Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Gift of Perseverance

The Gift of a Long
Faithful Religious Life

Sister Mary Theresa
of the Holy Family
nee McCaffrey

Sister of Saint Joseph
Brentwood, New York
1947 - 1961
Order of the Most Holy Redeemer
Esopus, New York
June, 1961 to the Present

Today we had the great joy of welcoming our Sr. Mary back into regular community life following her ten days of annual hermit retreat. But our joy was doubled because we also welcomed her to our celebration of the 60th jubilee of her first profession of vows, her solemn commitment to living the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience. Sr. Mary spent the first ten years of her religious commitment in an active congregation dedicated to the education of children. In that mission she influenced the lives of many young boys, including nine who eventually became Redemptorist priests. In those good old days she taught 90 third grade boys in her very first year of teaching! She tells her own story on our website.

Sr. Mary is an anchor of prayer and faithfulness in our community. She is a great librarian. In the last few years she entered data for our 6,500 volume library collection to create our on-line catalogue. She is also a wonderful correspondent who has kind words for our benefactors and those who request our prayers for their intentions. She was a wise and generous mentor to me during my three years in first vows leading to solemn vows.

Sr. Mary gives us an example every day of perseverance in prayer and perseverance in spite of physical infirmity and pain. She is patient, gracious and ever willing to do whatever she can. She speaks frankly of her impatience with herself and the surrender required to accept assistance when it is necessary. Since all of us are growing older this is an important teaching for us all.

Sr. Mary is a gift to us. Her vocation and her perseverance in it are gift to her family, the Church and the world. We know that she is also a joy to her Spouse, of whom she strives every day to become that "living memory" which is the core of our Redemptoristine contemplative charism.

Dear Mary, Ad Multos Annos!


Gerry said...

May God bless Sister Mary with many more beautifulyears as a Religious Sister....Best Wishes & Thanks...Gerry

Carol said...


With God's help, I read the blog of Sister Mary and God's gifts to her. It was a beautiful blog, Sister, and I pray that God may bless all who read this. The story, picture of Sister Mary, were truly beautiful!!

Thank you, Sister, for sharing this blog!!

Yours in Christ.