5-6 decades ago, the spark of God’s call was sensed & responded to by five young women, today’s jubilarians, who dared to take a leap of faith, who traveled from far and near to test the call offered to them and countless others: “Come & See.
And so they can and saw and stayed.
In time the Call was tended & nurtured & sparked into a flame of faith in the heart and spirit of each woman who committed herself to pursue her vocation to serve God’s people as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace.
Life took a radical turn as each prepared by prayer & reflection, by work and study to understand the implications of vocation and vowed commitment to the mission & ministry of the Church and this specific Community.
From the beginning, they pondered & wondered, queried & prayed to discern the Divine Plan, to say YES to the commitment which would sustain them to navigate change, to be faithful to the Call which led them to this Congregation, to this time & place, to this day’s celebration of thanksgiving.
And so, in time, they became involved in education & healthcare, in ElderCare & KinderCare, in serving dependent adults & children, those needing mentoring & nurturing & a place to live – all giving heart and life to the mission of the Congregation – the linchpin of God’s call & plan to become beacon of blessings for others.
Gracious God, you have shepherded us throughout the years. You have filled and replenished the jars of our lives with grace to do your work. You have enabled us to live our lives with purpose and compassion through each step of the journey.
Today, we are gathered in this Chapel where we first gathered 50-60 years ago to offer gratitude to You for whatever good our commitment to You has brought about.
You have tended the soil of our lives and strengthened whatever growth has occurred in our hidden selves. We have been fueled by your grace & transformed by your love.
Today, with Community, family and friends, we have partaken in the Bread of Eucharist, the Bread of Life, the Bread of Thanksgiving to sustain us on the journey.
Source of life and love, of peace and abundance, we are filled with the memories of experiences which have nurtured and strengthened us throughout the years.
May all gathered here today bear witness to your Gospel of Grace. May we live life with a steadfast rhythm as we walk by faith, assured that You, our Gracious God, will accompany us on the way.
At this time, in the presence of our Creator, Congregation, family and friends, we offer gratitude for the myriad blessings which have been woven into the tapestry of our lives.
May the grace of our lives continue to praise You during this blessed day of Jubilee, this year of Mercy, and throughout all the days that follow.
In the words of Wendell Berry, Kentucky poet, philosopher & farmer, we pray for all of us here today …
“that the benediction of our lives
be an outspreading of light …
that praise rise up like fragrant insence
and fill our world with joy and light.”
(taken from SABBATH poems)