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Jubilee: Joy and Song
2013


I was thinking about our Sisters who are celebrating their Jubilees this year and I happened to glance at the calendar on my wall which features one of God’s small but great gifts to us—birds.  I really love these little creatures, unique, colorful, diverse in every way and each has its own song and message for anyone who listens.  I realized that our Jubilarians are like this, too.  Sisters Carolyn for 75 years; Alice, Jeanne and Rose each for 60 years; and Donna for 50 years have sung their own unique song of life and fidelity. They carry the gospel of love and service, joy and compassion to many people and places in varied and splendid ways.  What has been constant in each life has been their song of love to the Divine Presence--in every place: chapel, classroom, garden, workshop, art room, chemistry lab, business office, assisted living, resource development office, center for people with disabilities.

 
  Sister Carolyn Kunzler, OSB 
   
 
  Sister Jeanne Ubinger, OSB
   
 
  Siste Rose Budicky, OSB
   
 
  Sister Donna Wojtyna, OSB
   
 
  Sister Alice Rock, OSB 

Wherever obedience sends them, they convey God’s unconditional love for all and invite people of every age and circumstance of life to look to the Light of Christ. Their song, like birdsong, is a joyous celebration of their life and love.

After 75 years of vowed life, Sister Carolyn is glad that, “God has given me the grace to spend my life in service and prayer. Teaching was a great gift and I spent almost 40 of my 50+ years of teaching at St. Benedict Academy.  Even now in retirement, I draw great strength in celebrating the holy days of the church, especially Holy Week and Easter. I pray for the people of the world and comfort and console the distressed with phone calls.”

Sister Alice says of her 60 years in the Lord’s service, “I have found peace, joy and satisfaction in my twenty years of teaching.  After those years I was blessed with the privilege of serving my Sisters in administration in the Community.  Now for the last nineteen years I have had the greatest pleasure of working with God’s special people, adults with intellectual disabilities.  What more could a person ask for out of life?  I am so grateful to God for all of this.”

“Gratitude fills my heart,” Sister Jeanne says, “for the blessings of prayer and Community that have brought me to this milestone, my 60th anniversary of vows.  I have loved all of my ministries, especially teaching.  I experienced great spiritual growth during the years I was Secretary for the Community and Director of Oblates.  I remember with great joy being a chaplain at Manor Care.  What a great opportunity to have learned so many skills and walked with people in their time of difficulty.  Now working in resource development, I love to reach out to others with pastoral care and compassion.  Each of these 60 years has been a joy to me.”

Sister Rose worked in a bank in Carrolltown, PA before coming to the monastery.  She says, “I brought my experience in financial work with me.  After making my vows, I taught religion and business subjects at Geibel High School in Connellsville and St. Benedict Academy.  Later, I was appointed to serve my Community as investment adviser and as treasurer.  Celebrating the Eucharist, praying the Liturgy of the Hours, and living with my Sisters in Community have filled my life with blessing and joy.”

For Sister Donna, the past 50 years as a vowed Benedictine are a gift.  She says, “I am filled with joy in being of service to others.  Giving my time and energy to others has never been a burden.  Fifty years of Benedictine life have energized me to share the talents God has given me with my Sisters and with anyone I have known.  I bless God for my passion for life, love and beauty.  Praise God for the goodness shown to me.”

Not only have these Sisters served well with many gifts and in many places, they have witnessed to joy in simplicity of life — living with the freedom of "the birds of the air and lilies of the field."  Their life of prayer has nourished their gifts and their commitment to ministry, enabled their fidelity and increased their joy. May we all take heart in the witness of their lives.

Sister Judith Nero, OSB

 

 

 

 

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