By Claudia Mathis
Father Brad Milunski, OFM Conv. is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a friar of the Conventual Franciscans. A native of Amsterdam, N.Y., Father Milunski’s home parish is St. Stanislaus in Amsterdam.
As a member of a worldwide Franciscan fraternity, Father Milunski said that he feels blessed to have lived in many parts of the U.S. and abroad. “In addition to the wonderful opportunities for ministry that I have had, the most rewarding aspect of religious life has been this deep sense of belonging and the relationships in the Franciscan family and beyond that support my vocation,” he said.
Father Milunski offered some words of advice for anyone who is considering a religious life: “If you want to discover your truest and best self in God, then join us in this pilgrimage we call consecrated life.”
Sister Sheila Long, OSB Cam. will be celebrating her 25th anniversary in September. She was born in Bethlehem, Pa. and her home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes in Windsor.
Sister Sheila earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1965, a diploma in piano tuning from North Bennett Street Industrial School in Boston in 1966 and a master’s degree in education from Boston University in 1971.
Before entering religious life, Sister Sheila worked as a learning disability specialist in Lexington, Mass. and as a first grade teacher in Russia.
In 1983, she entered the Benedictine Monastery Sainte Marie de Maumont in Juignac, France, where she remained until June 2009, when she transferred to Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor.
Sister Sheila noted the elements that make her life so fulfilling. “The most rewarding aspect of my religious life is growing closer to God through the liturgy, study of Holy Scripture, silence that allows one to listen to that still, small voice and daily life and formation in a loving, monastic community.
Sister Jeanne Marie Pearse, OSB, Cam. is marking 35 years as a Sister of the Benedictine Camaldolese order. She was born in Rochester.
Sister Jeanne Marie is the co-founder of Transfiguration Monastery in Windsor. In addition, she founded Contemplatives for Peace and was very active in the Association of Contemplative Sisters. Sister Jeanne Marie is retired and resides at the Little Sisters of the Poor Holy Family Residence in Scranton, Pa.
Sister Patricia Bergan, OSF, celebrated her 50th jubilee as a Sister of St. Francis on June 5 at a special Mass at St. Lucy’s Church in Syracuse and dinner afterward at the Empire Room at the New York State Fairgrounds.
A native of Auburn, Sister Pat’s home parish is Holy Family.
Sister Pat said that she appreciates the journey she has taken in her religious life and for the opportunity to be enriched by people from all walks of life. “They challenge me to work toward a vision of church where all are welcomed at the Eucharistic table and where the gifts of all women and men will be fully utilized,” said Sister Pat.
Offering advice to someone who might be considering the religious life, Sister Pat said, “Discern about it very carefully and be sure your decision fits your theology and spirituality.”
Sister M. Jogues Goldsmith, OSF, is celebrating 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis. Born in Utica, Sister Jogues was educated in Herkimer. Her home parish is St. Francis de Sales in Herkimer.
Sister Jogues, reflecting on her life as a religious, said that it is very rewarding to be a Sister of St. Francis. She enjoys living “in a convent with Sisters that are caring and supportive and to teach children who are truly a blessing.”
To someone considering a religious life, Sister Jogues advised: “I would suggest to pray — pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance; pray to the Blessed Mother for grace to answer ‘yes’ to God’s call. If possible, contact a sister in the congregation in which you are interested. Check the website of different congregations. Receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation often.”
Sister Eileen Rosinski, O. Carm. is celebrating the milestone of 50 years with the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged & Infirm. She professed her final vows at St. Teresa’s Motherhouse in Germantown.
Sister Eileen was born in Detroit, Mich. and attended St. Hyacinth’s grade school. She graduated from Girls’ Catholic Central High School and St. Bernard’s School of Nursing in Chicago, Ill.
Sister Eileen served as a director of nursing, an assistant administrator and in the field of quality assurance. She now administers at St. Joseph Nursing Home in Utica.
Sister Eileen said, “What sustained me in my vocation through these years is the firm belief that I am doing God’s will in caring for the aged and infirm — that I am where I am for my own good or the good of others.”
Sister Eileen will celebrate her anniversary at a barbecue with her family in Fraser, Mich.
Father Paul Naumann, SJ, said that he is very happy to be celebrating his 60th year of life as a religious. He commemorated the occasion with a special dinner in Bronx, N.Y. with one of his fellow Jesuits, Father Daniel Mulhauser, SJ.
Father Naumann said that two of the most rewarding aspects of his life as a religious have been the Eucharist when celebrating Mass and his teaching career. He taught English at Canisius High School in Buffalo before writing the children’s book, Crispin and the Great Tree. It was published in 2010.
Father Naumann offered a suggestion to anyone who might be considering life as a religious. “Find a spiritual director that you can trust and talk freely with,” he advised.
Sister Marie Carbery, OSF, who is celebrating her 60th jubilee, said the most rewarding aspect of her vocation has been her community life. “You’re with wonderful people that you can work with,” explained Sister Marie.
A native of Syracuse, Sister Marie served as a teacher in New Jersey and Florida.
To one considering a religious life, Sister Marie said, “You can’t find a better way to reach your goals — one of my goals is to be happy.”
Sister Margaret Coyne, OSF, is celebrating 60 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.
Born in Elbridge, N.Y., Sister Margaret’s home parish is St. Mary’s in Auburn. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Rose in Albany and a master’s degree from SUNY Geneseo. She also received school administration certification from Syracuse University.
Sister Margaret said that the most rewarding part of her religious life has been her service as an elementary school principal. She said she enjoys watching the young people that she taught go on to pursue higher education and move into professional careers.
Sister Margaret offered some advice to anyone considering a religious life: “Keep your focus on God as you encounter the transitions of religious life today.”
Sister Bridget Lennon, MFIC, a native of Roscommon, Ireland, celebrated her 60th anniversary as a Missionary Sister of the Immaculate Conception on June 5. St. Cecilia’s Parish in Solvay hosted the celebration with a special Mass and dinner.
Sister Bridget earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, N.Y and a master’s degree in theology from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt.
Sister Bridget taught in Boston, Milton and Newton, all in Massachusetts. She also taught in Brooklyn, N.Y. Additional assignments include serving as director of religious education at St. Michael’s in Syracuse, pastoral associate in Sommerville, Tenn. and in Savannah and Augusta, Ga.
Sister Bridget served on the leadership team of her community before arriving at St. Cecilia. At this parish, she served as director of human development and coordinator of bereavement luncheons.
Sister Bridget served her community as director of the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Associate program. She is also a Literacy program volunteer.
Sister Bridget said that the spirit of God is working through her to bring His spirit to the people that she serves. Sister Bridget noted that St. Francis and her foundress, Sister Elizabeth Hayes, MFIC, have played a large part in showing her how to bring God’s spirit to the people.
Sister Bridget said that the most rewarding part of her religious life has been ministering to different types of people in various places and witnessing the way that God has worked in their lives. “I would not trade my vocation for anything else,” Sister Bridget said.
Sister Mary Martin Holly, OSF, is celebrating her 70th anniversary as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.
Sister Mary Martin was born in Tresckow, Pa. On the day that she entered the convent in Syracuse, she and her family, as they traveled from their home in Pennsylvania, weathered many hardships due to inclement weather. “After that day, whenever the temptation to leave surfaced, the memory of that day when I came through a fierce snowstorm on an unplowed road, which also included rides in three different cars, convinced me that God wanted me where I was and His intervention in all kinds of deterrents is an ever-present rewarding aspect of my religious life,” said Sister Mary Martin.
After attending St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y., Sister Mary Martin taught in Albany and North Syracuse in addition to Long Beach and Capistrano, Calif. She worked in faith formation in Fayetteville, Manlius, DeWitt, Cazenovia, Chittenango, Chittenango Falls, Bridgeport, Minoa and Georgetown.
Sister Mary Martin offered some advice for those who might be considering religious life: “Listen to what the Lord is saying to you,” she instructed. “Pray and direct all your energies and love to accomplish what your are being called to do. Send little bundles of love to the Lord by doing things for others.”