Sister celebrates 50 years as School Sister of Notre Dame

RIPLEY – On Sunday, Oct. 10, at a 1:30 in the afternoon bilingual Mass, Sister Carol Ann Prenger, School Sister of Notre Dame, celebrated 50 years of vowed life with the parish community where she serves as Lay Ecclesial Minister in Ripley, Mississippi. Parishioners from the St. Matthew Parish community had prepared for the liturgy with special music and decorations.

Sister Jane Wand, who lives in community with Carol Ann, as well as Sisters, Roseanne Mock from Ellington, Missouri, and Kathryn Frank and Sandra Helton from Montgomery, Alabama joined in celebration.

Father Jesuraj Xavier, sacramental minister for the parish was the celebrant, joined by Father Tim Murphy, dean of the northeast deanery.

Father “Raja” had invited Sister Carol Ann to speak to the congregation, sharing a commentary on the Sunday readings and applying them to her own life and to that of School Sisters of Notre Dame.

After Carol Ann spoke, the four other Sisters shared briefly some of their story or meaning of religious life. Then all five Sisters renewed their vows and sung the familiar “Receive me as You have promised, that I may live. Disappoint me not in my hope.”

Following the celebratory Mass of thanksgiving, the congregation was invited to the parish hall to view a display of photos and articles of Carol Ann’s and SSND life and to take any of the SSND vocation resources that were displayed.

The St. Matthew parish community congratulated Sister Carol Ann and shared a delicious potluck meal, conversation and fellowship. Gratitude and praise was given that day for the gift of sharing in the parish of St. Matthew, in Tippah County and the Diocese of Jackson. Mutual support will continue between parishioners and their Lay Ecclesial Minister. The work has not ended for anyone, and the struggles of spirit, service and education will continue.