By Katie Beckmann Mahon, Communications Manager
Last Saturday, the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt gathered together at the Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary to host a socially distant Jubilee Celebration.
Though not as crowded as most celebrations, and even with face masks and distance between attendees, the day was full of great joy as Sr. Madeline McGill celebrated her 70th year as a Sister of Saint Dominic. Along with Sr. Madeline, Sisters Bernadette Burke, Cecelia (Cely) Byrnes, Maureen Gibbons, Alice Kirk, Mary Malone, Joan Smith, and Bridget Mary Troy, all celebrated their 60th anniversary of entering the congregation.
These Jubilarians have spent their lives serving the poor and marginalized and bringing compassion and mercy to those who need it most and promoting hope, mercy, justice, and truth through their ministries.
During the Jubilee Mass, Sr. Cely spoke on behalf of “the Band of 1960.”
“As Blauvelt Dominicans, we who follow in the footsteps of Mary Ann Sammon, are called to respond to the needs of our time and to minister on behalf of the poor and marginalized.
Celebrating Anniversaries gives us time to stop and reminisce about the past. The world was different, Religious life was different, and so were we. The Easter before we entered, there was a change from hard veils to a soft one; Vatican II brought many hopeful and inspiring changes to our life. We have supported each other during these years, and changes and will continue to do so in the years to come.
We prayerfully acknowledge the countless people who supported us in this journey. Certainly, our families and friends, many of whom have died, all those who have contributed to our reaching this milestone. Including you, our sisters, who have in one way or another nurtured us from the days of our being idealistic kids to now being the over 70’s members, the Elizabeth’s.
We have been provided with an education that few women have had the opportunity to attain. We were encouraged to acknowledge and develop our gifts, inspired to strengthen our values, and to express our advocacy for Social Justice and the Common Good. We thank you for being our Sisters, our Companions in this Journey.”
Along with these remarks, Sr. Cely recognized the deceased sisters of the Bands of 1950 and 1960, who have “faithfully completed their journey as Blauvelt Dominicans,” which include Sisters Virginia Kissack, Marianna Minchin, Katherine Downing, Ann Marie Colvin, Vincent Cirelli, Teresa McHugh, Margie Mullen, and Jane McDermott.