By Katherine Long & Claudia Mathis
Sister Mary Joana Baidoo, IHMMC, belongs to the order of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ, and is celebrating 25 years of religious life. Sister Mary Joana was born in Abora Obohen in the Central Region of Ghana, where her home parish was St. Anthony of Padua.
Sister Mary Joana started her religious life with the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Christ, in 1982 as one of the pioneer postulants of Ghana. She left for Nigeria with her group in 1984 and was received as a novice in 1985. In 1986 she returned to Ghana and professed vows in 1987.
Sister Mary Joana holds regional and national diplomas in secretarial studies and religious animation from Ghana and Nigeria. She also studied at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.
In the Diocese of Syracuse, Sister Mary Joana has served at Our Lady of Solace Church in Syracuse and St. Ambrose Church in Endicott. She has ministered in a variety of capacities, including youth ministry and faith formation, ministry to the elderly and homebound, and many community activities. She currently leads refugee ministry at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Syracuse. In this capacity, she ministers to both the spiritual and physical needs of refugee families and their children through home visits, counseling on spiritual and educational opportunities, evangelization and recreational programs and outings.
Sister Mary Joana said the most rewarding aspect of her religious life is her ability to identify with the people she serves and all she comes into contact with, regardless of race, creed or socio-cultural background, and the number of people she has been able to bring to the church and to the sacraments. She believes that any ministry assigned to her by her superiors is prestigious in the sight of God.
“What matters is the spirit with which one accepts and carries out his or her ministry, doing it well and with simplicity and compassion because every mission counts for the salvation of souls,” she said.
Sister Mary Joana encourages those considering religious life to “pray for discernment, ask advice and talk with a vocation director/directress.”
Sister Martha Barlai-Kovach, DC, is celebrating 25 years as a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Born in Budapest, Hungary, Sister Martha grew up in Utica, where she attended Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
Sister Martha earned her MBA from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield Connecticut, and is about to receive a master’s degree in Global Development and Social Justice from St. John’s University.
Sister Martha worked at a small mission hospital in Milot, Haiti from August 1998 to February 2009. She returned to Haiti in January 2010 to help her sisters after the earthquake that devastated Port au Prince, and again in December of 2010 to assist the victims of the cholera epidemic. She currently serves at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, where she is assisting the Materials Management Department as it prepares to transition to a new computer system.
For Sister Martha, the rewards of her religious life come from serving.
“Being a member of a religious community has given me the freedom and flexibility to go to serve where and when the need arose and to minister with others who are motivated by the same values, both religious and lay, working together in the ‘vineyard,’” she said.
Sister Martha said those considering religious life should “listen to and follow your heart.”
“A vocation is an invitation from God, the path through which one grows closer to God and realizes their full potential as children of God,” she said.
Sister Joseph Angelina Marie Castano, O.Carm., is celebrating 25 years as a Carmelite Sister for the Aged and Infirm. This anniversary will be celebrated at a congregational celebration in June and at an individual celebration in October.
Sister Angelina was born in Damortis, La Union, Philippines. Her home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Sister is educated as a doctor of optometry (O.D.) and a medical technologist (M.T.). She currently serves at St. Joseph Nursing Home in Utica.
Sister Angelina said she would share her desire to live a life of prayer, community and ministry to the aged and infirm with someone considering ther religious life.
“I can humbly say that I was, and still am, fully convinced that one of the best ways of being totally committed in responding to God’s call is serving Him through others, especially His aging sons and daughters,” she said.
Father Krzyzstof Boretto, CHS, is a member of the Congregation of the Crusade of the Holy Spirit and is celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Father Boretto was born in Szczecin, Poland, and attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church there.
Father Boretto studied philosophy for three years in seminary in Nysa, Poland, followed by four years of theology at the Missionary Institute in London, England. He was ordained in England in 1987. Before entering the seminary, Father Boretto was a professional soccer referee and repaired medical equipment in a hospital in Poland.
Father Boretto has served around the world. He worked with immigrants in London; served at his congregation’s mission in San Cristobal, Venezuela; spent six months in Corpus Christi, Texas, ministering in Mexican and German parishes; and was rector of his congregation’s seminary in England for five years. He first came to Binghamton in 1995, and since 1996 has served as chaplain at Lourdes Hospital there.
Father Boretto credits two people with planting the seeds of faith in him. His paternal grandmother was a huge influence in his life and taught him the Catholic faith from a young age. Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, who stood against Communism and strengthened the Polish church, is also a great hero and role model for Father Boretto.
Being a comfort to the sick and the suffering in their time of need, restoring their faith in God and bringing peace within the family are the most rewarding parts of his ministry, Father Boretto said. And to those considering the religious life, he urges them to “be not afraid.”
“As a teenager, I asked all the existential questions. Who am I? What is my purpose? What is my destiny? Why do people suffer and die? Why do we have wars? What is the purpose and destiny of the world? I realized that life without Christ is senseless,” Father Boretto said. And, he said, recalling the words of Pope John Paul II in his Mass in Poland’s Victory Square, man is incapable of understanding himself fully without Christ. “Trust the Lord and take courage. You will have the best adventure of your life. Walk with Jesus in your life and you will not be sorry.”
Father Louis Sogliuzzo, SJ, is a member of the Jesuit Community at Le Moyne College and is marking the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Father Sogliuzzo is a native of Newark, N.J., and his home parish is St. Peter’s in River Edge, N.J.
Father Sogliuzzo earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from St. Peter’s College, his master’s degree in theology from Manhattan College, and his Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology. He entered the Jesuit order in 1979 and trained as a novice in Syracuse from 1979 to 1981.
Father Sogliuzzo taught at St. Michael’s High School in Jersey City, N.J., from 1967 to 1973, also serving as dean of students from 1971 to 1973, and at Paramus Catholic Boys High School in Paramus, N.J., from 1973 to 1977. He served as youth minister at St. John’s Parish in Bergenfield, N.J. from 1977 to 1979. He taught and served as campus minister at Xavier High School in New York City from 1982 to 1984.
Father Sogliuzzo served as a chaplain at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse from 1979 to 1981 and at Rikers Island Correctional Facility in New York City in 1981. He was pastoral minister at St. Francis de Salle Cathedral in Oakland, Calif., from 1985 to 1987, pastor at Xavier Parish in New York City from 1996 to 1998, and weekend assistant at St. Virgil’s Church in Morris Plains, N.J. from 1998 to 2005. He has served at the Loyola Retreat House in Morristown, N.J. for several years throughout his career.
Father Sogliuzzo is currently the director of campus ministry at Le Moyne College, a position he has held since 1995.
Father Sogliuzzo said the most rewarding aspect of his religious life is “the experience of immediate trust coming from people I have served.” His advice to those considering the religious life?
“Listen to God in the depth of your heart,” he said.
Sister Lorraine James, OSF, is celebrating 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. She was received into their congregation in May 1962. Born in Montgomery, Ala., to Joseph and Lila Abraham James, Sister Lorraine was raised in Utica, the oldest of eight children. Her home parish was St. Mary’s Church, now part of Historic Old St. John’s Church.
Sister Lorraine earned her bachelor’s degree in education from D’Youville College and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of San Diego. She taught in schools in the Dioceses of Syracuse and Albany, as well as in Camden, N.J., Trenton, N.J., Long Beach, Calif., and Santa Ana, Calif.
The most rewarding experience in her religious life was “teaching God’s little ones, especially with their sacramental preparation,” Sister Lorraine said. Currently she helps care for God’s poor at Assumption Church’s Poverello Health Center, which provides free medical care for the uninsured. Sister Lorraine said she finds this work to be very fulfilling.
Sister Lorraine encourages those considering religious life to pray and ask for God’s guidance.
“Find a spiritual advisor, priest or religious sister with whom to speak,” she said. “Be yourself and follow your dream. It’s a wonderful life!”
Sister Jeanne Marie Lippincott, CSJ (Sister Kenneth Marie) is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. A native of Menands, N.Y., she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Albany on August 6, 1962, and professed final vows on August 6, 1970.
Sister Jeanne earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose, Albany; a master’s degree in elementary education from SUNY at Cortland; and certification to teach English as a second language.
For the first 15 years of her religious life, Sister Jeanne taught in schools of the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses, including Blessed Sacrament School in Syracuse and St. Francis de Sales School in Utica. She then began a long career in outreach work, both in Utica’s Corn Hill neighborhood and for St. Francis de Sales Parish, Utica. She served as campus minister at Rome Catholic School, worked as a tutor for Thea Bowman Day Care Center and the Adult Learning Center in Utica, and taught English as a second language at John F. Hughes School in Utica and at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, her present place of ministry. In addition, Sister Jeanne served as province director of social justice for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
“I give thanks to God for the gift of faithfulness, for the friendships and for ministry which are wonderful blessings,” Sister Jeanne said, reflecting on her Golden Jubilee. “I rejoice because I work with refugees from all over the world who teach me the meaning of simplicity and the preciousness of life and love for one another. Our community celebration on March 17, held at our Provincial House in Latham, was a moving experience as we were cheered one another, as we remembered those who went before us, and as we recalled God’s extravagant generosity to each of us — truly a once-in-a-life-time celebration!”
Sister Catherine Laboure Miller, OSF, marks 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Born in Camden, N.J., Sister was a parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Church there.
Sister Catherine earned her bachelor’s degree in history from Le Moyne College and her master’s degree in administration from Albany State. She taught in a number of elementary schools throughout her career and is currently the administrator at St. Rose of Lima School in North Syracuse, a position she has held for 31 years.
Sister Catherine said the most rewarding aspect of her religious life is to have been able to serve God and His people as a Sister. Participating in the educational ministry of the Church has also been a privilege, she said.
To those considering the religious life, Sister Catherine’s advice is simple.
“Pray to follow God’s will and trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you,” she said.
Father James F. Smith, SJ, is a member of the Jesuit Community at Le Moyne College and is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his ordination.
Father Smith’s home parish is Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse. After graduating from Christian Brothers Academy, he attended Le Moyne College from 1947 to 1949.
Father Smith entered the Society of Jesus July 30, 1949, at St. Andrew-on-Hudson in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. He completed his seminary work at Bellarmine College in Plattsburgh, N.Y. and Woodstock College in Woodstock, Md. He earned a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1959.
Father Smith was ordained June 20, 1962 at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y., by Bishop Joseph Burke. He served on the Le Moyne College faculty, teaching mathematics and computer science from 1964 to 1993. He also held the position of academic dean from 1976 to 1979.
Father Smith’s service in Jesuit Communities includes serving as community administrator and treasurer of the Jesuit Novitiate in Syracuse from 1992 to 1997 and at the Le Moyne Jesuit community from 1997 to 2005.
Father Smith served as parish priest at St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan from 2005 to 2007. He also served at Ciszek Hall, a residence for Jesuit seminarians at Fordham University, from 2007 to 2008.
Father Smith’s current ministry includes providing pastoral ministry, retreats and spiritual direction at Le Moyne College.
Father Smith said his attraction to religious life has always been the experience of living in community with his brothers. To someone considering the religious life, Father Smith said he would stress the attractiveness of fraternal companionship and point out that its rewards far exceed its challenges.
Sister Rose Raymond Wagner, OSF, is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Born in Utica, Sister Rose was a member of St. Joseph/St. Patrick Parish there.
Sister Rose earned her bachelor’s degree in art from SUNY in Oswego and her master’s degree in Religious Studies from St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia. She has taught in schools in the Syracuse Diocese at the elementary and high school levels.
Sister Rose served as a member of the General Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Francis for seven years. She ministered as the Program Director at Christ the King Retreat House from 1996 to 2000 and at Stella Maris Retreat Center in Skaneateles from 2000 to 2010. She currently a Regional Minister for the Sisters of St. Francis in the Central New York Region.
Reflecting on the rewards of her religious life, Sister Rose recalls the words of St. Francis of Assisi to his companions: “I have done what was mine to do. May the Lord show you what is yours.”
“I am grateful to have been shown ‘what was mine’ through the call of God to my Franciscan Community through all who have called forward my gifts in service to so many of God’s people. Ministry in the areas of teaching, retreats, spiritual direction and community service has been rewarded for me with God’s promised ‘hundredfold’ and more,” she said.
The rewards and challenges of the religious life are all blessings, Sister Rose said, and the vowed religious commitment will continue to evolve.
“The needs of God’s people change and we are called on so many levels to be ‘sister’ in the best sense of the word — in relationship with God, self, others and creation,” she said.
Sister Baptiste Westbrook, OSF, is celebrating 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Sister Baptiste was born in Albany, where she attended Our Lady of Angels Church.
Sister Baptiste earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from The College of St. Rose, a master’s in Physics Education from Notre Dame University and has pursured a variety of studies in the sciences, scripture, Franciscan life, theology, and Clinical Pastoral Education.
Sister Baptiste has taught at the Convent School, Bishop Ludden High School, St. Anthony’s High School in Long Beach, Calif., and the Fowler Faith Center in Syracuse. She has also done pastoral ministry in a rural diocese of Peru, South America, with a focus on the promotion of women, and was also Formation Director in Lima, Peru, and served as pastoral associate at St. Ann’s Church in Manlius and Holy Cross Parish in DeWitt. After completing a residency as a chaplain intern, she began working as a chaplain for St. Joseph’s Home Care agency, a ministry in which she is still involved.
Through religious life, Sister Baptiste said she has experienced the abundance Jesus promises to those who follow Him.
“In my school days I was never voted ‘the girl most-likely to’ do anything remarkable,” she said. “Embracing God’s call certainly opened me to people, places and situations that were well beyond my imagining.”
Sister Baptiste encourages those considering religious life to explore the call.
“When some would-be followers approached Jesus, He told them ‘come and see,’” she said. “I guess it’s a matter of taking an attraction seriously enough to put some feet under it. God’s guidance is always available to those who ask, seek and knock.”
Sister Adrian Wise, OSF, is marking 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. A native of Fulton, Sister Adrian attended Immaculate Conception Church there.
For most of her religious life, Sister Adrian taught first grade. She and her students loved each other, she said.
“Each morning [the students] would come up to me. Everything that happened, they’d lean over and we’d talk about it. They loved coming to school. And guess what? I loved going to school each day. That was a great reward for me,” she said.
For those who may be considering the call to religious life, Sister Adrian said they should be themselves and be the best they can be.
“Religious life is different now, but the Kingdom of God is still in need of happy, holy people to spread the Good News,” Sister Adrian said. “God has a special plan for you. Follow it. In the light of the coming canonization of St. Marianne Cope, you must be prepared as she was to meet the needs of the Church today.”
Sister Barbara Woody, OSF, is marking 50 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Born in Wilkensburg, Pa., she was a parishioner of St. Aloysius Church in Wilmerding, Pa.
Sister Barbara attended St. Aloysius Elementary and Mt. Alvernia High School in Millvale, Pa. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English, master’s degrees in elementary education and clinical psychology, and a doctorate in clinical psychology.
“The most rewarding aspect of my religious life has been the numerous, God-led opportunities I have had to grow and witness as a Franciscan sister in communal, professional, social or familial relationships,” Sister Barbara said.
Even though religious life is experiencing dramatic changes today, Sister Barbara said, the call of God is still strong.
“Just as God intervened in the lives of many women and men over the years, such as St. Francis of Assisi and St. Marianne Cope, so God continues to intervene in lives today, inviting women and men to live the gospel in a radical way,” she said. “In God’s invitation to embrace religious life, I believe that three special graces are given to the individual: the grace of a deeper faith to believe in the call; the grace of freedom to leave everything; and the grace of radical availability to go wherever God calls one.”
Father Raynald Yudin, OFM, Conv., is a member of the Conventual Franciscan order and is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination. Father Yudin is a native of Binghamton, where he attended St. Paul’s Church.
Father Yudin entered St. Francis Minor Seminary in September 1950 and graduated from the second year of college there in 1955. He then entered the novitiate in Middleburg, N.Y. and pronounced his first vows in 1956.
He studied philosophy and theology at St. Anthony-on-Hudson in Rensselaer, N.Y. and was ordained May 26, 1962 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Father Yudin earned his master of teaching science degree from Catholic University, his master of science degree from Notre Dame University and his master of arts in religious studies from Manhattan College.
After his ordination, he taught physics and chemistry at Archbishop Canevin High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. for 12 years. He then taught at Maria Regina College and was principal of Bishop Ludden High School, both in Syracuse.
In 1980, Father Yudin was named the first Franciscan pastor of the combined parishes of St. Elizabeth/St. Catherine in Elizabeth City, N.C. This was followed by pastorates at St. Joseph/St. Patrick Parish in Utica, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Parish in Syracuse, and Immaculate Conception Parish in Trenton, N.J. After a brief term as the director of the Franciscan Mission Association, he is currently pastor of the sister parishes of St. Francis of Assisi in Bridgeport and St. Mary of the Assumption in Minoa.
For Father Yudin, the most rewarding aspect of his religious life has been “being present to the people in all the joyful and stressful times of their lives.” To those considering religious life, he said it is “a wonderful opportunity to bring the love of God into their day-to-day experiences.”
Sister Christine Marie Altman, OSF, is marking 60 years of life as a religious of the Sisters of the St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, a time she has thoroughly enjoyed. “The past 60 years have been wonder-filled,” Sister Christine Marie said.
Born in Pennelville, her home parish is St. James in Cazenovia.
Sister Christine Marie received her bachelor’s degree in education from The College of St. Rose in Albany and her master’s degree in education from the University of Scranton in Pa. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Francis on March 12, 1952.
Sister Christine Marie taught for 29 years in Syracuse schools such as Holy Trinity, St. Matthew’s, St. Margaret’s and Holy Family. She also taught at St. Mary’s in Baldwinsville and at St. Joseph’s and St. Peter’s in Utica. Additional locations where Sister Christine Marie served include Albany, Riverside, N.J. and Lahiana, Hi.
Presently, Sister Christine Marie serves as personal caregiver to the retired sisters at the Jolenta Convent in Syracuse.
To someone who might be considering religious life today, Sister Christine Marie urged, “Come see how great it is.”
Sister Christine Marie said that the most rewarding aspect of her religious life has been working with her “wonderful” sisters and people in all her missions.
Sister Miriam Anthony Carioto, OSF, is celebrating her 60th year as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Born in Albany, N.Y., she was raised in the parish of Our Lady of Angels. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Francis in 1952.
Sister Miriam Anthony said that her life as a religious has been very rewarding. Offering spiritual and material assistance to the rich, poor and marginalized has been fulfilling to her.
To those who are considering a religious life, Sister Miriam Anthony offered the following advice: “If you feel you are being called to the religious life, then follow Him and encourage others who feel they are called but afraid to take the risk.”
Sister Mary Elizabeth Costello, IHM, a native of Syracuse, is celebrating her 60th anniversary of perpetual vows as a member of the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from Scranton, Pa. She professed her vows on May 8, 1952.
Sister Mary Elizabeth’s home parishes are St. Ann’s in Manlius and Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse.
Sister Mary Elizabeth received her education and administrative master’s degrees from Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. and Lincoln University in Philadelphia, Pa.
Sister Mary Elizabeth has served as an educator/administrator in the Dioceses of Scranton, Syracuse, Bridgeport, CT, North Carolina, Trenton, Baltimore, Rockville Centre and the Archdiocese of New York. She has also served as parish support staff in the capacities of CCD instructor and coordinator, served on parish education and liturgy committees and as extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and in parish outreach.
Sister Mary Elizabeth talked about the aspects of her religious life that she found to be fulfilling over the years. “The many ‘aha’ moments that surprisingly presented themselves and continue to do so,” she said. “I found applying ‘Let go and let God’ to be the brightest light and a peace-filled embrace.”
She offered some suggestions for anyone considering religious life. “Be at peace as you pray and discern,” Sister Mary Elizabeth said. “Try to bloom and grow as the Potter attends to His masterpiece and ‘Let go and let God.’”
Sister Mary Elizabeth is currently serving at Most Holy Rosary School in Syracuse as Learning Center Facilitator, coupled with the coordination of the IHM Educational Center in Syracuse.
She celebrated her anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day.
Sister Ann Cecilia Heise, OSF, a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities for 60 years, was born in Watertown, N.Y. Her home parish is Corpus Christi in Rochester.
Sister Ann Cecilia entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Francis on August 13, 1952.
Sister Joan Clare Jenny, OSF, is celebrating her 60th anniversary as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Her anniversary is March 3, 1952.
A native of Utica, Sister Joan Clare’s home parish is St. Joseph, presently St. Joseph-St. Patrick.
Sister Joan Clare attended, St. Joseph’s School, St. Francis de Sales School and St. Elizabeth Hospital School of Nursing, all in Utica. She continued her education at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
For anyone interested in a religious life, Sister Joan Clare advised, “Pray daily. If possible, attend daily Mass. Seek direction from a priest and/or Sister.”
Father Jeffrey Keefe, OFM Conv., is marking 60 years of life as a priest. His anniversary of entering the Conventual Franciscans order is June 7, and it will be celebrated with a special Mass on June 13 at 10:30 a.m. at Assumption Church in Syracuse.
Father Keefe was born in Syracuse and his home parish is Assumption.
Father Keefe said that the most enjoyable aspect of his priesthood is that he is continually being surprised by callings to unexpected ministries.
He studied theology at St. Anthony-on- Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, N.Y. and at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Father Keefe holds a master’s degree in psychology and education and a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Father Keefe’s assignments have been diverse. He taught at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. In 1959, he was asked by his provincial to study psychology at Fordham University in New York City. He then worked at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan.
Father Keefe said that in the late 1990s, Bishop James Moynihan asked him to lead the Courage ministry, a support group for persons with same-sex attractions. Today he serves as director of the group and as spiritual director of the Lourdes Volunteers of North America.
Asked what he would say to someone who was considering the priesthood, Father Keefe replied, “Pray and develop a closer relationship with our Lord.”
Sister Virginia Kenefic, OSF, celebrating 60 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, is a native of Utica. Her home parish is St. Joseph-St. Patrick. She professed her final vows on August 17, 1957. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and her master’s degree from SUNY at Potsdam.
Sister Virginia has been involved with educating students throughout the diocese and it has given her great pleasure. “Since I love to smile, it delights me so to see so many students do as well,” said Sister Virginia. “It pleases me to see their faces and hear their happy responses.”
Sister Virginia served as a teacher at St. Rose of Lima School in North Syracuse, Holy Cross School in DeWitt, St. Peter’s School in Utica, Holy Family School in Syracuse and Bishop Grimes Jr./Sr. High School in East Syracuse. In addition, she served as principal at Holy Family School in Syracuse and as a teacher at St. Peter’s School in Riverside, N.J.
Sister Virginia offered the following advice to someone who might be considering the religious life: “If you have a desire for religious life, pray daily for guidance in making a proper decision.”
Sister Joan Killoran, CSJ (Sister Germaine Marie), is celebrating her 60th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. A native of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Syracuse, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, N.Y. on August 15, 1952 and professed final vows on August 15, 1959.
Sister Joan received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in communication disorders (speech and hearing) from The College of Saint Rose in Albany.
She taught and served as principal in schools in the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses. Schools in the Syracuse Diocese include Blessed Sacrament School in Johnson City, St. Lucy’s School in Syracuse, St. Francis de Sales School in Utica and St. Mary’s School in Clinton.
In addition, Sister Joan served for 15 years as a pastoral associate at St. James in Cazenovia and was a speech therapist for the Madison County Department of Health. She resides in Cazenovia.
“Sixty years as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet,” said Sister Joan, “have afforded me a myriad of experiences and relationships which I had never imagined when I entered the community in 1952. My life as a Sister of St. Joseph has been so life-giving and enriching, and I thank God every day for both the good times and the difficult times, all of which have helped me to grow throughout these six decades. Now, the retirement space offers time to reflect on where I’ve been, and it has been and continues to be a great ride!”
Sister Jane Patrick Lubey, OSF, is celebrating 60 years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities. Her anniversary is March 12, 1952. “It’s been a very happy and satisfying life,” remarked Sister Jane Patrick. “In whatever we do, we are part of the healing ministry of Jesus. In dealing with patients and families, we are reminders to them of God’s love, His acceptance and support, whatever their needs.”
Sister Jane Patrick is a native of Utica and her home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes.
She wants people who are considering life as a religious to know that the opportunities to use one’s God-given talents are endless.
Sister Clare Therese Pelkey, CSJ, is celebrating her 60th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. A native of Schenectady, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, N.Y. on March 19, 1952 and professed final vows on August 15, 1959. Sister Clare earned a bachelor’s degree in music from The College of Saint Rose in Albany and a master’s degree in religious studies from Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in Purchase, N.Y. She also received clinical pastoral education at the Central Islip Psychiatric Center in Long Island.
Sister Clare served as a music teacher in schools in the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses. Schools in the Syracuse Diocese include St. John the Evangelist School in Syracuse, Blessed Sacrament School in Johnson City and St. Lucy’s School in Syracuse. In addition, she served as a pastoral minister in parish and nursing home settings, as a writer, lecturer and spiritual director and as novice director for the Sisters of St. Joseph. Sister Clare presently resides in Windsor, N.Y.
Reflecting on her six decades in religious life, Sister Care said, “Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined 60 years ago how my life as a Sister