A family gathering at Marymount

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Five local religious sisters celebrated milestone anniversaries of their religious life at a Jubilarian Mass May 20 at the Chapel of the Sacred Heart at Marymount University in Arlington.

Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary Sisters Irene Cody and Jacqueline (Jackie) Murphy, celebrating 70 and 60 years respectively; Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Helen Gilroy and Elizabeth Ann Goltman, 60 and 50 years respectively; and Benedictine Sister Cecilia Dwyer, 50 years, were praised by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde.

Sister Irene, now living at her order's provincial home in Tarrytown, N.Y., was not present for the Mass.

They were joined in the celebration by religious sisters from around the diocese.

In his homily, Bishop Loverde said that the annual jubilee celebration is always filled with joy and thanksgiving. This year was special, he said, because it is also the Year of Consecrated Life. He thanked the jubilarians "for saying 'yes' to Christ."

The bishop took time to reflect on Pope Francis' three goals for the Year of Consecrated Life: to look to the past with gratitude, to live the present with passion and to embrace the future with hope.

The bishop thanked the jubilarians, saying, "We hold you with prayer in our hearts, today and always."

As the jubilarians, and other sisters, left the chapel after Mass, Sister Jackie reflected on the Mass and the religious communities celebrating with her.

"It's great to be among so many great sisters," she said. "They're my family."

Borowski can be reached at dborowski@catholicherald.com or on Twitter @DBorowskiACH.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015