert, 60 yrs.

"The important thing is that we remain open to God as he reveals himself to us in the circumstances of life and do everything possible to bring the body of his Son to completion."

Catherine O'Connor, CSJP