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Bishop Burbidge celebrates Mass for religious sister jubilarians

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On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge celebrated Mass for religious sister jubilarians at St. James Church in Falls Church Feb. 2.

Before Mass, Bishop Burbidge blessed the candles as part of the Candlemas celebration.

“Whatever I was doing, I was doing it for God because he wanted me to do it." Sister Doris Nolte

During his homily, Bishop Burbidge said he had a lot of numbers on his mind — 465 years of faithful service to the church represented by the jubilarians; 150 or so religious serving in the Diocese of Arlington; and 68 men and women in formation in the diocese.  

“On this day of the Feast of the Presentation and World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, we are united with the universal church. But in a special way in the local church, we are privileged to celebrate the faithful service of our jubilarians," he said.

“Dear jubilarians, I’m sure that today you are giving thanks to the Lord in his special way for that call you have received and how God has sustained you in these many years,” said Bishop Burbidge. “Along with Bishop Paul S. Loverde and the priests and religious of the diocese, I join in expressing profound thanks to you for your beautiful example, authentic witness and generous service.”

Following the homily, Bishop Burbidge invited the jubilarians to the front of the church for the renewal of their vows. They spoke these vows together: “In accordance with the vows which I have professed in my religious community, I rededicate myself to the service of God and church. Relying on the support of those with whom I live and work, I give myself with whole heart through the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

Benedictine Sister Doris Nolte celebrates 70 years in religious life. Sister Nolte was taught by the Benedictines.She taught for 30 years before going into nursing. “I entered when I was 16 years old,” she said. “It’s a wonder my parents let me do it, but they were happy for me to be a sister.”

“Whatever I was doing, I was doing it for God because he wanted me to do it,” she said. “I'm grateful for the sisters that I've lived with, mentors, friend and companions. I love this community. They have a heart for what they're doing.”

Learn more about the jubliarians here.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019