Four Precious Blood Sisters living in Dayton were recognized for milestone anniversaries in religious life during a Jubilee celebration at Salem Heights on May 4.
Sister Virginia Hebbeler is celebrating her 75th Jubilee this year, while Sisters Maryann Bremke and Della Mae Meyer are marking their 60th Jubilee. Sister Joyce Lehman is celebrating her Golden Jubilee.
The Jubilee events included a dinner with the congregation, Liturgy and a reception with family and friends. Several Precious Blood Sisters who are ministering in other parts of the country returned to Dayton for the celebration. A highlight of the day was a pinning ceremony, during which a corsage is pinned on the lapel of each Jubilarian. The four Sisters were then introduced at the dinner.
Dozens of family and friends joined the Jubilarans for the Mass at Salem Heights chapel. The Jubilarians participated in the Liturgy as lectors and gift bearers. Sister Virginia, flanked by Sisters Della Mae and Maryann, smiled broadly as she carried the bread during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Sister Ceil Taphorn, a member of the congregational council, served as the cantor. Father John Blaser celebrated the Mass with Missionary of the Precious Blood Father Ralph Verdi concelebrating.
In his homily, Father Blaser, reflected on the Gospel story of the disciples traveling with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, only they were unable to see that it was Jesus with them.
“We are all on a journey,” Father Blaser explained. “All of us have a journey of faith.”
Following the homily, Sister Joyce led all the Sisters in a renewal of their vows.
At the reception, the Jubilarians joined their guests for photos and one last smile. There was plenty of laughter and socialization as the Jubilarians expressed gratitude for their lives of service.
“I’ve had 75 beautiful years,” Sister Virginia said. “I want to thank the community.”
Story by Dave Eck