Eucharistic pilgrimage brings Christ to the world

By Sister Constance Veit, lsp

During Pentecost weekend I participated in an historic event in New Haven, Connecticut. I was not there to take part in another protest at Yale University, or even to attend any of the graduation ceremonies taking place there. Instead, I joined hundreds of other Catholics for the launch of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

This four-pronged pilgrimage, which began simultaneously in New Haven, San Francisco, Brownsville, Texas and the Mississippi Headwaters in northern Minnesota, will cover 6,500 miles over the next two months.

Sister Constance Veit, LSP

These four routes will converge in Indianapolis in time for the National Eucharistic Congress in mid-July. The eucharistic pilgrimage is the largest procession ever attempted in the Catholic Church – the most audacious event in Christianity’s 2,025-year history!

 Although we encountered no signs of protest, I was thinking about the recent unrest in our country as we processed with the Blessed Sacrament through the Yale campus Saturday evening in light rain. I could not help thinking how different our procession was from the recent university protests.

After all, we were following Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the Good News incarnate, as he was carried in a monstrance by Father Roger Landry, the Catholic chaplain at Columbia University.

What a providential choice it was that Father Landry – so closely associated with “Ground Zero” of the protest movement – would be named as the only priest to walk an entire route of the pilgrimage!

Many other members of the clergy will participate in a portion of the trek, but Father Landry will himself carry the Blessed Sacrament along the entire eastern route of this historic journey.

In two talks over the weekend of May 18-19, Father Landry made several reflections that impacted my own eucharistic spirituality.

He spoke of Christian life itself as a eucharistic pilgrimage. We are pilgrims in a strange land he said, called to be always on the move.

This struck me in a particular way on Sunday morning as we processed through the streets of New Haven, a city just waking up to bistro brunches, dog walks and morning jogs. A few people seemed to pray with us as we passed them on the street, while others just stared with a look of curiosity.

We were walking in faith, bringing Christ out into the world, doing our part to reverse the indifference and contempt so rampant in our society.

We were trying to remind people that Jesus still lives among us and within us.

As we hastened along the streets of New Haven, I also recalled something Archbishop Christopher Coyne had said in his homily the evening before. A pilgrimage is “prayer embodied,” he suggested.

Each footstep lands both on an actual road and on the path of faith.

As Catholics I think our faith can be a bit “disembodied,” merely a private matter of the mind and heart. But this idea of prayer “embodied” became very real to me as my old legs began to tire during our fast-paced walk to the wharf in New Haven.

When we reached the dock, we saw two boats – a beautiful luxury yacht and a much smaller fishing trawler.

Jesus, who called his disciples to be fishers of men, could only have chosen the fishing boat, so we quickly boarded the humbler vessel, following Father Landry and the monstrance.

We Little Sisters felt privileged to be able to accompany the “Perpetual Pilgrims” and a few journalists on this leg of the pilgrimage.

During our two-hour boat ride on Long Island Sound, we fixed our gaze on the monstrance, prayed and sang with the Perpetual Pilgrims.

We were never in danger of sinking, nor did we try to walk on water, but we did try to imagine what it must have been like for Jesus and his disciples each time they set sail on the Sea of Galilee.

When we arrived in Bridgeport, Father Landry and the small band of Perpetual Pilgrims continued on, but our participation in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage concluded.

We returned home, grateful for having been a part of history.

If you are going to be anywhere near one of the eucharistic pilgrimage routes this summer, don’t pass up the opportunity to participate in this historic experience.

May you come to know the joy of prayer embodied and may your faith in Jesus’ personal love for you be rekindled!

Sister Constance Veit is the communications director for the Little Sisters of the Poor in the United States and an occupational therapist.

May we hear the voice of the Lord

By Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz, D.D.
Throughout the Easter season of 50 days there are outstanding manifestations of the Lord from week to week that strengthen our faith in him, and love for him. Divine Mercy Sunday, the second Sunday of Easter is the culmination of the Easter Octave reverberating with the loving mercy, peace and power of the resurrection. Good Shepherd Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter enfolds us in perhaps the most beloved image of God in the entire Bible revealing the personal relationship that the Lord wants with each of us and all of us together as his flock, his body. Two weeks later we celebrate the great feast of the Ascension, with the assurance that our citizenship is in heaven. From that moment until Pentecost we will maintain vigilance in prayer awaiting to be clothed with power from on high.

Although Good Shepherd Sunday has a much longer tradition in the Catholic Church than Divine Mercy Sunday, it is St. John the Evangelist who has blessed the church until Christ comes again with these beloved manifestations.

Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz, D.D.

The beloved disciple, apostle and evangelist embraced the image of the Good Shepherd, beloved to Jew and Christian, and made it the centerpiece of his Gospel at nearly the halfway point in chapter 10. It is an image that is deeply rooted in the Old Testament portraying that God for the Israelites was far more than a lawgiver.

He was a loving presence who renewed their strength, anointed their heads with oil, set a table before them, and led them through dark valleys and rough patches. It is such a powerful image that it easily transcended its origins to become the earliest rendition of the risen Lord in Christian art as discovered in the catacombs.

It continues to capture the imagination of believers even though many of us have never directly experienced this way of life, except for the sheep barn at the County Fair. It endures because it represents God as loving and personal, wedded to his people forever. “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep… I know my own and my own knows me… My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish.” (John 10:1ff)

On Good Shepherd Sunday, the church prays for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. As part of the flock of the Good Shepherd all are grafted onto the vine of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, and we pray that all will respond generously to the voice of the Lord to live their vocation.

From the household of God, we pray for vocations to the ordained and consecrated life. We recall Jesus’ words at the Last Supper to his apostles. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” (John:15-16) Ultimately, this is the work of the Lord, but we are to beg the harvest master to send out workers to the vineyard because the harvest is great. (Matthew 9:35-38)

The Eucharistic Revival is intrinsically linked with the priesthood, and all the faithful have a part to play in raising up vocations. In this spirit, the Synod on Synodality is a clarion call for all of the baptized to take their place in the household of God, a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart to proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light. (1Peter 2:9)

May we hear the voice of the Lord, crucified and risen, resound in our hearts and minds in order to follow him faithfully.

Bishop gives thanks for Pastoral Reimagining process

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Bishop Joseph Kopacz gathered representatives from Deanery II for the third phase of the diocesan “Pastoral Reimagining” process on Monday, April 8 at St. Mary Basilica for a Mass of Thanksgiving for the process; as well as, time to meet to discuss challenges and the growing edges and diminishing areas of ministry locally within the deanery and within the diocese as a whole.

“This process is about how to we dig deeper; how to we strengthen who we are as local parishes and as a diocese,” said Bishop Kopacz.

“We can grow where it’s possible and we can be stronger.”

Bishop Kopacz also met with Deanery III at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Greenwood and Deanery I at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Madison earlier this month.

He invites those in deaneries that have yet to meet, to come participate in a special Mass of Thanksgiving.
The Masses are as follows: Deanery V in the Golden Triangle area on Monday April 22 at 12 p.m. at Immaculate Conception West Point; Deanery V on Monday, April 22 at 5 p.m. at St. James Tupelo; Deanery VI on Monday, April 29 at 6 p.m. at St. Therese Kosciusko; and Deanery IV on Tuesday, April 30 at 5 p.m. at St. Mary Batesville.

NATCHEZ – Bishop Joseph Kopacz continues listening across the diocese for the Pastoral Reimagining process that has been taking place since Pentecost 2023. On Monday, April 8, he met with stakeholders from parishes making up Deanery II at St. Mary Basilica. (Photo by Joanna Puddister King)

Vatican publishes full papal schedule for Holy Week, Easter

By Justin McLellan
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis’ calendar for Holy Week and Easter is just as full as in previous years despite a mild illness which has caused him to cancel meetings in the days leading up to the release of his liturgical calendar for March.

The pope canceled meetings Feb. 24 and Feb. 26 due to “flu-like symptoms,” the Vatican said. Although he held his general audience Feb. 28, an aide read Pope Francis’ prepared remarks, and the Vatican said he briefly visited a Rome hospital after the audience for medical tests.

The pope is scheduled preside over all the major liturgical celebrations of Holy Week.

As is customary when first publishing the pope’s calendar for Holy Week, the Vatican did not provide the time or place for his celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, March 28.

Pope Francis has made it a tradition to celebrate the Mass and foot-washing ritual at a prison or detention center, refugee center or rehabilitation facility; last year he did so at a prison for minors in Rome.

Here is the schedule of papal liturgical ceremonies and events for March released by the Vatican Feb. 29:

– March 24, Palm Sunday, morning Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

– March 28, Holy Thursday, morning chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

– March 29, Good Friday, afternoon liturgy of the Lord’s passion in St. Peter’s Basilica.

– March 29, Way of the Cross at night at Rome’s Colosseum.

– March 30, Easter vigil Mass in the evening in St. Peter’s Basilica.

– March 31, Easter morning Mass in St. Peter’s Square, followed at noon by the pope’s blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world).

National Eucharistic Pilgrimage to include shrines, secular landmarks, diocesan events

By Maria Wiering
(OSV News) – On May 18-19, groups of eight young adults will leave San Francisco; New Haven, Connecticut; San Juan, Texas; and Itasca State Park in Minnesota.

For eight weeks they’ll travel, mostly on foot, along four routes through major U.S. cities, small towns and countryside toward Indianapolis, where they’re expected to arrive July 16, the day before the opening of the National Eucharistic Congress.

Together, they’ll cover more than 6,500 miles over 27 states and 65 dioceses. With them every step of the way will be the Eucharist, held in a specially designed monstrance, or reserved in a support vehicle’s tabernacle.

This is an updated map showing the four routes of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage to the National Eucharistic Congress in 2024. Pilgrims traveling in “Eucharistic caravans” on all four routes will begin their journeys with Pentecost weekend celebrations May 17-18, 2024, leaving May 19. They will all converge on Indianapolis July 16, 2024, the day before the five-day Congress opens. (OSV News illustration/courtesy National Eucharistic Congress)

The National Eucharistic Pilgrimage is a major prelude to the National Eucharistic Congress, which expects to bring together tens of thousands of Catholics July 17-21 in Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium for worship, speakers and Eucharist-centered events. The pilgrimage and the congress are part of the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year initiative of the U.S. Catholic bishops that began in 2022 with the aim of deepening Catholics’ love for the Eucharist.

“A cross-country pilgrimage of this scale has never been attempted before,” said Tim Glemkowski, CEO of the Denver-based National Eucharistic Congress, Inc., in a Feb. 22 media release announcing updated routes and related events. “It will be a tremendously powerful action of witness and intercession as it interacts with local parish communities at stops all along the way.”

The pilgrimage’s four groups of Perpetual Pilgrims are young adults ages 19-29 selected in an application process to travel the full length of each route. Their names will be announced March 11.

People who wish to travel as a “day pilgrim” or attend a pilgrimage-related event along the routes may register online at Day pilgrims must make their own arrangements for meals, transportation and lodging, as needed.

Each route passes religious and secular landmarks, including Folsom State Prison in California, Ellis Island in New York, the campuses of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and Benedictine College in Kansas, and the shrines of Our Lady of Champion in Wisconsin, the Most Blessed Sacrament in Alabama, and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Maryland.

Dioceses that the routes cross through have planned special events to welcome the pilgrims. Detailed event information for these events and each of the routes – the St. Junipero Serra Route from the West, St. Juan Diego Route from the South, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Route from the East and Marian Route from the North – will be posted at

Pilgrimage events will include Masses, Eucharistic adoration and prayer, as well as service projects. All public events are free.

Supporting the Perpetual Pilgrims spiritually will be a “rotating cadre” of 30 Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Father Roger Landry of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, plans to accompany the Seton Route pilgrims for the entire route.

“Following Jesus and praying through cities and rural towns is going to be life changing for the church across America,” Glemkowski said. “I personally cannot wait to participate in this pilgrimage!”

(Maria Wiering is senior writer for OSV News.)

NOTES: For details on the Southern route of the Eucharistic Pilgrimage traveling through the Diocese of Biloxi, visit

To learn more about the National Eucharistic Revival, Congress and Pilgrimage visit: Scholarships are available to the National Eucharistic Congress, visit for more information.

Still sick, pope has aide read his audience talk on envy and pride

By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Arriving in a wheelchair instead of walking with his cane, Pope Francis began his weekly general audience by telling visitors and pilgrims, “I’m still a bit sick,” so an aide would read his prepared text.

The pope had canceled his appointments Feb. 24 and Feb. 26 because of what the Vatican press office described as “mild flu-symptoms,” but Pope Francis led the recitation of the Angelus prayer Feb. 25 without obvious difficulty.

At his general audience Feb. 28, his voice was hoarser and softer. Besides briefly telling the crowd he would not be reading his prepared text, he took the microphone only to pray at the beginning and end of the gathering and to read his appeals for peace and for an end to the use of landmines.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that Pope Francis went from the audience to Rome’s Gemelli Isola Hospital for a checkup before returning to the Vatican. In late November when he was suffering similar symptoms, he had gone to that hospital for a CT scan of his lungs.

The Vatican press office later said the pope had gone to the hospital for “diagnostic tests.” It provided no other information.

Pope Francis gathers with a group of religious sisters for a group photo at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI Audience Hall at the Vatican Feb. 28, 2024. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis’ main audience talk focused on envy and vainglory, or exaggerated pride, as part of his continuing series of audience talks about vices and virtues.

Envy and vainglory “go hand in hand,” the pope wrote. “Together these two vices are characteristic of a person who aspires to be the center of the world, free to exploit everything and everyone, the object of all praise and love.”

Reading the Book of Genesis, envy appears to be “one of the oldest vices: Cain’s hatred of Abel is unleashed when he realizes that his brother’s sacrifices are pleasing to God,” he wrote.

“The face of the envious man is always sad: he’s always looking down, he seems to be continually investigating the ground; but in reality, he sees nothing, because his mind is wrapped up in thoughts full of wickedness,” he said. “Envy, if unchecked, leads to hatred of the other. Abel would be killed at the hands of Cain, who could not bear his brother’s happiness.”

The root of the vice and sin of envy, he said, “is a false idea of God: we do not accept that God has His own ‘math.’”

As an example, Pope Francis cited the parable from Matthew 20:1-16 about workers hired at different times of the day to work in a vineyard, but the owner pays them all the same.

When those who worked longest protest, the owner says, “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?”

“We would like to impose our own selfish logic on God; instead, the logic of God is love,” the pope’s text said. “The good things he gives us are meant to be shared. This is why St. Paul exhorts Christians, ‘Love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor’ (Rom. 12:10). Here is the remedy for envy!”

Pope Francis described vainglory as “an inflated and baseless self-esteem,” which leads to having no empathy and to seeing others only as objects to be used.

The vainglorious person “is a perpetual beggar for attention,” the pope wrote, and when recognition is not given, “he becomes fiercely angry.”

Usually, he said, the remedy for such pride comes automatically when people offer criticism rather than praise.

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

A wise person recognizes, as St. Paul did, that freedom comes from recognizing one’s weaknesses and failures, relying only on God for strength, Pope Francis’ text said.

Bishop Rolando Álvarez released, exiled from Nicaragua after over 500 days of detention

By David Agren
MEXICO CITY (OSV News) – Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa has been released from prison and sent into exile along with 18 imprisoned churchmen as the Nicaraguan government expelled its most prominent critic, whose presence behind bars bore witness to the Sandinista regime descent into totalitarianism, along with its unrelenting persecution of the Catholic Church.

Vatican News confirmed Jan. 14 at 10:41 p.m. Rome time that with the exception of one priest who remained in Venezuela, all released priests, including Bishop Álvarez and Bishop Isidoro Mora of Siuna, have arrived in Rome “in the last few hours” and are “guests of the Holy See.”

Nicaraguan independent media 100% Noticias posted a photograph on X, formerly Twitter, of the two freed bishops concelebrating Mass in Rome.

Independent Nicaraguan media reported Jan. 14 that the churchmen had departed Nicaragua on a flight for Rome after the government reached an agreement with the Vatican for their release and exile. Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez of Managua – who left the country in 2019 – also confirmed the news at his weekly Mass in Miami, and was visibly moved.

“This is the power of the people of God’s prayers,” he said. “The criminal Sandinista dictatorship of (President) Daniel Ortega has not been able to defeat the power of God.”

The Nicaraguan government acknowledged the churchmen’s release in a Jan. 14 statement, which “deeply thanked” Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, “for the very respectful and discreet coordination carried out to make possible the Vatican trip of two bishops, fifteen priests and two seminarians.”

Nicaraguan Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa walks outside a Catholic church in Managua May 20, 2022. After more than 500 days’ detention, the Ortega regime released the prelate, who has been the Nicaraguan government’s most prominent critic, from prison Jan. 14, 2023, and sent into exile along with 18 other imprisoned churchmen. Bishop Álvarez safely landed in Rome Jan. 14, the Vatican confirmed. (OSV News photo/Maynor Valenzuela, Reuters)

The statement continued, “They have been received by Vatican authorities, in compliance with agreements of good faith and good will, which seek to promote understanding and improve communication between the Holy See and Nicaragua, for peace and good.”

The statement struck an unusually respectful tone – far from the government’s frequent accusations of terrorism and coup mongering against church leaders, who attempted to unsuccessfully facilitate a national dialogue after mass protests erupted demanding Ortega’s ouster. The Nicaraguan government also severed relations with the Vatican and expelled the nuncio, Archbishop Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, in 2022. The Vatican subsequently closed its embassy in March 2023.

“We recognize the chance for direct, prudent and very serious dialogue, a responsible and careful dialogue,” the government statement said.

The release of 19 churchmen – including Bishop Mora and more than a dozen priests detained during a wave of detentions over the Christmas period – provoked reactions of joy among Nicaraguans in exile, along with statements of defiance.

“With great joy, I thank God that my brother bishops, priests, and seminarians are out of prison. Justice has triumphed. The power of the prayer of God’s people has been displayed,” Bishop Báez said on X, formerly Twitter.

Ambassador Brian A. Nichols, assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. Department of State, said on X that the regime “expelled 19 unjustly detained Catholic clergy, including Bishop Álvarez.”

“We are reassured to see the release of these religious leaders. All people have the right to worship at home and abroad. We continue to call for the release of all those unjustly detained and the restoration of the fundamental freedoms of the Nicaraguan people,” Nichols emphasized.

Bishop Álvarez has become the face of resistance in Nicaragua, raising his voice against the increasing intolerance of the Sandinista regime – which has subdued the business community, forced the free press out of the country and attempted to control the Catholic Church.

The bishop spent more than 500 days in custody after police arrested him in August 2022 during a pre-dawn raid on his diocesan curia, where he had been holed up protesting the seizure of Catholic media outlets. In February 2023, He was sentenced to 26 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and spreading false information – one day after he refused to leave the country.

Bishop Álvarez refused subsequent attempts at exiling him – as expulsion or refusing priests reentry to the country after traveling abroad became a common tactic.

“The dictatorship feels safer or more comfortable with religious people outside the country than inside the country,” Arturo McFields Yescas, a former Nicaraguan diplomat in exile, told OSV News.

“When they are inside (the country) they consider them a threat, a danger, a counterweight to their official narrative. And when they are outside, (the regime) feels that they no longer have that critical voice, or that voice of truth, which spoke to the people and people listened to,” he said.

(David Agren writes for OSV News from Mexico City.)

Bishop Rolando Álvarez sentenced to 26 years and 4 months in prison by Nicaragua a day after the regime deports 222 political prisoners to U.S.

Teacher, three children from Catholic school hospitalized after Dublin street stabbing

By Michael Kelly

DUBLIN (OSV News) – Dominican friars in Dublin say they are praying for all involved after a stabbing incident at a nearby Catholic school in the bustling city center of Ireland’s capital.

An eyewitness described to state broadcaster RTÉ a scene of terror after three children and their teacher, a woman in her 30s, were stabbed near the school Nov. 23.

The attack occurred shortly after 1 p.m. near Parnell Square, just off the city’s main boulevard O’Connell Street.

The three children, who were lining up in front of their crèche prior to the incident, have been taken to hospital. A 5-year-old girl is in a critical condition at Temple Street Children’s Hospital. Her teacher is also in a serious condition.

A bus burns during a demonstration in Dublin, Nov. 23, 2023, that following a stabbing attack outside a Catholic school that left three children and a teacher injured. The stabbing happened outside an Irish language-speaking school called Cólaiste Mhuire, which means St. Mary’s College. The school falls within the parish boundaries of St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral and Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin expressed shock at the stabbing attack. (OSV News photo/Clodagh Kilcoyne, Reuters)

In total five people have been hospitalized, including a 50-year-old male suspect who has been arrested. Irish media reported the police ruled out a terror motive.

The Catholic school is an Irish language-speaking school called Cólaiste Mhuire, which means St. Mary’s College. It is just 1,300 feet from the nearby Dominican priory of St. Saviour’s.

Dominican Father Conor McDonough, who is based at the priory which serves as the student house of formation for the Irish province of the Order of Preachers, told OSV News of the community’s shock.
“These events took place very near the Dominican church of St. Saviour’s in the north inner city. The whole community here are praying for all involved,” Father McDonough said.

The eyewitness told RTÉ that the kids were out walking: “All of a sudden one of them fell to the ground, then another fell to the ground, then another falls to the ground.”

“Then this guy started running past,” the eyewitness said.

The alleged assailant was armed with a knife and fell to the ground whereupon “a load of people jumped on him,” the eyewitness recalled.

Siobhan Kearney who was on the scene told RTÉ, “People were trying to attack the man. So me and an American lady formed a ring around him saying we’d wait on the Garda,” referring to the national police, An Garda Síochána.

The witness said, “The police were on the scene pretty quickly. An undercover garda came running up and intervened.”

The Irish prime minister, known as the Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, issued a statement shortly after the alleged attack.

“We are all shocked by the incident which has taken place in Parnell Square,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“A number of people have been injured, some of them children. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to them and their families,” he said.

According to RTÉ, Ireland’s Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the attack in Dublin city center is “an attack on innocence itself.”

McEntee said she had spoken to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris and the police are not looking for anyone else in relation to the attack.

McEntee said her thoughts are with the “the children, their carer, their families and the wider school community.”

(Michael Kelly writes for OSV News from Dublin.)

Happy Ordination Anniversary

October 13
Father Justin Joseph
St. James Tupelo & St. Christopher Pontotoc

November 10
Deacon Mark White
Deacon Emeritus, Queen of Peace
Olive Branch

November 19
Father Jack Kurps, SCJ
Catholic Parishes of Northwest Mississippi & Sacred Heart Southern Missions

November 27
Father Tim Murphy
St. James Tupelo & St. Christopher Pontotoc

Thank you for answering the call!

Sisters of St. Francis celebrate jubilees

DUBUQUE, Iowa – Sister Nona Meyerhofer, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, celebrated her

Double Diamond Jubilee (70 years) on Sunday, June 18, at Mount St. Francis Center in Dubuque.

Sister Nona served as a teacher and educator in Iowa and Illinois and served from 1999 – 2009 at Excel, Inc., Morton, Mississippi, as director and teacher. In June of 2009 Sister Nona retired to Mount Saint Francis Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

Sister Rita Goedken, OSF, a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, of Dubuque, celebrated her Diamond Jubilee (60 years) on Saturday, June 17, at Mount St. Francis Center in Dubuque.

Sister Rita is the daughter of Alfred and Loretta (Koch) Goedken and is blessed to be one of their 12 children. She attended SS. Peter and Paul School in Petersburg, St. Boniface High School in New Vienna, and Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa. Later she did graduate work at Central Michigan University and at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York. Over the years, she taught at Aquin Elementary School, Cascade, Iowa; St. Joe, Bode, Iowa; St. Paul School, Eugene, Oregon; and Our Lady Help of Christians School, Saginaw, Michigan. She has served in parish ministry at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in

Chesaning, Michigan, St. Patrick Parish in Palms, Michigan and at St. Victor Parish in Monroe, Wisconsin. After serving on the Sisters of St. Francis’ leadership team, she traveled to Morton, Mississippi, and served as the program coordinator for the Learning Center. Now living at Mount St. Francis Center, Sister Rita continues to be immensely grateful for a life of rich blessings.

“God is good all the time. All the time, God is good!” said Sister Rita on the occasion of her Jubilee.

Cards can be sent to Sister Nona and Sister Rita at 3390 Windsor Ave., Dubuque, IA 52001.