The Congregation was blessed to welcome eight new Associates on September 22: Krista DiGirolamo, Charles Flynn, Mary Gregory, Joseph Molinatti, Nicole Quaranto, Owen Smith, Bobby Soto, and Lynne Bongiovanni Twomey. Under the guidance of Sr. Mary Ann Daly, Council Liaison, Maureen Russell, Coordinator of Associates, and Sr. Mary Lou McGrath, Coordinator of Young Associates, Associates prepared by engaging in an extensive study of the Congregation’s mission and charism, as well as an overview of the work in peace, justice, and integrity of creation.
Being the first day of autumn, SC President Sr. Jane Iannucelli wove in the theme of the season—harvesting the fruits of mother earth—to the welcoming of those who came to proclaim their commitment as Associates. She added, “This afternoon we will witness the call of these men and women as they come bearing gifts of love and service. It has been a deep honor for us, Maureen, myself and countless Sisters, Associates, Companions, family and friends who have journeyed to this moment with them.” The new candidates were invited to share their statements about their relationship with and commitment to the Congregation. The inspirational, moving, and even humorous testimonials brought smiles to all gathered in support of the Associates. After signing the contracts, Sr. Jane fastened the Associate pin on each new member.
In addition to receiving new members, seven Associates renewed their commitment: Phoolmatee Baldwin, Diane Dowling, Joann Galley, Cia Kessler, Laura Leadbetter, Lisa Shay, and Lynn White. Two Associates made lifetime commitments: Debra Gish and Rev. Rowena Kemp. Renewing and lifetime Associates also signed new contracts on the altar with Sr. Jane.
Before the ceremony in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, Associates, Sisters, family, and friends enjoyed lunch in Smith Hall. After lunch, all viewed a short video about the Barbara Ford Peacebuilding Center and the great work accomplished by Sisters, staff, and participants at the Center. Sisters Mary Ann Daly and Marie Tolle followed with an open discussion about the mission in Guatemala, which is now in its forty-eighth year. (Sister Marie returned to New York from Guatemala earlier this year after serving there for over thirty-five years.) The engaging presentation provided a wonderful opportunity for family and friends to learn more about the work of Sisters of Charity before the Associate Day Ceremony.
Ed Note: the new Associates and their inspiring words of commitment will be featured in the Winter 2019 issue of Vision.