Mass honors men and women who said ‘yes’ to Christ

At age 105, Sister of Charity of Nazareth Evelyn Hurley gave two thumbs up as she received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the Nazareth Motherhouse near Bardstown, Ky., Jan. 22. She is marking 87 years of consecrated life this year. (Photo Special to The Record)

Celebrating the World Day for Consecrated Life, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz asked women and men religious to cast their minds back to “the first ‘yes’ that you gave to the call of Christ, the call of Christ to come and follow him.”

He noted that every person baptized Catholic has had this opportunity.

“And guess what?” he asked during a Mass he celebrated at St. John Paul II Church to honor jubilarians in religious life. “We get a chance every morning when we get out of bed to reaffirm that yes.”

The Mass called attention to 57 men and women who are marking major anniversaries in religious life in 2021. Marking 80 years this year is Sister of Loretto Theresa Louise Wiseman. Five women are marking 75 years in religious life and another 21 are marking 70 years.

Jubilarians, many of whom are elderly, couldn’t attend as they normally would because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the liturgy was live-streamed. In the meantime, some have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Sister of Charity of Nazareth Joan Wilson received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the Nazareth Motherhouse near Bardstown, Ky., Jan. 22 from an employee of CVS. (Photo Special to The Record)

To highlight consecrated life in his homily, Archbishop Kurtz turned to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s document “Deus Caritas Est,” which says in the introduction:

“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”

With that quote in mind, the archbishop noted that nowhere in Scripture does Jesus say he wants to be admired. Instead, he asks people to follow him.

“You can admire someone and not change one iota,” the archbishop said. “You can’t follow someone without changing your life.”

“So it is that the women and men of the consecrated life experienced at some point in their life the call to say yes to Christ. It was a call not to simply admire from a distance, but a call to follow, shape their lives over an event, a person, to understand and expect new horizons — things they never dreamed would happen in serving others — when they first said yes.

Sister of Charity of Nazareth Marlene Lehmkuhl received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the Nazareth Motherhouse near Bardstown, Ky., Jan. 22 from an employee of CVS. (Photo Special to The Record)

“And to make a decisive direction, to say yes to Christ and no to so many things in this world,” he added.

Archbishop Kurtz gave thanks for the gift of consecrated life and prayed for the renewal of their gift of service, their generous hearts and their spirit of gratitude.

Following the Mass, the names of men and women who are marking jubilee years of religious life were read aloud. Those names, which were provided to the Archdiocese of Louisville Vocation Office by their communities, are:


80 years

Sr. Theresa Louise Wiseman, SL


75 years

Sr. Mary Brendan Conlon, OSU

Sr. Benedicta Feeney, SL

Sr. Marina Gibbons, OP

Sr. Mary Esther Owens, OP

Sr. Mary Judith Seman, SCN


70 years

Sr. Susanne Bauer, OSU MSJ

Sr. Virginia Blair, SCN

Sr. Maria Vincent Brocato, SCN

Sr. Jean Delaney, OP

Sr. Earline Hobbs, SCN

Sr. Evelyn Houlihan, SL

Sr. Mary Joyce Kernan, SCN

Sr. Bea Klebba, SL

Sr. Theresa Kruml, OSU

Sr. Claudette LoPorto, SL

Sr. Maria Goretti Lovett, OSU

Sr. Clarence Marie Luckett, OSU MSJ

Sr. Imelda Therese Marquez, SL

Sr. Marian McAvoy, SL

Sr. Anna Marie Rhodes, SCN

Sr. Mary Jane Rhodes, SCN

Sr. Margaret Philip Shaw, OP

Sr. Delores Ann Therasse, SCN

Sr. Kathleen Vonderhaar, SL

Sr. Rose Andrew Waller, SCN

Sr. Nancy Wittwer, SL


60 years

Sr. Catherine Mary Albright, OP

Sr. Narcisa Barreto-Perez, OP

Sr. Rose Marie Cummins, OP

Sr. Margaret Lillian Davenport, SCN

Sr. Lorraine Marie Ferlin, SCN

Sr. Helena Fischer, OSU MSJ

Sr. Mary Cabrini Hatley, OSU

Sr. Julia Marie Head, OSU MSJ

Sr. Kathleen Kaelin, OSU MSJ

Sr. Anne Mary Lochner, OSU

Sr. Rose Marie Mayock, lsp

Sr. Claire McGowan, OP

Sr. Joyce Montgomery, OP

Sr. Nancy Murphy, OSU MSJ

Sr. Anndavid Naeger, SL

Br. Ignatius Timothy Perkins, OP

Sr. Judith Raley, SCN

Sr. Wilma Ross, SCN

Sr. Carol Rueff, SCN

Sr. Sylvia Sedillo, SL

Sr. Rosanne Spalding, OSU MSJ

Fr. Jorge Stanfield, CP

Sr. Ann Whittaker, SCN


50 years

Sr. Marie-Therese Brown, SCN

Sr. Betsy Moyer, OSU MSJ

Sr. Mary Angela Shaughnessy, SCN


25 Years

Sr. Beverly Hoffman, SCN

Sr. Yuli Oncihuay, OSU

Fr. John Pozhathuparambil, OFM Conv

Fr. Shaju Puthussery, OFM Conv

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