Left, 50th jubilee class from left, Sisters Joyce Kahle and Barbara Brown; middle, 60th jubilee class back row from left, Sisters Alice Schoettelkotte, Rae Marie Ratermann, Dolores Keller, Florence Seifert, Noreen Jutte; front row from left, Sisters Marita Beumer, Beverly Bodnar, Patricia Will, Angeline Hoffman, Catherine Nader; right, Sister Brendan Jordan.
In reading the biographies of the Precious Blood Sisters celebrating jubilees this year, Marianist Father Larry Schoettelkotte said he was struck by the many and varied paths the jubilarians have taken in responding to God’s call. Theirs are stories of long life and ministry with an overall sense of having served well, having been led by the spirit through the years.
Fr. Larry shared that reflection during his homily at a Mass in honor of the 13 Sisters who are marking 50, 60 and 75 years of religious life. The jubilee celebration was held June 24 at Salem Heights.
“You jubilarians are great witnesses to the Resurrection … a love that conquers all things, a love that sometimes doesn’t look romantic, but a love that day in and day out has said ‘I’m not going away,’” Father Larry said. “On a day like this we look to the past with gratitude, live in the present with passion and look to the future with hope.”
The chapel was packed as Sisters of the Precious Blood from across the United States and abroad joined the jubilarians for the Mass. The occasion was particularly gratifying to the 60th jubilee class as Father Larry also celebrated their 25th and 50th jubilee Masses. The brother of classmate Sister Alice Schoettelkotte, Father joked that while he remembers their 50th jubilee, he has little recollection of their 25th.
“My good Sisters of the Precious Blood,” he said, “I hope God continues to bless you, not only on this day of great thankfulness and celebration, but throughout the rest of your lives.”
The jubilarians served as lectors, cantors and extraordinary ministers of Hoiy communion during the Mass.
The day began with the traditional pinning of corsages onto the jubilarians’ lapels by their councilors. The sisters were then honored at a banquet prior to the liturgy. A reception and prayer service for the jubilarians was held the previous evening.
Typically scheduled during the community’s annual Spirit Days, Jubilee was celebrated the day before the start of the congregation’s General Assembly this year.
Story by Dave Eck; photos by Michelle Bodine