11 August 2012

Sue Pixley, OP: 50 years a Dominican Sister!!!

The Context:

[[We, the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, commit ourselves to the mission of Dominic to proclaim God's Word in our world. Called to discipleship through our vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we follow Jesus according to the Dominican apostolic life: we pray, study, celebrate, and live out God's Word in community. With our lives thus centered on the Lord, we seek to extend his mission of truth and love in our ministry, bringing depth and compassion to the critical issues of our time.]] (Mission Statement)

The celebration:

On Saturday, July 28th I attended the Jubilee celebration for the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael with my pastor, John Kasper, OSFS --- especially to honor Sister Sue Pixley for 50 years as a Dominican. Sue is currently director of novices for her community. Additionally she teaches Math at Dominican University, does spiritual direction, and in the past has not only taught but worked as a high school principal for a number of years. She also loves jumping horses!! John was not concelebrating so we got a great pair of seats across from the Sisters of San Rafael and next to some of the Jubilarians.

The entrance hymn was, "All are Welcome." We sang our hopes and a reflection of what has been the nature of these Sisters' service: "Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live; where all God's children dare to seek to dream God's Reign anew. . ." And so we sincerely prayed in the power of Christ's Gospel!

Sue and I joked around a bit afterwards, but mainly we both exclaimed over the liturgy (which was amazingly beautiful), the reflection, given by Sister Maureen McInerney, OP (40 years jubilarian and Prioress General of the congregation), the concluding comments by Fr Mark, OP which led to a standing ovation given for all Sisters at the end of the liturgy. (I have never experienced anything quite like it.) Prior to the Solemn blessing by Mark Padrez, OP we sang Moreno's Hail Holy Queen -- also a new experience for me in this kind of context.

One Religious priest, one ministerial religious, and one diocesan hermit --- at the left is simply one of the best pictures I have seen of three good friends celebrating Sue's jubilee, one another, and the joy of commitment, religious life, and its amazing diversity.

Sent forth from this place we sang, "The Heavens are telling the glory of God, and all creation is shouting for joy! Come dance in the forest and play in the fields, and sing, sing to the glory of the Lord!" Afterwards we joined everyone on the grounds of Dominican University (Sisters' Administrative Center and Gardens) and were able to meet Sue's family members, friends from college, folks who taught for her when she was Principal at St Pat's, and a few of Sue's Sisters as well.

Other Jubilarians included: Sisters Emmanuel Cardinale (50 years OP), Barbara Sullivan (60), Adele Rowland (60), Mary Neill (60) Donna McPhee (60), Veronica Landi (60), Alma Doran (60), Benjamin Boyle (60), Lorraine Amodeo (60), Elizabeth Sullivan (70 years OP), Marie Rose Sanguinetti (70), and Antoninus Tucci (85 years OP). And in case you have not already added all these numbers up, we were celebrating 765 years of service lived by 14 Sisters as San Rafael Dominicans.

Vision Statement of the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael: We reverence and affirm the inherent dignity of each person. We will work for the transformation of attitudes and systems that deprive any person of dignity.

Thanks to Sister Raya, OP who took pictures for Sue from every vantage point. She outdid herself.