70th Anniversary of Profession

First, we apologize that our last post did not go up sooner, explaining our preparations for this important Jubilee. It was scheduled to upload at midnight on June 2, but it must have \”over-slept\”! We just noticed it was not published. Well, the \”silver lining\” is that it gives us more time to put up the next one. 😁

We had a BIG day on Saturday celebrating the 70th Anniversary of Religious Profession of Sister Mary Veronica. She worked outside for many years so many of the people in the area know her. She decided just to send out a \”few\” invitations, mainly family. But with that, the chapel was overflowing.

We had over 80 guests, so some went to our Oratory which we empty and open so people can come in there. They are behind the glass behind the altar. It\’s something like a \”cry room\”. The sound comes in, but we do not hear them. Some people said they went their so they could see the nuns! The bishop went to them when it was time to distribute Holy Communion. If you look closely you can vaguely see some people behind the wooden slats. Our sacristan made the beautiful flower arrangement.

The principal celebrant was Bishop Eduardo Nevares, the auxiliary bishop in the Phoenix Diocese. He originally came to Lufkin as a seminarian and was missioned here off and on for many years. He even served as Pastor. The bishop is flanked by two Dominican friars of our Southern Province: on our left is Fr. John Lydon, OP, our resident chaplain; and on our right is Fr. Brian Pierce, OP who was the homilist at the Mass. He was very good and regaled us with stories of Sr. Mary Veronica (SMV) when he was a simple student at Stephen F. Austen University (SFA) up the road in Nacogdoches.

The three priests to the right of the crucifix are left to right: Fr. Joseph, pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Moral, a few miles from Nacogdoches, This was SMV\’s home-parish. Her parents are buried in the Church cemetery. Next, Fr. Ron Fosage, MS, a LaSalette priest, who is pastor of St. Michael Church in Jasper south of us and a monthly confessor for the nuns for over 25 years. The one closest to the grille is Fr. Francis O\’Dowd, a true Irish leprechaun, who was pastor in Lufkin for a few years, but is now at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Daingerfield, north of us.

After a beautiful Liturgy we went to the \”Gate Parlor\” to visit with Sister Mary Veronica\’s family and friends. There was a little mix-up and some people ate lunch first, lovingly supplied by Sister\’s family. We have a few pictures of the gathering in the Parlor.

It looks like our community friend Loraine from Nacogdoches took center stage. The only others we currently remember is the man sitting on our left. He is a friend from Arizona, dressed in his Knights of Columbus uniform. The little girl on our right with her mother is one of Sister\’s great-nieces, Eliza, a very friendly 3rd grader.
As with most of our celebrations this one lasted more than one day. This occurred on Saturday, then Monday evening all the nuns gathered in a \”circle\” at recreation to share our memories from different perspectives. It was so good to see friends who had come from other states (IN, MS, AZ, etc.), as well of those just \”down the road a piece\”. Sister received many beautiful, useful, and creative gifts. But, of course, as always, the \”Greatest Gift is LOVE.\”

We close our brief survey of the Jubilee celebration with a fitting photograph. This is Sister Mary Veronica with one of her sisters, Catherine, from Pasadena, TX; and her sister-in-law, Dell from Sulpher Springs, TX.

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