10 August 2012

An afternoon in Alton

On Wednesday I traveled with Bishop Paprocki to St. Anthony Hospital in Alton for a Mass and luncheon with the Serra Vocations Club of Madison County.  The Serra Club meets at the hospital the second Wednesday of every month, beginning with Mass at 12:05 p.m.  If you are in the area and would like to join the Serra Club, I will be happy to put you in contact with the group.

The chapel, I was very happy to see, was filled both with members of the laity and with the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George.  The fourth degree of the Knights of Columbus provided an honor guard for the Bishop, who was assisted by two deacons.  Four priests also concelebrated the Mass the vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate, and the consecrated life.

Bishop Paprocki received a very warm welcome at the luncheon from all in attendance.  He used the occasion to speak of the dual importance of prayer and personal invitation in the work of vocations.  The group must have enjoyed the Bishop's remarks, which they interrupted with applause at least three times.

As always, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George were very gracious in hosting us.

When the Bishop and I arrived in the Bishop's Conference Room to vest for the Mass, I was surprised to find a small gift for me:

Against my better judgment, I didn't look inside until after the luncheon; one of the Sisters gave me a can of Dr Pepper (I love those Sisters!).

Inside were also two cards from two of the Sisters.  The first was from one of the Sister Karolyn, who helped us on the recent Catholic Leadership Institute.  I particularly enjoyed the back of the envelope she used:

If you can't make it out, she wrote: "Because otherwise this poor letter never gets good use!"

The second card was from Sr. Alexandra, with whom I have been coordinating for their Feastday celebrations next week:

The next few days for her will be tremendously busy as she sees the final preparations for the Mass in which 13 Sisters will make their final profession, 3 will make their first profession, and two will be received as postulants.

Those making their final profession are:

Sister M. Mercedes Diaz
Sister M. Christina Lanuzga
Sister M. Ignatia Cooney
Sister Mary George Brown
Sister M. Andrea Goeckner
Sister M. Vianney Ebben
Sister Mary David Tappan
Sister M. Clementia Toalson
Sister Mary Jude Marsella
Sister M. Bridget Martin
Sister Mary Gianna Nazar
Sister M. Catherine Welter
Sister M. Teresa Pandl

Those making their first profession are:

Sister M. Lucy Gantt
Sister Karol Marie Baumgarten
Sister Cordia Marie McKenie

Those being received as postulants are:

Lauren Kissel, who will receive the name Sister M. Gemma
Marilis Pineiro, who will receive the name Sister M. Immanuela

Please keep these Sisters in your prayers as the continue their retreat leading up to the Feastday on Wednesday, which will be a glorious and happy day!

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