A Century of Blessings
Felician Franciscan Sisters of Lodi, New Jersey Celebrate
NEW JERSEY – The Felician Franciscan Sisters of Lodi, New Jersey celebrated their presence in Lodi from 1913 through 2013 and thanked God for “A Century of Blessings” during a Solemn Celebration of the Eucharist in the Immaculate Conception Convent Chapel followed by a festive dinner at “The Venetian” in Garfield, New Jersey, on Sunday, December 8, 2013.
In photo: Felician Sisters praying in the chapel around 1950’s.
Archbishop John J. Myers of the Archdiocese of Newark concelebrated Mass with his Co-Adjutor Archbishop Bernard Hebda and with the head of the Metuchen Diocese, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski. In addition more than a dozen also priests, friends of the Felician Sisters, also concelebrated.
During the Mass, the Sisters praised God for the protection of the patroness of the Lodi Province, Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They also remembered the courage of the founders of the province Sister Mary Sigismunde, Sister Mary Pancratia, and Sister Mary Augusta. The renewal of the vows and the singing of the Magnificat were heartfelt expressions of the gratitude of the Sisters.
In his homily, Archbishop Myers thanked the Felician Franciscan Sisters for their dedicated ministries and how much he and the people of the Newark Archdiocese appreciate their prayerful presence.
The music ministry was the foundation for the entire congregation in praising God in song. It was wonderful to hear both choir and congregation sing wholeheartedly during the Celebration of the Eucharist, accompanied by pipe organ, trumpet, flute percussion, chimes and piano.
After the Mass, all were invited to “The Venetian” for a wonderful buffet luncheon. Sister Mary Rebecca Piatek, mistress of ceremonies for the brief introductory program, welcomed all to the celebration and made special mention of the clergy, the members of the General and Provincial Administrations, the contingent of Sisters from Enfield, Connecticut. The Rev. Joel Szydlowski, OFM, our Franciscan chaplain, gave the invocation. The Rev. Felix Marciniak, Pastor of Most Sacred Heart Church in Wallington, offered the toast. A live orchestra played familiar favorites which encouraged many sisters to the dance floor.
In photo on right: The entrance procession was majestic as participants walked to the hymn “Jubilate Deo” by Gordon Young.
There were many Sisters were involved in the preparations and work for this historic day, a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Since many of the Sisters residing in the infirmary were unable to attend the events of December 8, there was a special Mass and dinner to mark the Centennial on Monday, December 9, Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Presider at the Mass was the Rev. Leonard Stunek. The choir came for the Mass and, once again, the music ministry was a splendid blend of choir and congregation.
In photo on right: Felician Sisters greenhouse and gardens before college was built.
In God’s eyes one hundred years is just a breath of time. But for the Felician Sisters of the former Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province in Lodi, New Jersey, God has bestowed countless spiritual and material gifts that sustained us during the first century and give us hope for the new century.
(more photos in the Post Eagle – printed version)
Below on left: Felician Sisters on bucket brigade
Below on left: Felician Sisters farm property early days
Below on right: Immaculate Conception Chapel before Vatican II renovations.
Below on right: Gate around property
Below on right: Five members of the General Administration were honored guests at the Lodi Centennial Celebration.