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New Video: Dominican Family Opens the Springfield Dominican’s 150th Anniversary Year with Festive Liturgy

The Dominican Sisters of Springfield opened their anniversary celebration with a festive liturgy on the 149th anniversary of their founding. On Friday, August 19, the sisters were joined for the celebration by the Dominican Nuns of the Monastery of Mary the Queen, members of the Dominican Laity, Dominican Associates, and the local ordinary, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois. The livestream recording of the Mass is available here.  

During his homily Bishop Paprocki drew on the central Illinois landscape for his words of gratitude for the presence of the sisters in the diocese: 

“I offer my profound gratitude to you for the countless blessings that have come to our diocese through the generous service and prayers of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield in so many places throughout Central Illinois. It is my privilege to be with you this evening to convey that gratitude in person. 

“It would be impossible to try to enumerate the many places where the Dominican Sisters of Springfield have served over the years, but suffice it to say that thousands upon thousands of souls have been touched by your faithful witness to the Gospel, sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ by word and deed. In a diocese with significant tracts of farmland, the image of sowing seeds is one that it fitting, for through your service, you have sowed seeds in the soil of many souls, especially young people, seeds which, with God’s grace, have grown and borne fruit in ways that you will not fully appreciate this side of Heaven. For that reason alone, you can look to the past with great gratitude and joy, knowing that the Lord has used you as His instruments in helping to build up the Body of Christ in this section of His vineyard.” 

Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, the prioress general, was unable to be present for the liturgy because of illness. In her stead, Sister Rose Miriam Schulte read remarks Sister Rebecca Ann prepared: After naming and welcoming members of the Dominican family Sister Rebecca Ann said:

“We are graced to stand under our Blessed Mother’s mantle with you,” then continued “Our foundresses’ communal trust in the Holy Spirt—fortified by prayer, apostolic common life, and the generosity of others—planted the seeds of vowed Dominican religious life in Illinois—a consecrated Dominican lifestyle which stretches beyond this country’s borders, all the way to Peru. The mission is not our own. This is God’s mission and tonight we begin a year-long celebration of this journey, all for the life of the world.

Visit https://springfieldop.org/150years for more about the Springfield Dominican Sisters’ response to God’s call, their history, and all the events planned for the anniversary celebration throughout the year. 

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