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Jubilee Celebration 2023

Jubilee Celebration 2023

The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael gathered to celebrate our Jubilarians in a special liturgy held on July 22, 2023 in the Gathering Space in San Rafael. Presiding at Mass was a dear friend to the sisters, Fr. John Whitney, SJ, and Mass was live-streamed to several hundred guests consisting of family members, friends, sisters from other congregations, and partners in ministry. [Note: scroll to the bottom to find a link to event photos and a video recording.]

Sr. Patricia Simpson, OP offered a special preaching after the Gospel. Her words are shared here:

In the Name of Love.
Over all these virtues, put on love.
The greatest of these is love.
Love one another as I have loved you.

As I reflected on these words from our songs and readings for this liturgy, it became very clear to me that the important word for today is LOVE! These readings and songs are perfect to help us understand why we are gathered here this morning:
We come together to celebrate a love that was professed 70, 60, 25 years ago, and all the years in between;
We celebrate a love that was spoken through the I do’s of marriage; through the gift of friendships and a love that is shown through the many ways that are expressed by you who are joining us. We all gather in the name of love.
Our readings tell us about this gift that first came to us through God who loved us so much that God sent love, Jesus Christ, into the world. And it is this gift of love that showed us what love looks like, what love is, what love does. St. Paul invites us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience…virtues that show the love which Christ exampled throughout his life.

St. Paul further explains in his letter to the Corinthians how to grow in love through patience and kindness. He tells us that love protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres, and rejoices in the truth. Love is the very being of our hearts, of our lives, of all that we do.

Today we celebrate seventy years of the service of love for Sister Bernice Garcia, Sister Joan King and Sister Rosanne Van Housen; sixty years for Sister Judith Kay Campbell and twenty-five years for Sister Sally Lowell. They each heard God’s call in very different ways, and they responded with a YES spoken with courage, faith and trust In The Name of Love.

Each of our jubilarians will speak about their commitment today.
I, Sister Sally Lowell, continue to live my life as a Dominican Sister as I grow into the fullness of life setting it ablaze with love.
I, Sister Judith Kay Campbell, continue to live my life as a Dominican Sister and surrender in wisdom and hope, as my YES grows stronger and stronger.
I, Sister Joan King, continue to live life as a Dominican Sister with the courage to love life fully rooted in the heart of God.
I, Sister Bernice Garcia, continue to live life as a Dominican Sister, trusting the journey and all that will unfold

Each of these women has brought and will continue to bring their special gifts to our congregation and to the many people whose lives they have touched through their years of loving service. And they have grown in love because of the support, encouragement, and love given to them by their families, friends, co-workers and each of us gathered here today. Whatever gifts they have given to others, has come back to them a hundredfold. All in the name of love.

Many years ago, a friend gave me a simple cross that contains the following quote by Erma Bombeck: “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” May each of our Jubilarians, may each of us gathered here today be able to offer this prayer as we daily share our lives, and our gifts in the name of love.

As we continue our celebration, let us do so in love, for love surrounds us in the Eucharist. Let us remember that today we also celebrate the feast of Mary Magdalen, a woman who was not afraid to speak of her love for the One who was the love of her life, a woman who also responded with her YES as she announced the good news of the Risen Christ.

When we leave here today, let us remember that we return to a world that is crying out for mercy, compassion, and love. What better witnesses can we be than to bring to our world the gift of love we experience here today!

With Grateful Hearts

Thank you to all who Zoomed in, shared messages, and prayed with and for us for making our Jubilee celebration even more special. We are blessed with the presence—virtual and physical—of so many who enrich our lives.


PHOTOS: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1OkLkRMusiSAGuOARiBT6kFZVWmEJh_8a?usp=sharing



Preachers of  Truth • Love • Justice