By Sr. Sarah Lennon, CCVI.
I am happy to share a few reflections on what our 150th Congregational Jubilee Year means to me. It has been a call to remember, give thanks, celebrate, rejoice, and deepen my faith in a future full of hope. Over these past months, I have been privileged to participate in several celebrations honoring our foundation and history. These events have brought to memory the multitude of dedicated, faith-filled Sisters and professional lay co-ministers who have lived and promoted our mission: “to actualize the saving and healing love of the Incarnate Word by promoting human dignity”. Their dedication displays evidence of their response to the call of Bishop Claude Marie Dubuis: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, suffering in the persons of a multitude of sick and infirm of every kind, seeks relief at your hands.”
I have become aware of my own lived experiences in our health care ministry, stretching back over one-third of these jubilee years. This awareness fills my heart with gratitude for our gracious God’s abundant blessings on our Congregation and its many ministries throughout these years. I am also grateful to the many Sisters and co-ministers who have supported, inspired, and walked with me on my life journey. As I share these memories, the melody and words of the song, Precious Memories, by Johnny Wright keep inspiring me:
“Precious mem’ries, unseen angels; sent from somewhere to my soul.
How they linger, ever near me as the sacred past unfolds.
In the stillness of the midnight, precious sacred scenes unfold.”
The meaning of our jubilee year lies hidden within the “sacred scenes” and “sacred past” that emerge from the heritage and legacy passed on by our Sisters and co-ministers. That heritage and legacy can be found in the oral stories and writings of their lived experience– of courageous new ventures, closure of ministries, times of celebration, times of renewal in hope, joy, grief and gratitude.
I look forward to the remaining months of our Jubilee Year as a time of celebration, a time to express profound gratitude and praise to our provident and gracious God for abundant blessings throughout these years, and a time to express our gratitude for the countless women and men who have served as leaders, educators and co-ministers. It is also a time to thank our many generous donors who have helped to sustain and expand the mission of our Congregation. May these months be a time of rest, and a time to strengthen our faith in a future full of hope in our provident Creator who daily sustains our lives. May our future be anchored in the promise of Jesus, the Incarnate Word:
“Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24-25)
Praised be the Incarnate Word!