Religious jubilarians celebrated for their years of dedicated service

First gathering in three years commemorates those celebrating vocations anniversaries from 2020-2022


PROVIDENCE — On Saturday, April 23, the Diocese of Providence hosted a celebration for religious living and working in the diocese who are commemorating jubilee anniversaries of their religious vows.
The events surrounding this year’s celebrations have been much anticipated. While an annual event, celebrations for 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to gathering restrictions surrounding Covid. This year's jubilee Mass commemorated the jubilarians for the past three years and was part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Providence.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was the principal celebrant at the 11:30 a.m. concelebrated Holy Mass.
“We come together to celebrate a very joyful occasion,” said Bishop Tobin in his opening prayer. “We gather with consecrated religious women and men throughout the diocese in the context of the 150th anniversary of our diocesan church, a beautiful occasion for all of us, and especially today as we thank all of the religious in the diocese for their many, many contributions to the life of our church from the very beginning of our diocese.”
Father James Sullivan, O.P., a Dominican priest and pastor of St. Pius V parish in Providence, delivered the homily.
He began with a story from the life of St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order, who, according to some accounts, once stayed in an inn after a long period of travel. While there, he began to engage in a lengthy discussion on theology with the owner of the inn, who, in spite of identifying as a Christian, held to certain erroneous theological positions. In spite of his physical and mental exhaustion, Dominic continued to speak with the innkeeper throughout the night until the owner was convinced of the error of his ways and embraced an orthodox position.

Father Sullivan noted how this and similar stories point toward the true nature of religious life. Such stories “remind us of something that was entrusted to us religious, something that was given to us through no merit of our own, but solely by the favor and the grace of God” he said.
He continued by asserting that what was granted to those who pursue the religious life is the responsibility “to live a certain way, by poverty, chastity and obedience, and to be entrusted with a particular mission in the Church, for the Church, for the people of God.”
Father Sullivan went on to affirm that while serving God and the Church in religious life is a gift from God to those called to such a life, staying true to one’s religious vows is a gift that the religious give back to God. Religious can learn how to live in accordance with their vows by looking to the example of the Apostles. The success of the Apostles’ ministry was not due to their education, intelligence, or sophistication, but to spiritual boldness, he said.
He noted that this sense of spiritual boldness, which he described as a spiritual gift, is “more than courage,” and includes “relying on the Lord for what we need to say, and what needs to be done.” Such spiritual boldness “catches someone’s attention” and “convinces them that what we’re saying is not something we possess, but has been entrusted to go through us to others,” he said.
Father Sullivan ended his homily by stating that it is easy for members of religious communities to confuse spiritual boldness with a strong identification with one’s personal credentials. He said that the best way for the religious to develop authentic spiritual boldness is to embrace the sense of self-sacrifice that defines the religious life, which allows us to cling to Christ more intimately.
The event was attended by religious from a diverse range of orders and communities. When asked what the most important lesson he learned from his time as a member of the De La Salle Brothers, Brother Stephen Olert, FSC, said that it is “to [constantly] grow in a spirit of faith and zeal.”
He added that these two qualities are the defining features of the order, describing them as “the two components or dimensions of our institute.” The ideal of the De La Sallean way of life is “that the brothers will have faith and zeal in all they do.” Brother Olert serves at De La Salle Middle School in Providence, and will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of his religious vows in September.
“It’s always to serve God,” said Sister Soledad Salgado, FAS, describing her motivation in joining religious life.
Sister Soledad’s order, the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters, was founded in the Philippines in the 1950s. Sister Soledad has been a member of the order since 1962, and was inspired to join the Franciscan Apostolic Sisters after seeing their example while studying under them in high school. Sister Soledad currently works with Our Lady of Mercy School in East Greenwich.
“The biggest lesson I learned as a religious,” she continued, “is to work for holiness and the virtues,” claiming that this is cultivated in a unique manner through living a life of chastity and obedience.
Brother Sixtus, O.S.B., a Benedictine monk associated with Portsmouth Abbey, was in attendance as a greeter. He recalled how being an altar server as a child instilled in him a love of the liturgy that in turn inspired him to pursue religious life. This was only reinforced by the example of many of his family members, who also served as priests and religious. Even though he did not respond to this call until much later in life, he felt it become stronger as he grew older.
“I felt there was more to be had for me,” Brother Sixtus said of what prompted him to begin his monastic life as a postulate at St. Louis Abbey in St. Louis, Missouri. During his time at St. Louis Abbey, he was sent to take part in missionary work in Zimbabwe. He was later sent to Portsmouth Abbey, where he currently serves as a sacristan and oblate director.
Mass was followed by lunch for those in attendance and a period of brief testimonials offered by some of the religious in attendance about their experiences. Bishop Tobin also presented each of the religious with a gift before everyone enjoyed a slice of cake to celebrate the occasion.
Sister Elizabeth Castro, H.M.S.P., the director of the Office for Religious at the Diocese of Providence, organized the event.
“The role of religious in the life of the Church is so crucial because of the many gifts and charisms that God has given to each community, and to each sister, brother, priest,” she said.
Sister Elizabeth, who is a member of the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Word, went on to say how the different charisms and spiritual rules of the different religious communities represent diverse ways of fulfilling the common mission of the Church, noting how those called to the religious life “enlighten the Church, and through the different missions they can come to know Jesus, and fulfill that mission of the salvation of souls.” 

Religious Jubilarians 2020-2022

Sr. Patricia Murphy, FMM
Sr. Virginia Ptak, FMM
Fr. John Marley, SSC
Sr. Anne Kelly, FMM
Sr. Jeanne Mera, FMM
Sr. Beatrice Sweeney, FMM
Sr. Lorraine Boisvert, SUSC
Sr. Beatrice Rogers, SUSC
Sr. Rita Theresa Goulet, SUSC
Sr. Maria Teresa de Los Rios, FMM
Sr. Gloria Carpinello, FMM
Sr. Eugenia Choi, FMM
Sr. Lucie Kristofik, FMM
Sr. Mildred Morrissey, FMM
Sr. Mary Motte, FMM
Sr. Pauline Williams, FMM
Br. Roy Pinette, SC
Br. Joseph Beaulieu, SC
Sr. Priscilla Lemire, RJM
Sr. Marylin Bergt, CDP
Sr. Maria Fest, CDP
Sr. Janice Marie Gaudette, CSSF
Sr. Marie Cinotti, FMM
Sr. Elizabeth Anne Leahy, LSP
Sr. Tizy Manuel, SABS
Fr. James Sullivan, OP
Sr. Kim Loan Nguyen, FMM

Br. Eldon Cifasi, SC
Sr. Mary Caffrey, RSM
Sr. Barbara Foley, RSM
Sr. Bernice Pikul, CSSF
Br. Normand Roux, SC
Sr. Anne Kelly, FMM
Sr. Bernadette de Marie Auxiliatrice Sherin, LSP
Sr. Nancy Conley, RSM
Sr. Geraldyn McGreevy, RSM
Sr. Marguerite Montalto, RSM
Sr. Barbara Riley, RSM
Sr. Ann Welch, RSM
Br. Robert Hazard, FSC
Br. Stephen Olert, FSC
Brother Robert Provencher, SC
Sr. Jackie Dickey, SSCh
Sr. Gloria Carpinello, FMM
Sr. Eugenia Choi, FMM
Sr. Ruth Hokenson, RSM
Sr. Mary Monaghan, RSM
Sr. Arlene Woods, RSM
Fr. Dennis O’Mara, SSC
Br. Roger Fountain, SC
Br. Paul Hebert, SC
Br. Robert Marcotte, SC
Sr. Elfriede Jackson, FMM
Sr. Vita Marie Riccardelli, FMM
Sr. Jacqueline Crepeau, RJM
Sr. Virginia Burke, RSM
Sr. Ellen Martin, RSM
Sr. Marialyn Riley, RSM
Sr. Diane Russo, RSM
Fr. Matthew Powell, OP
Sr. Anastasia Mary of St. Joseph, LSP
Sr. Daisy Kollamparampil, FMH
Sr. Maria Emma R. Salvador, FAS
Sr. Marizza Manicap ,FAS
Sr. Antoinette Jacques, RJM
Sr. Alma Dufault, FMM
Sr. Lois Houlihan, FMM
Sr. Rose de l’Assomption Reardon, LSP
Sr. Mary Petrosky, FMM
Sr. Claudette Simard, FMM
Sr. Aline Giroux, FMM
Fr. Victor Gaboury, SSC
Br. Robert Gagne, SC
Sr. Lorraine Sirois, SUSC
Sr. Mary Antoinette Cappelli, FMH
Sr. Emilie Duchaney, FMM
Fr. William Brunner, SSC
Fr. Francis P. Carroll, SSC
Fr. David Clay, SSC
Br. Roland Oullette, SC
Sr. Maria Francis Fletcher, CDP
Sr. Rosemary Freda, FMM
Fr. John Brannigan, SSC
Sr. Lois Ann Pereira , FMM
Fr. Silvio DeNard, SdC
Fr. Thomas McCreesh, OP
Fr. Donald Kill, SSC
Sr. Donna Beauregard, FMH
Fr. Robert E. Mosher, SSC
Fr. Joseph Gillespie, LC
Fr. Gabriel M. Pivarnik, OP
Sr. Huyen Chi Dinh, FMM