Bishop thanks sisters with Appreciation Mass, dinner

Bishop Paul Coakley celebrates Mass before Catholic sisters from throughout the Salina Diocese as part of "Appreciation Day" on May 12.

By Doug Weller, The Register

(Republished by permission)

SALINA, Kan. — More than 60 women religious were guests of honor at a Mass  of appreciation May 12 at Sacred Heart Cathedral and luncheon at the Hall of Bishops.

For Sister Bernadine Pachta, it was a memorable event.

“I was most struck by all of it,” she said. “This was an exceedingly  lovely event.”

Now the archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Concordia, Sister  Bernadine was based on the East Coast for about 20 years and only recently has had the  opportunity to attend the diocesan gathering.

“It was a lovely Mass, and I felt it was special to have so many  priests present,” she said. “And of course the meal was superb.”

She added she was pleased “that there is a special day for us.”

Bishop Paul Coakley celebrated the Mass, with Bishop Emeritus George  Fitz simons and 14 priests concelebrating. A deacon and two  seminarians also took part. Serra Club of Salina, whose focus is supporting vocations, served the  meal.

“This Mass of appreciation in your honor is an expression of our  appreciation and gratitude,” Bishop Coakley said in his homily. Just as the Apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the Holy  Spirit was with the founders and foundresses when they established  their religious orders, Bishop Coakley said. The nine days between Jesus’ Ascension and the descent of the Holy  Spirit at Pentecost is a time “to reflect on how attendant we are to  the Spirit,” he said.

“The struggle we have is how is the Spirit working in our lives. We  have to be open to the Spirit in order for it to be effective and to  take root and bear fruit,” the bishop said.

Sister Bernadine was among 51 members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of  Concordia in attendance; theirs is the only religious community based  in the diocese.

But also represented at the Mass and luncheon were  three members of the Sisters of St. Agnes, based in Fond du Lac, Wis.,  four from the Dominican Sisters of Peace of Columbus, Ohio, and four  from the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Christ the  King, based in Mexico City.

Father Jarett Konrade serves three Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, (from left) Sister Veronica Ann Baxa of Minneapolis, Kan., Sister Loretta Clare Flax of Hays and Sister Judy Stephens of Concordia.

2 thoughts on “Bishop thanks sisters with Appreciation Mass, dinner

  • May 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    Sounds like this was a wonderful “pat on the back” and hearts of women religious in the Diocese of Salina.

  • May 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    It was an uplifting celebration. So good to be with Sisters from across the Diocese…Agnetians, Dominicans, CSJs as well as with so many priests of the Diocese.

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