Religious sisters from throughout the Diocese of Orlando joined Bishop John Noonan in honoring and celebrating the ministries of Adrian Dominican Sister Clarice Moyle (pictured left) and Sister of St. Joseph Josephine Marie Melican, who have each served the Church for 60 years.
The celebration was part of the annual Sisters Jubilee Mass, held Oct. 18 at the Marriott Orlando Airport Hotel. This joyous occasion brings together the many religious communities of the diocese and is one of two annual events organized by the Sisters’ Council of the Diocese of Orlando.
The event was made even more special since Sister Moyle celebrated her 80th birthday on the same day.
“We are blessed by this common life we share of being consecrated, ministerial women,” said Adrian Dominican Sister Rosemary Finnegan, Moderator of Women Religious for the Diocese of Orlando. “We are, indeed, most grateful for the support we feel not only from each other, but from Bishop Noonan and the people of this Diocese.”
During the celebration of Mass, the women renewed their vows, professing, “I pray that my vowed life may continue to foster justice, peace and goodness in our world, community and Church.”
Bishop Noonan recognized five sisters who have retired during the past year: Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Paula Schwendinger, Sister of Mercy Nora McCann, Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Gail Grimes, Sister of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary Rose Christina Momm, and Sister of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary Giovannina Saleeby, thanking all of the sisters for their ministries.
“The laborers are few,” he said. “Sisters, what you have given to the people is precious. You have given them the example of your life, your dedication, your love and service to the people of God. I saw it and witnessed it at each farewell. The people love you, and they thank you for your service to the Church and to the people.
“Today it is with a sense of joy we come to thank you,” he continued. “We say to you, thank you for what you do, thank you for your life of service, not only to God but to the people who you live with everyday. You don’t know the seeds you plant, but you have truly touched the lives of many people. For that, as your brother in Christ, I am eternally grateful.”
Following the liturgy, the sisters gathered for a luncheon, where Bishop Noonan and Sister of Mercy Immaculata Knox presented Sister Moyle with an etched glass commemorating her anniversary and an autumn mum. Sister Melican was unable to be at the event as she was also being recognized by her order at the Provincial House in St. Augustine.
Bishop Noonan praised all of the sisters for their commitment to the Lord and His Church.
“I want to thank all of you for the good that you do every day,” he said.