FMAs Celebrate Jubilarians
Today more than 400 people gathered in Cedar Grove, N.J., to honor 12 Salesian sisters celebrating jubilees--40, 50, 60, 65, and 70 years of religious profession. Or, as homilist Fr. Jim Heuser said, "We didn't come here because we love the Salesian Sisters but because God loves the Salesian Sisters," and we came to celebrate that love.
The big party began with Mass, starting a little after 11:00 a.m., and a formal luncheon followed. There was Fr. Jim's excellent homily during Mass, and Auxiliary Bishop Manuel Cruz of Newark, the presider gave a fine talk at the end of Mass about his experience with the FMAs, going all the way back to his boyhood in Cuba. All during dinner a running slide show put the jubilarians on display (from their infancy thru their early FMA years to the present). And there were no speeches (nor did Sr. Mary Rinaldi hold one of her famous 50-50 raffles).
Eight priests, seven of them SDBs, concelebrated the Mass with the bishop. The sisters provided the music--all the Mass parts plus contemporary hymns.
The celebration of Mass took place at the dining venue because the Sisters had expected their chapel in North Haledon to be under renovation. By the time they realized the renovation wouldn't have begun yet, the announcements had all been sent out; so they decided to keep Mass, as well as dinner, at The Grove.
The jubilarians included Sr. Mary Winterscheidt (70 years), her sister Sr. Patricia Winterscheidt (65), Sr. Gloria Machado (65), Sr. Antoinette Cabrera (60), Sr. Esther Cruz (60), Sr. Anna Ragogna (60), Sr. Mary Rinaldi (50), Sr. Grace Ruiz (60), Sr. Mary Terzo (50), Sr. Margarent Rose Buonaiuto (40), Sr. Teresa Gutierrez (40), and Sr. Phyllis Neves (40). (Unfortunately, there were no silver jubilarians this year.)
Everyone was very pleased with the accommodations, the service, and the meal at the Grove. The only complaint your humble blogger heard (including from himself, but not only) was that it was too cold.
Your blogger didn't bring his camera with him (and on that half a dozen people remarked). But he hopes that one of his FMA contacts will supply a photo or two for him to pop into this post later.