Sisters Celebrate Jubilees
Several Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield celebrated special milestones in their religious life September 16 with a Mass and reception at Mont Marie in Holyoke.
The group represented two classes of Sisters, those who entered the Congregation in 1962 celebrating their 50th Jubilee and one who entered in 1987 celebrating her 25th Anniversary.
Jubilarians marking 50 years as a Sister of St. Joseph included Sister Natalie Cain, Sister Barbara Hasselton, Sister Kathleen Knowles and Sister Paula Robillard. Also celebrating 50 years were Sister Maureen Sheehan, Sister Elizabeth Sullivan, Sister Nancy Welsh and Sister Frances White.
Marking her Silver Jubilee, with 25 years, was Sister Annette McDermott.
Jubilarian Sister Elizabeth Sullivan said of the milestone, “I am in awe of the many blessings and graces that have been ours these 50 years. I am very happy to be celebrating this very meaningful and joyful occasion and with such great people! My life as a Sister of St. Joseph has been most enriching!”
Reflecting on the ceremony, the group said that their journey in religious life has been joyful. “Looking back on the journey that has been unique for each one of us, our hearts are filled with deep gratitude for family, friends, community, colleagues and all who have walked with us. We continue our journey, graced by God’s Great Love, trusting in the One who accompanies us and calls us forward into the future.”
Golden Jubilarians Celebrating 50 Years - Entered in 1962
Sister Natalie Cain (Marjorie Joseph) was born in North Adams, Mass. and entered from St. Francis of Assisi Parish there. Her various ministry experiences include that of a primary grade teacher at St. Mary’s School in Longmeadow, Mass. and St. Agnes School in Dalton, Mass.; parish visitor and outreach minister at St. Mark’s in Pittsfield; Berkshire Regional Religious Education Consultant and Director of Religious Education at Notre Dame in Adams, and Parish Renewal and Outreach Coordinator at St. Francis of Assisi in North Adams. Throughout this time she also developed and offered numerous adult education experiences in parishes throughout the diocese and beyond. For 17 years she worked in North Adams with the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition where, as a community organizer she helped to develop and grow the Northern Berkshire Neighbors program. At the same time she helped develop the Women’s House of Peace as a place in the Northern Berkshire Community for women to connect and nurture their spirituality in community with one another. Sister Natalie currently serves the Congregation as Coordinator of the Team for Membership and resides in North Adams.
Born in Boston, Mass., Sister Barbara Hesselton (Ann James) entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield from Holy Name Parish, Springfield. She received a B.A. from Elms College. Sister served in schools of the Springfield Diocese for more than 35 years including St. Mary’s, Northampton; Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Holy Family, Our Lady of Hope, and Sacred Heart Schools in Springfield, and St. Matthew School, Indian Orchard. She worked for a time with Gentiva Health Services in Springfield and for the last 10 years has been a tutor at the Gray House in Springfield. Sister lives in Chicopee.
Sister Kathleen Knowles (Walter Grace) was born in Holyoke, Mass. and entered from St. Patrick Parish in South Hadley Falls, Mass. She taught at Cathedral Grammar and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Schools in Springfield, and served as principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Holyoke. She was supervising teacher at the Hamilton Learning Center at St. Paul’s Parish, Holyoke. Sister was a special education teacher in the alternative program of the Holyoke Public Schools, at the Church Square Holyoke Intensive Program and the Holyoke Alternative Program and Center for Excellence. She lives in Chicopee and is a Reading Interventionist at the Center for Excellence.
A native of Springfield Mass., Sister Paula Robillard (Anita Paul) entered from Holy Cross Parish there. She has taught in schools of both the Springfield and Worcester Dioceses including Immaculate Conception, West Springfield, St. Louis, Webster Mass.; and, St. Mary School, Milford, Mass. Sister has been involved in Catechetics for many years as Director of Religious Education at St Mary’s Parish in Milford, Mass, St. Catherine of Sienna Parish, Springfield and Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Boylston, Mass. She currently serves as director of faith formation for the Springfield Diocese and lives in East Longmeadow.
Sister Maureen Sheehan (Honora Eugene) was born in Springfield, Mass. and entered from St. Paul Parish there. She has served the Diocese of Springfield in a number of ministries beginning with teaching at Cathedral High School. She was also director of admissions at Elms College in Chicopee, director of guidance at St. Joseph High School, Pittsfield, and principal at St. Mary’s High School in Westfield. She later returned to Cathedral High School as associate principal and guidance counselor for a time. Sister lives in Springfield and currently serves as assistant principal of St. Thomas the Apostle School in West Springfield.
Born in Springfield, Mass., Sister Betsy Sullivan (Johanna Michael) entered from Our Lady of Hope Parish there. She served for 10 years in schools of the Springfield Diocese, beginning as a teacher at St. Agnes in Dalton, Mass. and Holy Name, Springfield, before becoming principal of Sacred Heart School, Holyoke. Sister also served as religious education coordinator at Sacred Heart Parish, Holyoke. She then worked as administrator of the Mont Marie Infirmary, and later for nine years as administrator the Mont Marie Health Care Center, Holyoke. At present, Sister is serving on the Congregation’s Leadership Team as Vice-President. She resides in Springfield.
A native of Malden, Mass. Sister Nancy Welsh (Paul Maria) entered religious life with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield from St. Leo Parish, Leominster, Mass. She taught the elementary grades for her first years at Holy Rosary School, Holyoke, continued for many years at Sacred Heart School in Gardner, after which she opened a kindergarten and continued teaching the younger children for a number of years. She then became pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Parish, Gardner, and later on for many years at Holy Spirit Parish, South Gardner. She was an active member of the Interfaith Religious Council of Greater Gardner for more than 20 years. One of four Sisters who founded HOPE House in Gardner, she served on its staff with its children’s programs for a number of years. Currently she works in the Medical Records Department and is pastoral minister to the Health Care Center at Mont Marie. She resides at Mont Marie.
Sister Frances White (Walter Marion) was born in Springfield, Mass. and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from Holy Family Parish there. She taught physical education at Cathedral High School and Our Lady of Hope School, Springfield, St. Mary School Longmeadow, and Immaculate Conception School in West Springfield. She began her ministry in Religious Education at Immaculate Conception Parish, Easthampton and then served as pastoral minister at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Agawam. After serving on the Leadership Team of the Sisters of St. Joseph, she presently continues her Pastoral Ministry at Ste. Rose de Lima Parish in Chicopee.
Silver Jubilarian Celebrating 25 Years - Entered in 1987
A native of Springfield, Mass., Sister Annette McDermott entered from St. Mary Parish in Westfield. She worked for a time as associate director of Government Affairs at Mass Mutual in Springfield and later at Jericho, Bureau of Exceptional Children and Adults. She also served as cabinet secretary of social services overseeing the offices of the Catholic Charities, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, Marriage Counseling and Immigration Services under the umbrella of the Office of Social Concern for the Diocese of Springfield. Sister is pursuing an academic degree as an O’Neill Fellow in the Department of Political Science at Boston College and currently serves as chaplain to the college at Mt. Holyoke College