Editor’s note: Last week, The Catholic Sun celebrated our diocese’s religious jubilarians, something that was not done the previous two years due to COVID restrictions. Our 2020 profiles were published last week and this week we continue with our 2021 Jubilarians. Sister Katie Eiffe, the diocesan Vicar for Religious, shares that “it was inspiring to read their reflections on their religious life!” A complete group of profiles will be available at thecatholicsun.com.

2021 Jubilarians

80th Jubilee

Sister Emiline Schneider, OSF

Sister Emiline has been a Sister of St. Francis for 80 years! For many years, she served as a teacher in schools all over the country — Syracuse, Albany, Ohio, Utica, California and Florida.  She has also served as a teacher of English to priests from France and Poland, and to teens from Vietnam and Latvia — and a “neighbor from Turkey!” Since 2016, she has served her community at the Villa!

She writes: “By always saying ‘yes,’ all worked for the best. My sister and I worked together in two schools for 48 years and, unbelievably, we were near my father who gave his only two children to God.  We were able to assist him in his final years.”

70th Jubilee

Sister Jean Canora, OSF

Sister Jean currently volunteers as a Museum Marketing Assistant at the St. Marianne Cope Shrine at 601 N. Townsend St. in Syracuse, where she gives tours of the museum.

She writes: “I am so happy to be in my Franciscan Community for 70 years. I spent most of my religious life in the N.Y. Diocese and came to Syracuse in 2013. I have been in many missions in the N.Y. area and I also went to Hawaii and South Dakota. I am an R.N. and have many fulfilling memories (all good!)!!

Sister Vergilia Jim, OSF 

Sister has served as an art teacher and an advocate for peace. Along with an Ursuline Sister, Claire Rangie, she developed a Holistic Spirituality for Peace Education, which led them to coauthor a book, “HOPE: A Holistic Orientation for Peace.”

She said, “The years have just flown by. I was doing the Lord’s work.”

Sister Monica A. Nortz, CSJ

Sister Monica has served in many ministries and retired from St. Ann’s in Manlius.

She writes: “A line from a beautiful black spiritual sums it up: ‘God has smiled on me, God has set me free. God has smiled on me — God’s been good to me. Amen. Amen.’

“And from another spiritual: ‘I’ve come this far by Faith, leaning on the Lord!! … trusting in the Lord.’ Wow!”

60th Jubilee

Sister Ann Marie Ball, CSJ

Sr. Ann Marie spent many years as an elementary school teacher in schools in the Albany and Syracuse dioceses. She also served as a catechist and Director of Faith Formation, a parish pastoral associate and  a pastoral visitor to the sick.

She writes: “It is a privilege to minister and bring the good news to others. 60 years as a CSJ brings much gratitude for the gift of religious life. I have grown spiritually through close friends in my CSJ community.”

Sister Patricia Bergan, OSF

Sister Patricia has served as a teacher in many schools, as well as a Parish Director of Religious Education, a Pastoral Care minister at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, and a Pastoral Associate at St. Lucy’s Parish in Syracuse.

She writes: “I appreciate the journey I have taken in my religious life and for the opportunity to be enriched by people from all walks of life. They challenge me to work towards 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.”

Sister Adelbert Durant, OSF

Sister Adelbert has served in a variety of ministries throughout her religious life. She has been a teacher, a principal, a data processor, an administrative assistant, and a hospital chaplain and patient advocate at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse.

She writes: “God has been so good to me throughout my vowed religious life. … My thoughts begin with the unending graces bestowed on me by God. When I pay attention, I become aware of the various graces given to me. The daily surprises and experiences of living community life, the companionship of the sisters as we travel life’s journey. The wonderful people and priests I have met and worked with in the diocese. I am grateful for the shared joy with so many caring people in my ministry.”

Sister Mary Ann Fetcho, CSJ

Sister Mary Ann has served in the ministries of education as a teacher, administrator, and principal in schools in the Albany and Syracuse dioceses; she has also served as a hospital chaplain, an administrative assistant for an adult day care center, and a parish pastoral assistant, most recently at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Liverpool. She continues to serve by “being there for anyone in need.” 

She writes: “I am very grateful to God for the ability to have served my life in ministry to others.  

“I try to be a beacon of hope as I respond to the (CSJ) Congregational Chapter of 2019 to ‘be a witness and speak to today’s realities.’ I am indebted to my family, the Sisters of St. Joseph, priests and friends who have loved and supported me throughout these 60+ years.”

Sister Mary Jogues Goldsmith, OSF

Sr. Mary Jogues served in the ministry of education at schools in Syracuse, North Syracuse and Endicott.

She writes: “I was sent to Catholic University for religion courses. I had already received my B.S. in Education before I entered. I am grateful for my years in community, for the education I received and for the sisters I have lived with. I have been fortunate in the experiences I have had with the sisters I have lived with over the years.”

Sister Marise May, OSF

Sister Marise has served in many parishes and schools, both in the Syracuse Diocese and in New Jersey.  Additionally, she has served for many years as a spiritual director through the Spiritual Renewal Center in Syracuse.

She writes: “The joy of these past 60 years in religious life far outweighs the difficult times.

“I love living in community with people of like heart. Sharing faith and values, lively discussions, meal conversations and praying together, even enduring the pandemic lockdowns together — all encourage and comfort me in my vocation. I don’t think I could have lived the vows without others to support me.

Sister Mary Alice St. John, CSJ

Sister Mary Alice has served as a teacher in various schools in the Syracuse Diocese, as a Parish Minister, as a Parish Director of Faith Formation and Pastoral Associate and as an Ecumenical Outreach Volunteer in Oswego, where she currently resides.

She writes: “Oh! What a life! I wanted to live/discover/learn. I was taught by the Franciscan Sisters who were asking me to consider religious life. (At first, I resisted) but I was encouraged by my father and an aunt who was a Sister of St. Joseph to enter the convent. As the challenging years evolved, I interacted with many wonderful people who helped me to learn, to listen, to laugh and to be me. I hold in prayer all the people I worked and ministered with and accompanied along our life’s journey. Thank you all! I have much to thank God for.

ALSO: Brother James Amhrein, OFM, Sister Donald Corcoran, OSB, CAM, and Sister Sharon Whellahan, CSJ, also celebrated 60 years of religious life in 2021 but were unable to attend the celebration.

50th Jubilee

Sister Margaret Patrick Fay, OSF

Sister Margaret Patrick has served as a teacher in schools in both Syracuse and Hoboken, N.J., and as Administrator at Alverna Heights Spirituality and Nature Center; she currently serves as an Office Assistant at Immaculate Conception School in Fayetteville.

She writes: “I am grateful to God for the wonderful people that I have met and served with in my ministries over these past 50 years. They have inspired me to be a better version of myself.”

ALSO: Sister Bernadette Joseph Kupris, OSF, also celebrated her 50th anniversary in 2021 but was unable to attend the celebration due to a ministry commitment. She writes: “Quite the adventure! God leading the way and I, following in trust, was rewarded beyond my dreams. With a grateful heart, I thank God for these 50 years of service to his people.”

25th Jubilee

Sister Rose Casaleno, CSJ

Sister Rose has served as a Youth Minister in both the Syracuse and Ogdensburg dioceses, and currently  serves as the Director of the Newman Community at Binghamton University.

She writes: “I have been blessed with living a vowed life with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. I am grateful for all those with whom I have crossed paths and worked with during the journey of life.”

ALSO: Rev. Robert Scully, SJ, also celebrated 25 years as a Jesuit priest in 2021 but was unable to attend the diocesan celebration.

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