Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington



From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302


Holy Names Sisters in Spokane: A celebration 125 years in the making

by Sister Mary Ann Farley SNJM, for the Inland Register

(From the November 21, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Holy Names Sisters Anne Bosserman, Ann Pizelo, and Shirley Roberg were part of the recessional at the end of the Oct. 6 Mass at St. Aloysius Church, honoring the Holy Names Sisters for 125 years of dedicated ministry in the Spokane Diocese. (IR photo courtesy of Brad Reynolds SJ)

October 6, the Feast of Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, saw Sisters, Associates, family and friends gathered to nearly fill St. Aloysius Church for a public celebration of the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the first Holy Names Sisters in Spokane.

The Sisters began their ministry of education in the first Catholic School in Spokane, and although the venue has changed, they have continued that ministry for 125 years, and counting.

Symbolic of their on-going journey, the Sisters and Associates carefully placed their scarves over their shoulders and processed into the Church, a long line of beautifully joyful women. Following a welcome from Holy Names Sister Kathleen Hilton from the Province Leadership Team, the procession brought four Sisters celebrating jubilees of profession and Bishop Blase Cupich, presider, to the altar, where he continued the expression of welcoming that was so strong in the hearts of the Sisters and their Associates.

After proclaiming the Gospel, Bishop Cupich introduced the Superior General of the Congregation, Sister Catherine Ferguson, who invited those gathered into the story of the Sisters, their journey to today, and their hope in and for the future. Both the bishop and Sister Catherine spoke of the place of education in the wider church, and the role of the Holy Names’ Sisters in that ministry in the Diocese of Spokane.

Next, Sister Mary Ellen Holohan, Provincial Director, introduced the jubilarians who celebrate their years of living the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience: Sisters Agnes Marie Krieg (80 years), Rose Theresa Costello (75 years), Sheila McEvoy (60 years), and Agnes Ly Thi Le 50 years). They and all the Sisters present stood to renew their vows before God and God’s people. Then the Associates of the Sisters of the Holy Names stood and renewed their promises. The Sisters’ vowed life is at the heart of their presence and ministry, as represented by this public witness.

At the Presentation of the Gifts, the present and former Provincial Superiors presented a picture of Blessed Marie-Rose, a globe representing the Sisters’ presence internationally, a bouquet of roses, a candle, and the bread and wine.

After Communion, the Sisters sang the Gregorian “Ave Maria” quietly, a cappella. All the other music was expertly planned and led by faculty from Holy Names Music Center, Sisters and former students, directed by Steve Schaubel, music director at St. Aloysius Parish. Music and art has always been characteristic of the ministry of the Holy Names’ Sisters, and this celebration was beautifully representative of that gift.

At the conclusion of the liturgy, the jubilarians led the recessional with everyone singing “We Are Companions on the Journey.” Sisters, Associates and other members of the congregation proceeded to Cataldo Hall. Walls and tables around the hall showcased the ministries of the Sisters. The many photographs on the wall invited closer inspection as people recognized themselves and friends.

The food was beautifully arranged, a gift to the Sisters from Gonzaga University. Visiting, remembering, congratulating and celebrating lasted until evening.


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