Jubilarians recognized for dedication, service
By Fabvienen Taylor
JACKSON — Sister Judith Norwick, a Franciscan Sister of Charity, misses every place she’s ever worked.
“I’ve been allowed to do so many things, go to so many places and meet so many wonderful people,” Sister Norwick said on Sunday, Oct. 12.
“I went to Appalachia to West Virginia, to Ohio, to Nebraska. Then when I would change places I would miss the people and places I’d been so much. But now I’m in love with Greenwood.”
In Greenwood, Sister Norwick works in parish ministry at St. Francis of Assisi and at a food pantry. Members of her religious community staff the parish’s elementary school and work in the parish.
Sister Norwick was one of five religious order jubilarians recognized by the Diocese of Jackson with a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle followed by a reception.
Four jubilarians celebrated their 50th anniversary: Sister Norwick, Sister Adelia Milligan, a Sister of St. Francis; Sister Camilla Hemann, Sister of St. Francis of Dubuque, and Congregation of Christian Brother Ted Dausch.
Brother Dausch and Sister Florita Rodman, who celebrated 60 years as a Sister of Divine Providence, were unable to attend the ceremony.
Bishop Joseph Latino was principal celebrant of the Mass and retired Bishop of Jackson William Houck and Msgr. Elvin Sunds concelebrated. About 100 people were in attendance.
Catholics, said Bishop Latino, are scattered throughout the Jackson diocese, which covers 64 counties.
If not for the ministry of the religious here, he said the diocese would be “bankrupt, spiritually speaking.”
Many religious sisters, and a number of religious order brothers, minister in the Jackson diocese in parishes, education, health centers, social outreach and other ministries.
They choose to continue to minister and work in their professions and jobs longer than their secular counterparts and, primarily in under-served areas.
In Hernando, Sister Milligan works with the poor as a counselor, psychologist and social services worker for Sacred Heart Southern Missions.
“I started out as a teacher, served in the foreign missions in Brazil and also served in a variety of ways as a social worker and psychologist in the United States, “ said Sister Milligan who has a doctorate in psychology.
She has spent 50 years “serving God’s people,” she said. “That has been my joy.”
For Sister Hemann, a career as a nursing professional helped her “to develop every skill I have. I have worked in hospitals, touching just about every ministry there, taught practical nursing students, and was in leadership in our congregation for eight years,” she said.
As a member of a religious community, the sisters support and help each other. Sister Hemann lives with members of her community in Morton and commutes to Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland.
“In my working today, I may be helping someone go to school, or one of our older sisters because they can’t support themselves anymore. I can be of support to them. Not everyone has that kind of community spirit to help each other,” she said.
In addition, as a member of a religious order, Sister Hemann can be “totally there for other people. Particularly in the ministry I’m in right now,” said the hospice patient coordinator.
“Hospice work is one of the greatest ministries I’ve been in, allowing me to be of service to other people.”