Sister Suzanne Dunn, OSF
Sister Suzanne Dunn, OSF, is celebrating her 25th anniversary as a Sister of St. Francis. She was born on Oct. 4, 1963, the Feast Day of St. Francis. Sister Suzanne believes she was born to be a Franciscan. She graduated from Bishop Ludden High School in 1981 and went on to attend Maria Regina College, SUNY Cortland, University of Salamanca in Spain and Le Moyne College, where she received her master’s degree in education.
Sister Suzanne first entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1983. She professed her first vows on Aug. 2, 1986 and her final vows on Sept. 19, 1992. She served at the Gingerbread House Preschool in Syracuse from 1983 to 1987. She served as director at the preschool from 1996 to 1997. From 1994 to 1995, she served as a sixth grade teacher at Our Lady of Pompei School in Syracuse. Sister Suzanne taught Spanish at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse from 1990 to 1994, 1997 to 1999, and from 2000 to the present.
“As I strive to spread the goodness and compassion of God to all I meet, it is reassuring to know I do not do it alone,” said Sister Suzanne. “I have been blessed to live with many sisters who have supported me and continue to inspire me on this journey.”
Sister Elizabeth Lennon, MFIC
Sister Elizabeth Lennon, MFIC, was born in Athlone, Ireland. She entered the Missionary Franciscan Sisters on September 18, 1956 and made her novitiate in Bloomfield, Ireland. She was professed in 1959 and came to the U.S. in 1963. Sister Elizabeth ministered at her motherhouse in Rome, Italy in addition to St. Clare High School in Roslindale, Mass., Mt. Alvernia Convent in Newton, Mass., Our Lady of the Angels’ Convent in Tenafly, N.J. and in Augusta, Ga. She also served as pastoral associate at several parishes in New York City. Throughout her years of service, Sister Elizabeth has engaged in educational, catechetical and health ministries, but serving the longest in the Syracuse Diocese. She served as parish minister at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Binghamton and at Our Lady of Pompei Parish in Syracuse. She has also ministered to the needy of Syracuse’s north side at the food pantry.
Sister Elizabeth’s greatest service has been to the sick and homebound. She regularly visits Syracuse area hospitals and brings the Eucharist to adult facilities. She checks up on the elderly when they are very sick, especially those who do not have any family in the area. Many of the sick or elderly call her when they are in need of help. Sister Elizabeth said she finds her joy working among the people of God.
Sister M. Nadine Heizman, OSF
“I have enjoyed the privilege of serving God and ministering to His people for 50 years as a Franciscan sister, living in religious communities with wonderful, inspiring other women who have also dedicated their lives to God,” said Sister Nadine M. Heizman, OSF. “We live, pray, work and enjoy activities together, as well as support and encourage one another.”
During her early years as a religious, Sister Nadine studied at Maria Regina College in Syracuse, where she received an associate’s degree in education, and at Le Moyne College, earning a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Later, she received a master’s degree in educational psychology from SUNY Albany and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling & Psychological Services from SUNY Oswego. “This education has prepared me well for my ministries,” said Sister Nadine.
Her first 30 years of ministry as a Sister of St. Francis included teaching at various grade levels from kindergarten through eighth grade in Catholic schools within the Dioceses of Syracuse, Albany and Camden, N.J. Sister Nadine’s first assignment was at St. Anthony of Padua School in Utica. She also taught at St. Rose of Lima School in North Syracuse, St. Mary’s School in Kirkville and at the Franciscan Academy in Syracuse, where she also served as guidance counselor. While teaching at the junior high level, she enjoyed coaching girl’s volleyball and soccer. In addition, in each of these assignments, she taught religious education after school to students who attended public schools in the area. She later became the Director of Religious Education at St. Mary’s of the Lake Parish in Skaneateles. For the past 15 years she has worked as a school psychologist in North Syracuse Central Schools and in the West Genesee Central School District.
“My greatest joy has been working with children of all ages,” said Sister Nadine. “I find their trust, love and simplicity most refreshing. It is no wonder Christ so loved them and held them up as an example to us.”
Sister Vivian Secor, OSF
Sister Vivian Secor, OSF, was born in Albany, N.Y. She attended Our Lady of Angels Elementary School, where she was educated by the Franciscan Sisters, and then at the Convent School for secondary education. She graduated in 1958 and entered the novitiate. Her first vows were made in 1961 and her final vows in 1966.
Sister Vivian spent 30 years in the teaching profession. In 1960, she began to teach at St. James School in Syracuse and went on to teach at St. Margaret School in Mattydale and at Bishop Ludden High School in Syracuse. She also taught at schools in Albany and in Riverside, Trenton, Clayton and Hoboken, N.J. After teaching, she returned to Syracuse to work with the children at St. Peter’s Day Care Center. Subsequently, she worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and was a home health care aide in Onondaga County for two years.
Sister Judith Falk, OSF
Sister Judith Falk, OSF, is celebrating 50 years of service as a Sister of St. Francis. She has served in the education, computer programming and social ministry fields. Sister Judith is currently serving as a clinical social worker in private practice at the Maria Regina Center in Syracuse.
Sister Joan M. Ottman, IHM
Sister Joan Ottman, IHM, is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her motherhouse is located in Scranton.
Sister Joan grew up in Oneida, N.Y., where she attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School and Oneida High School.
Twenty-nine of her 50 years of serving God’s people has been spent in the Syracuse Diocese, 14 years at St. John the Evangelist in Binghamton and 15 at the Bishop’s Academy at Most Holy Rosary in Syracuse.
Sister Joan has taught at schools in Carbondale, Pa., Dunmore, Renovo and Wilmington, Del. and at Port Washington in Long Island, N.Y. She also served for three years at the IHM Art Studio in Scranton, where she created greeting cards for her congregation.
Sister M. Antonia Legnetto, OSF
“As a Franciscan Sister I have been given many opportunities and advantages that might not have been available to me,” said Sister Antonia Legnetto, OSF. “Most significant and life-giving are having lived with God as my center and motivational source, knowing encouragement, inspiration and growth through my Franciscan Sisters, and receiving an excellent education in preparation for ministry. I have had the privilege of educating children and cherish their love and respect. I had a glimpse of Bolivia and Peru, and during my assignment to Rome I was drawn in by the culture of Italy and the Vatican. Through the years, I have had the love and support of my parents, family and friends.”
Sister Mary Ferdinand Hudak, OSF
Sister Mary Ferdinand Hudak’s, OSF, 50 years of service to God included serving in administrative positions at Mercy Hospital, Maria Regina College, assistant secretary to Mother M. Viola Kiernan, Pen & Pages Tutorial Center, the Development Office, all in Syracuse. She also served as transportation director at Jolenta Convent and as assistant secretary to Mother M. Viola Kiernan.
“I have met many wonderful people at all of the places I was assigned and who enriched my life as a Sister of St. Francis,” said Sister Mary Ferdinand. “I am grateful to God for giving me good health all these years and pray that I can continue to do so for His honor and glory.”
Sister Maureen D’Onofrio, CSJ
Sister Maureen D’Onofrio, CSJ, (Sister Mary Eileen) is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Sister Maureen was born in Syracuse and is a native of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Syracuse. After graduating from Cathedral Academy in Syracuse, Sister Maureen entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1959, and professed her final vows on August 6, 1966. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of Saint Rose in Albany and a master’s degree in education from SUNY at Cortland. In addition, Sister Maureen pursued post-graduate studies at Regis College in Toronto.
For the first 10 years of her religious life, Sister Maureen taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including St. Patrick’s School in Binghamton and St. Anthony’s School in Syracuse. In addition, she served as director of religious education at St. Anthony’s Parish in Endicott and Blessed Sacrament Parish in Syracuse, pastoral associate at St. Ann’s Parish in Syracuse and St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Skaneateles and as assistant director of the Henninger-Fowler Faith Community in Syracuse. Sister Maureen was also director of several diocesan offices/programs: Renew, Evangelization and Ruth Ministry. Since 2004, Sister Maureen has served as pastoral associate at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.
Sister Maureen said that community and ministry have enhanced her life. “As a Sister of St. Joseph, I have had the privilege and joy of keeping the mission of Jesus alive in the church through serving the people of God in various ministries: teaching, youth ministry, diocesan work and serving as a pastoral associate in several parishes,” she said. “Community life has enabled me to do so and has enriched my life immensely.”
Sister Ellen McDonald, MM
Sister Ellen McDoanld, MM, entered Maryknoll from St. John the Evangelist Parish in Syracuse. Prior to entering, she graduated from St. John’s Catholic Academy and Central City Business Institute and worked at Niagara Mohawk Power Company for three years. Sister Ellen completed additional studies while at Maryknoll, including a certificate in social leadership at Coady International Institute in Nova Scotia, Canada; a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Le Moyne College in Syracuse; a master’s degree in systematic theology from the Maryknoll School of Theology at Maryknoll, N.Y. and a certificate in ecumenical ministry from St. Bonaventure University in Bogota, Colombia.
Assigned to Panama in 1964, Sister Ellen undertook Spanish language studies in Cuernavaca, Mexico before joining the staff of the newly-created rural Diocese of Santiago de Veraguas in Panama. She served as English secretary to Bishop Marcos McGrath, who at the time was active on theological commissions of the Second Vatican Council. She also joined a team of young Panamanians in the promotion of multiple services cooperatives in the many needy communities of the diocese. During this period, she worked for a short time at the Secretariat of the Latin America Episcopal Conference (CELAM) in Bogota, Colombia.
In 1971 Sister Ellen was assigned to Panama City where she worked in the archdiocesan chancery, setting up and directing the Archdiocesan Administration Office and a ministerial formation program for young women. She was named Director of the Archdiocesan Office for Deacons and Lay Ministers as well as Archdiocesan Representative on Panama’s Ecumenical Committee.
Sister Ellen returned to Maryknoll in 1991 to work in the Maryknoll Mission Archives. At this time she also participated in the founding and coordinating of locally-based Maryknoll Affiliates. In 2001 she accepted a position at the Maryknoll Mission Center in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where she created Maryknoll’s Latin America Office of Mission Services for the training of Latin American missioners. In 2003 she attended the General Assembly of the Maryknoll Sisters where she was elected to the four-member Congregational Leadership Team, serving in this position until January 2009. She is currently on sabbatical prior to accepting a new assignment.
Sister Maureen Murphy, CSJ
Sister Maureen Murphy, CSJ (Sister James Agnes) is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Born and raised in Hudson, N.Y., Sister Maureen entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1959, and professed her final vows on Aug. 6, 1966. She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, a master’s degree in mathematics from Union College in Schenectady and a licentiate in psychology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. For 14 years, Sister Maureen taught in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including St. John the Baptist School in Syracuse. After receiving her licentiate in Rome, she worked for several years as a counselor at Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center in Syracuse and at an agency in Hudson, N.Y. In addition, Sister Maureen served in leadership for the Sisters of St. Joseph as a regional director and in education ministry as a social ministry developer. Since 2000, Sister Maureen has been a pastoral associate at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Syracuse.
Sister Maureen said she is celebrating her jubilee with a heart filled with gratitude. “The Sisters of St. Joseph have provided me with numerous opportunities to grow in my relationship with God through yearly retreats, communal prayer and an extended renewal in Rome,” she said. “As a result of deepening my relationship with God, I have been called to reach out to the dear neighbor — a term used by our founder. The outreach has been in the form of education, pastoral care and counseling through these 50 years. I have only deep gratitude to God and to the Sisters of St. Joseph.”
Sister Barbara Noland, MM
Sister Barbara Noland, MM, is the daughter of a military family and has lived in many different states. She entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1959 from Denver, Colo. where she was working as a nurse. She made her first profession of vows on August 22, 1962, at Valley Park, Mo. and her final profession on June 24, 1969, in Jacaltenango, Guatemala.
Before entering Maryknoll, Sister Barbara received a registered nursing degree from St. Alphonsus in Boise, Idaho in 1958. While studying at St. Alphonsus, Sister Barbara joined the Catholic church. She received a bachelor of science in nursing degree from Salve Regina College in Newport, R.I. in 1965 and a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University in Chicago, Ill.
Sister Barbara was assigned to Central America in 1966. After studying Spanish in Mexico City, she was missioned to Jacaltenango, Guatemala where she became Director of Nursing Service in a hospital operated by the Maryknoll Sisters. In 1972 she transferred to Santa Ana, El Salvador where she worked on a pastoral health team, primarily in forming rural health leaders. In 1978 Sister Barbara returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center where she gave congregational service for six years, first in the Center Health Unit and then in the Maryknoll Nursing Home in social service. She then joined the staff at Manna House in Concordia, Kan. to work with refugees entering the U.S. from Central America. At Manna House, as part of the Sanctuary movement, she was able to help as an intermediary between the refugees and the staff, translating for both.
In 1986 Sister Barbara returned to the jungle area of Guatemala in El Peten and worked with women, giving courses in basic evangelization, personal development, health care and leadership. In 1992 she transferred once more to Jacaltenango where she was involved in nursing and medical administration until 1994. She then returned to the center at Maryknoll where she served for three years on the Main House Council. Returning to Guatemala in 1999, Sister Barbara settled in El Quiche, where she has since been involved in pastoral work in education and the promotion of women’s rights. Sister Barbara’s family and members of St. Helena Parish in Sherrill, N.Y., were present for Sister Barbara’s jubilee celebration.
Sister Kathleen Heffron, CSJ
Sister Kathleen Heffron, CSJ, (Sister Mary Dorothy) is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. A native of Schenectady, Sister Kathleen entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1959, and professed her final vows on Aug. 6, 1966. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in psychology, both from the College of Saint Rose in Albany. For 16 years, Sister Kathleen taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including St. Lucy’s School in Syracuse, St. Paul’s School in Binghamton (principal) and at St. Thomas and St. Patrick’s Schools in Binghamton. In addition, she served as parish minister at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Vestal. Since 1987, Sister Kathleen has been a rural outreach worker for Cortland – Chenango Rural Services.
Sister Kathleen feels that her jubilee is a time to thank God for the blessings of many people. “My jubilee means a multi-community event which is being celebrated with many blessings through the communities that have supported me and encouraged me; family, classmates and friends all participate in the blessings of this celebration,” she said. “As companions on the journey, we together endeavor to give glory to God and live in gratitude for God’s blessings.”
Sister Ellen Judith Lindsley, CSJ
Sister Ellen Judith Lindsley, CSJ (Sister Ellen Donald) is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. A native of Syracuse and St. Lucy’s Parish in Syracuse, Sister Ellen Judith entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1959, and professed her final vows on Aug. 6, 1966. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of Saint Rose in Albany and a master’s degree in library science from SUNY Albany. For the first 10 years of her religious life, Sister Ellen Judith taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including St. Anthony’s School in Endicott. For 30 years, she served as librarian and library media specialist at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, Maria Regina College and Franciscan Academy in Syracuse and in the Baldwinsville School District. In addition, she served as receptionist at St. John the Baptist School in Syracuse and as pastoral minister at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Warners. Presently, Sister Ellen Judith is social ministry coordinator and receptionist at St. Joseph’s Church in Camillus.
Sister Ellen Judith said her jubilee is a celebration of gratitude. “Being a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 50 years has been a great gift to me,” she said. “I thank God every day for my vocation. Meister Eckhart said, ‘If the only prayer we ever say is thanks, it is enough.’ My daily prayer is thanks to God.”
Sister M. Nicolette Vennaro, OSF
Sister M. Nicolette Vennaro, OSF, is a teacher at heart. She is celebrating her 50th anniversary as a Franciscan Sister and has spent most of her ministry in the teaching profession. A native of Utica, she entered the Sisters of St. Francis Convent in 1959 at 16. After graduating from high school at the convent, Sister Nicolette received her bachelor’s degree from D’Youville College in Buffalo and her master’s from Scranton University in Pennsylvania.
She began her teaching ministry in Camden, N.J., where she taught for six years. The remainder of her teaching career has been spent in the Syracuse Diocese — at St. James, St. Daniel and St. Lucy’s Schools. She has taught for the last five years at Blessed Sacrament School in Syracuse, where she also coaches track and heads up the drama department. “I love teaching,” said Sister Nicolette.
Sister Nicolette has been publicly recognized for her teaching skills. In 1994, she was honored with the St. John the Baptist De Sales Teacher Award and the Federation of Catholic School Parent Teacher Award and in 1997 with the Walmart Teacher Award.
Sister Mary Lou Andrews, MM
Sister Mary Lou Andrews, MM, who is celebrating her 60th jubilee, entered the Maryknoll Sisters in 1949. A native of Utica, Sister Mary Lou studied nursing at St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing from 1945 to 1948, graduating with a registered nursing degree.
Sister Mary Lou ministered in the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Nicaragua and the eastern U.S. While living in the Marshall Islands, she worked in a maternity clinic on the island of Likiep. In Tanzania, she served as a clinic and safari nurse at a maternity hospital in the Shinyanga Diocese. Back in New York State, Sister Mary Lou served in family and parish ministry at St. Thomas Parish in New Hartford while caring for her parents. Following this, she worked in parish ministry in Somotillo, Nicaragua from 1988 to 1998. Sister Mary Lou is presently retired and is living at the Maryknoll Center in Maryknoll, N.Y.
Sister Stella Maris Zuccolillo, OSF
“The 60 years of my religious life have been blessed in many ways — spiritual, ministry, education, travel and, last but not least, community,” said Sister Stella Maris Zuccolillo, OSF. “I am grateful to community to have provided me these opportunities, but I am primarily thankful for the privilege to live my life as a Franciscan Sister, graced and happy in my vocation.”
Sister Mary Irene Zegarelli, OSF
Sister Mary Irene Zegarelli, OSF, is celebrating her 60th year of service. She was born and raised in Utica, N.Y. As a young child, her parents instilled in her a great love and devotion for Jesus and our Blessed Mother. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis in 1948 from St. Anthony’s Parish in Utica. During her 60 years in religious life, she was an elementary classroom teacher, a director of religious education, and is currently a hospital chaplain at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. Sister Mary Irene said that the highlights of her religious life have been all her ministries and the honor and privilege of attending the beatification of Blessed Mother Marianne Cope.
Sister Mary William Malkoske, OSF
Sister Mary William Malkoske, OSF, is celebrating 60 years of service. She is a native of Syracuse. A retired teacher, she still teaches in the religious education program at St. Rose of Lima Parish in North Syracuse. Sister Mary William is most grateful to God for her religious vocation. She has taught primarily in the Syracuse Diocese, except for teaching one year in New Jersey. She has resided at St. Rose of Lima Convent since 1988.
Sister Mary Harold Braungart, OSF
Sister Mary Harold Braungart, OSF, a member of Assumption Parish in Syracuse, is celebrating her 60th year of service. She entered the Sisters of St. Francis on Sept. 7, 1948. She was invested on March 1, 1949. Her temporary vows were made on Aug. 15, 1951 and her final profession was made on Aug. 15, 1954.
Sister Mary Harold’s ministry was to serve as a teacher. From 1950 until the present time, she has taught in various elementary and high schools in New Jersey, New York, California and Hawaii. Sister Mary Harold presently teaches at the Gingerbread House Preschool in Syracuse.
Sister Mary Harold is very grateful for the privilege of living her life as a Franciscan for 60 years. She appreciates the countless blessings she has received.
Sister Mary Joan O’Neill, OSF
Sister Mary Joan O’Neill, OSF, entered the Franciscan Sisters in 1948 from Most Holy Rosary Parish in Syracuse. She is celebrating her 60th jubilee this year. Sister Mary Joan said she counts as a blessing the many wonderful years she has had living and working with her sisters in community and feels especially blessed with the many opportunities she has had serving the people of God — children, teens and adults.
Sister Mary Joan ministered to several parishes in the Liverpool area as a religious education teacher. She also taught business education at Assumption High School in Syracuse and at Oswego Catholic High School.
Sister Mary Joan then went on to serve as secretarial assistant and manager of the Franciscan Community’s Generalate Offices.
Sister Patricia Poulin, CSJ
Sister Patricia Poulin, CSJ, (Sister Miriam Clare) is celebrating her 60th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Raised in Amsterdam, Sister Patricia entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1949, and professed her final vows on Aug. 15, 1956. She received a bachelor’s degree in business education from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, a master’s degree in education from SUNY Albany, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation.
Sister Patricia taught for 31 years in schools of the Albany Diocese. For nine years, Sister Patricia served at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton as a pastoral care minister and as supervisor of clinical pastoral education. For the past 14 years, Sister Patricia has been a pastoral counselor and pastoral care consultant in Binghamton.
Sister Patricia’s 60 years as a Sister of St. Joseph have been enriching and fulfilling. “Belonging to a community of women dedicated especially to the poor and underprivileged has enabled me to serve God’s people in special ways, principally in teaching, pastoral care and counseling,” she said. “Living and working with sisters who share their joys and struggles and who support one another in the daily tasks of life’s journey have enriched my life. I am so grateful that God called me to this life and helps me to help others.”
Sister John Anthony Cizza, OSF
“I am very grateful to God for my vocation,” said Sister John Anthony Cizza, OSF. She is celebrating her 60th anniversary as a Sister of St. Francis. “My years of teaching as well as those I spent in parish ministry have been grace-filled experiences,” she said. “The students I taught and the people to whom I ministered in the parish enriched my life and provided me with many opportunities to spread the Gospel message as did St. Francis and St. Clare. I thank God for the blessings I received in reaching out to God’s people wherever there was a need.”
Sister Frances Ann Cimino, OSF
“As I look back on my 60 years of religious life as a Franciscan, I am filled with happiness and joy,” said Sister Frances Ann Cimino, OSF. “My years in Italy were somewhat difficult because I was so homesick. When that wore off, I enjoyed working with the tourists and visiting places in the country.”
Many of Sister Frances Ann’s years were spent at Duns Scotus House of Studies in Washington, DC. “I was happy because there were so many young sisters studying there. They were filled with enthusiasm and joy and I loved it,” she said.
After that Sister Frances Ann was in charge of the dining room at her motherhouse for many years. “As I did this work, I was happy to keep the tables set and things prepared for the sisters’ meals,” said Sister Frances Ann. “Time flew because I loved it so much. Now I spend time at NunBetter Chocolates where I make things attractive, fill candy bags and cut ribbons. I enjoy this work because people are always coming in and they appreciate our efforts. As I look back, I thank God for all the opportunities I’ve had to be working as a Franciscan.”
Sister Frances Teresa Mirabito, CSJ
Sister Frances Teresa Mirabito, CSJ, is celebrating her 60th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. A native of Fulton and Immaculate Conception Parish, Sister Frances Teresa entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1949, and professed her final vows on Aug. 15, 1956. She received a bachelor’s degree in social studies and a master’s degree in education, both from the College of Saint Rose in Albany. Sister Frances Teresa taught for 30 years in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including Our Lady of Solace School in Syracuse, St. Anthony of Padua School in Endicott and St. Peter’s School in Rome. In addition, Sister Frances Teresa served as a catechetical teacher in the Albany Diocese and at St. Joseph’s Parish in Oswego. For the past 25 years, Sister Frances Teresa served as a parish minister at Our Lady of Solace in Syracuse. She now serves at All Saints Church in Syracuse.
Sister Frances Teresa’s jubilee is a time of manifold blessings. “Being a Sister of St. Joseph for 60 years has been a great blessing for me,” she said. “With God’s help, these years have given me the opportunity to bring the message of Jesus to families, especially through teaching school. For the past 25 years, with God’s abundant graces, I have been doing parish work, attempting to serve families and their needs. I thank God for all of His blessings.”
Sister Eleanor Grace Spiridilozzi, OSF
“My 60 years in religious life have given me many memories — memories of happy times with students, teachers and workers,” said Sister Eleanor Grace Spiridilozzi, OSF. “Great blessings were given to me as I worked as teacher, principal, director of religious education, and director of volunteers at various places in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.”
Sister Eleanor Grace feels fortunate about receiving a grant to study at the University of Hawaii. “This gave me the opportunity to visit Kalaupapa and make a retreat where Mother Marianne lived and worked,” she said. “Now I find myself in a position that gives me great joy, that is, to be hostess for the Blessed Marianne Cope Shrine. What a way to continue in religious life!”
Sister Elisabeth Colby, CSJ
Sister Elisabeth Colby, CSJ, (Sister Anne Maurice) is celebrating her 70th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. A native of Little Falls, Sister Elisabeth entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1939 and professed her final vows on Aug. 15, 1944. She received a bachelor’s degree in music from the College of Saint Rose in Albany and a master’s degree in music education from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Sister Elisabeth taught music for 56 years in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including St. Anthony of Padua School in Syracuse, St. Paul’s School in Binghamton, St. John the Baptist School in Syracuse and Rome Catholic High School, where she taught music for 23 years.
For the past 12 years, Sister Elisabeth has served as a volunteer at St. Peter’s Parish in Rome. Sister Elisabeth recognizes her vocation as a privilege. “I thank God every day for my happiness and for many other blessings during my community life, especially for the privilege of serving the needs of the Church as a Sister of St. Joseph,” she said.
Sister Rosanne LaManche, OSF
Sister Rosanne LaManche, OSF, a Sister of St. Francis for 70 years, received a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and a master’s degree at Syracuse University School of Nursing. She served as nurse practitioner in gerontology at Community General Hospital and then went on to practice at the Bernadine Apartments, Loretto Geriatrics.
Sister Rosanne served at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica, the leper settlement on the island of Molokai and at St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu. She also served at Loretto Rest, St. Anthony Infirmary and Maria Regina College as well as working as a visiting nurse in Syracuse and Onondaga County.
Since her retirement, Sister Rosanne has served in family ministry supporting disabled family members, assisting them in a safe environment and managing their needs while placing them daily in the care of the Holy Family.
Sister Eloise Emm, OSF
Sister Eloise Emm, OSF, is celebrating 70 years as a Sister of St. Francis. She worked as a teacher from 1940 to 1945 at the Convent School in Syracuse in addition to schools in Albany and Riverside, N.J. She received her bachelor’s degree in social studies from Le Moyne College 1954, her master’s degree in music from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1958 and her Ph.D. the same year.
In 1958, Sister Eloise became a founding member and the first Academic Dean of Maria Regina College. She held many offices in Syracuse from 1973 to 2003, including Superior of St. Anthony Convent and Motherhouse, diocesan Vicar for Religious and Parish Life, Council Member and Superior General. From 1971 to 2003 she served as president or board member of St. Joseph Hospital and Health Center, St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica, Mercy Health and Rehabilitation Center in Auburn, St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu, Maria Regina College and St. Francis Adult Day Center in Syracuse.
“My years in religious life have been filled with joy and peace,” said Sister Eloise. “The years I have spent in ministry in our Franciscan educational and health services and my years of ministry for the Diocese of Syracuse have given me the opportunity to serve so many people in diverse ways.”
Sister Mary Roger Lemke, OSF
Sister Mary Roger Lemke, OSF, is celebrating her 75th anniversary as a Sister of St. Francis. A Utica native, Sister Mary Roger was inspired by the Franciscan Sisters who educated her at St. Joseph’s School in Utica.
After entering the Franciscan Convent in 1933, Sister Mary Roger continued her education in the the convent. She then taught in various schools and at colleges in the Utica area. “I’ve enjoyed my ministry,” said Sister Mary Roger.
Sister Celine Angelo, OSF
“God has been exceedingly generous — no, extravagant!” said Sister Celine Angelo, OSF. “Yes, I have said it before, dozens of times, and I will say it again: The Lord underestimated when He promised His followers a hundredfold! My life has been a trillion fold of God’s blessings, filled to overflowing and spilling over! Praise God, praise God, praise God! So, remaining focused on God’s superabundance in my life, I am like a little child perpetually and continually wanting to play and sing, ‘Ring Around the Rosey’ in praise and thanksgiving. In our day of widespread economic need and concern, that is all foreign to me and to sisters in general. Usually sisters tend to the needs of the poor. In this role they feel quite at home.
“At the time of the Great Depression, twice a week, sisters in our convent prepared packets of bakeries’ leftovers and distributed them to the nearby needy. We always shared what we had with those in need.
“As I see and learn of so many needy people during these difficult times, I reflect on my past and remember what a great joy it was for me to be able to share and provide food to the poor in their time of need. I am so privileged and grateful to be a member of a religious community that is rooted in the Gospel message, and, following the charism of St. Francis, we have always reached out to those in need.”