Left, at the anniversary year’s opening ritual the evening of Jan. 17, Sister Margo Young portrayed the spirit of Mother Maria Anna Brunner addressing her spiritual daughters; right, CPPS sisters from across the country formed the choir for the anniversary’s opening liturgy Jan. 18.
DAYTON— The Sisters of the Precious Blood began their 175th anniversary year the weekend of Jan. 17-18 with a round of celebrations for the public and the congregation’s members.
The opening anniversary weekend began Saturday, Jan. 17, at the sisters’ Dayton motherhouse, Salem Heights, with a lecture program on Precious Blood Spirituality titled “A Theology of Eucharist and Adoration,” presented by Precious Blood Sister Joyce Ann Zimmerman, an internationally known liturgist and author. The program was the first in a planned four-part lecture series throughout the anniversary year.
More than 180 persons, including sisters and other participants, attended the lecture, which included presentations and reflection/discussion sessions.
The opening of the anniversary year drew Precious Blood Sisters from Kentucky to California and points between to Dayton. Saturday evening, the members of the congregation gathered for an opening ritual. With prayer and liturgical movement, the sisters heard and viewed a powerful retelling of their congregation’s roots and growth. In the context of prayer and song, Sister Margo Young, a Precious Blood Sister who is a medical doctor recently returned from Guatemala, portrayed “the spirit of Mother Brunner” — Mother Maria Anna Brunner, the 18th-century Swiss foundress of the congregation — inviting the sisters today to reflect on the challenge of their call. Sister Florence Seifert, the congregation’s president, offered opening reflections for the anniversary year for the community’s members.
On Sunday, Father Angelo Anthony was the main presider and the homilist for the Eucharistic liturgy. Fr. Anthony is the provincial of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in the Cincinnati province. Also assisting at the Mass were two other Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Father Ernest Ranly, a retired Latin American missionary who resides in Carthagena, Ohio, and Father Joseph Bathke, a member of the Kansas City Province currently living and working in Dayton. Sisters of the Precious Blood proclaimed the Scripture readings and general intercessions, served as ministers of the Eucharist and formed the choir for the Mass.
The opening celebration continued after Mass with a community dinner, which gave sisters from around the country the opportunity to socialize with friends and classmates.
The next scheduled anniversary events are a celebration in Phoenix, Ariz., on March 21, and an Open House for the public at Salem Heights in Dayton on Sunday, April 26.
Story and photos by Pat Morrison