Editor’s note: Over the next few weeks we will be publishing brief profiles on each of the participating jubilarians. Sister Katie Eiffe, the diocesan Vicar for Religious, shares that “it was inspiring to read their reflections on their religious life!” She adds that “feelings of gratitude abound in their comments, and the many and varied ways that they have served God is witness to the presence of the Spirit in their lives!”

Due to our COVID history, we are celebrating the 2020 jubilarians first with more to come in the next couple of editions. A complete group of profiles will be available at thecatholicsun.com.

2020 Jubilarians 

70th Jubilee

Sister Robertine Palladino, OSF

Sister Robertine has served in a variety of ministries in education, pastoral ministry, service to her community, and at the Franciscan Chapel at Destiny USA in Syracuse.

She writes: “The easiest way to describe my life as a vowed religious is that I never once doubted or regretted my coming to this life. … God has been my helper, my shepherd, my protector, my caregiver, and I have so much to be grateful for.  Being a jubilarian is a time to be very grateful.”

Sister Myra Richards, OSF

Sister Myra spent many years in the ministry of education, after which she served as Director of Volunteers at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse and then as Coordinator of Spiritual Services for the Senior Sisters at the Franciscan Motherhouse. She retired in 2016.

She writes: “Being a vowed Franciscan religious for 70 years, I have been able to grow spiritually, especially by being nourished at the Eucharistic Feast and as having the coveted honor of molding and forming the lives of hundreds of adults and children. What a gift …!”

Sister Margaret Woods, OSF

Sister Margaret has served in the ministries of education, catechesis, parish ministry and charismatic ministry, and as a Chaplain in Health Care Ministry.

She writes: “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us!”

Sister Valerie Boone, OSF, was also celebrating 70 years of religious life as a Sister of St. Francis, but she was unable to attend the celebration.

65th Jubilee

Sister Mary Obrist, OSF, celebrated 65 years of religious life in 2020, but she was unable to be present for the celebration.

60th Jubilee

Rev. William J. Bosch, SJ

Father Bosch has served in a variety of ministries — as Moderator of the Jesuit International House, in Jail Ministry, as a Professor of History and College Archivist at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

He writes: “It has been a great adventure. God’s grace is amazing.”

Sister Nancy Emerick, OSF

Sister Nancy is retired and resides at the Franciscan Villa in Syracuse.

Sister Laurita Kelly, OSF

Sister Laurita has spent her entire ministerial career in education, as a first grade teacher in  various schools, as a principal, as a “Reading Readiness” teacher at the Gingerbread House, and in Academic Intervention Services.

She writes: “As I celebrate sixty years as a Sister of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, I REJOICE in the Lord and give THANKS for all the BLESSINGS the fabric of my life has touched as a TEACHER of young children using the many gifts I discovered the Lord had given me. I sing, ‘I’ve got that JOY, JOY deep in my heart.’”

Sister Joselle Orlando, OSF

Sister Joselle has served as a teaching artist, a Vocation Minister, a retreat facilitator, a spiritual life coordinator, a Parish Director of Religious Education, a theology teacher and a Campus Minister over her 60 years in religious life.

She writes: “I have been so blessed to grow up in a Catholic Italian family. … Love and encouragement  were always present. I experienced a deep appreciation for my heritage and the faith which formed me. I grew to come to know St. Francis of Assisi. … God led me to the Sisters of St. Francis in Syracuse and I continue to be blessed by using the talents gifted to me in art and music. … What a wonderful ride my vocation has been. I am overwhelmed to have been SO BLESSED!”

Also celebrating a 60th Jubilee are Sister Michaeleen Cabral, OSF; Rev. Dan Mulhauser, SJ; and  

Sister Elizabeth Michelle Newell, CSJ; they were unable to attend the celebration.

50th Jubilee

Sister Violet Ann Bloomer, OP

Sister Violet is a member of the cloistered Dominicans who previously resided at the Dominican Monastery on Court Street in Syracuse. Due to the health needs of many of the sisters there, the Monastery closed, and the sisters needing assisted living or full care moved to Teresian House in Albany.

Sister Violet was welcomed by the Sisters of St. Francis to the Franciscan Villa, where she continues her religious life and now serves as an organist.

She writes: “What drew me to the Monastery was the chanting of the Liturgy of the Hours. I was able to take organ lessons there and became the Liturgist for the community. I feel blessed to have been called by Jesus to be with Him daily at Mass and Office, plus having an hour saying the Rosary every day for the needs of the world. I am eternally grateful for the Franciscan Sisters in allowing me to spend the rest of my days here at the Franciscan Villa. They graciously welcomed me into their home. I continue to pray for the needs of the people of Syracuse who were so generous to us on Court Street, and for the needs of the world.”

Sister Jane Bourne, OSF

For many years, Sister Jane ministered in the field of education at various schools. In 1978, she established the Gingerbread House Preschool and expanded it to include a Day Center in 1987. She has also served as a Parish Director of Religious Education, and she established the “NunBetter Chocolates” company in 2001.

She writes: “‘It is in the eyes of a child that one sees the face of God.’ Children are a vibrant source of God’s presence to me. It is to these children who have touched my life throughout the years that I have received and continue to receive such affirmation of my call as a Franciscan. As I celebrate my 50th Jubilee, I celebrate the gift of each child.”

Sister Eileen Derrick, OSF

Sister Eileen has served in a variety of ministries throughout her religious life — educator, Parish Director of Religious Education, musician and therapeutic musician at both  Community Hospital and Francis House.

She writes: “Being a jubilarian during a pandemic is unique and historic. We are all living a great unexpected change.

“Being religious feels doubly countercultural. However, I feel I am marching alongside some very loud voices regarding climate change, Black Lives Matter, LGBT, failed political leaders, racism, violence, war and immigration. To my religious life and my jubilee celebration an invigorating spice has been added.”

Sister Theresa Laureta, OSF

Sister Theresa serves as the Music Director for the Franciscan Villa, as well as an Art Minister for her community and a columnist for the Global Sisters Report. 

She writes: “I am grateful to God for my call to religious life, to the Sisters in Hawaii who inspired me to enter this particular community of Franciscans. I appreciate my Sisters, family and friends who encourage and support me today. It is hard to believe that 50 years in religious life have gone by. As I recall the highlights of those years, I see the hand of God at work in all of them. Deo gratias!”

Sister Anne McNulty, OSF

Sister Anne has served as a teacher in a number of schools in the Syracuse area, as a Pastoral Associate and Youth Minister, and as a Chaplain at Upstate Medical Center.

She writes: “Thinking back on my life as a Franciscan … my first thought is of gratitude. …

  “Indeed, God has done great things for me!  My blessings are innumerable!!! Challenging ministerial opportunities have given way to spiritual growth and many unique occasions of serving the community;  wherever and however that happened … I feel privileged to be a jubilarian. It is my hope and prayer that in my remaining time as a vowed Franciscan, our Loving God offers me more unique opportunities to be engaged in serving our less privileged brothers and sisters.”

Also celebrating a 50th Jubilee in 2020 was Sister Samuel Marie Settar, OSF, who was not able to be present.

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