|During the Mass, Bishop Donald J. Hying (center) presided and used the chalice of Father Samuel Mazzuchelli. Those serving as extraordinary eucharistic ministers were (from left) Srs. Mary Margaret Murphy, Priscilla Torres, Ellie Hoffmann, and Laura Goedken; Janice DeMuth; and Associate Karen Timmerman.|
Sisters Commemorate 175th with Mass
by Eileen Dushek-Manthe
The Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa held a Mass March 20 in honor of their 175th yearlong anniversary celebration of the Congregation with Diocese of Madison Bishop Donald J. Hying presiding in Queen of the Rosary Chapel at Sinsinawa Mound. Those present included Sisters of the Congregation and the leadership teams of neighboring congregations of Sisters, coworkers, Dominican Associates of Sinsinawa, and invited guests. Due to continued COVID restrictions, the Mass was livestreamed for others to attend virtually.
The mood, music, and liturgy matched the beauty of the illuminated slab glass windows of Queen of the Rosary Chapel. Toni Harris, OP, gave a welcome, beginning with the Congregation’s land acknowledgment statement. She described how the Congregation’s Motherhouse at Sinsinawa started out in the Milwaukee Archdiocese, was part of the La Crosse Diocese for a bit, and is now in the Madison Diocese, “but we never moved!”
“Since 1847, nearly 3,400 women have made vows as Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa,” said Toni. She acknowledged that Lent is not ordinarily the season of celebration and ended with, “Lives can be miraculously reborn if we find the courage to live them in accordance with the Gospel. Holding this hope, let us fully embrace the challenge of our founder, Father Samuel Mazzuchelli, that we have heard thousands of times, embrace it in a new way, and set out into the years ahead for ‘any place where the work is great and difficult, but where also with the help of the one who sends us, we shall open the way for the Gospel.’”
Bishop Hying gave thanks to God for the Congregation and its rich spiritual legacy. “Before Wisconsin even became a state, your community was here. None of you look that old, by the way,” he joked. “So many of you have given your entire lives to this work, this mission, this community, and to your charism.” He reflected on the Sisters’ call to enter religious life, the places they have ministered, and “the people whose lives that have been touched and enriched and informed because of your wisdom, your holiness, your prayer, your consecration. Only God can measure the ultimate impact of your nearly 3,400 women radically consecrated to Christ and the service of the Gospel. None of us can ever fully measure or weigh the glory of that impact. This is a beautiful moment to celebrate your legacy.”
Bishop Hying brought forth the gospel message of surrendering to God, “who is in charge and working out the purpose of salvation.” He spoke of Fr. Mazzuchelli’s trust in divine providence and the legacy the Sisters and others have continued. Bishop Hying closed with, “For all that has transpired and has been completely a blessing to the world and to the Church because of your community, we give thanks and praise.”
The Mass can be viewed at www.sinsinawa.org/live by clicking on the “on demand” tab and watching the archived video.