Written on: December 29, 2015
On November 29, colleagues, friends and families gathered at St. Mary’s Cathedral to thank and bid farewell to the Grey Nuns from the Diocese of Ogdensburg. The cathedral was full of so many people and Bishop LaValley’s homily was quite touching. The reception in Brzana Hall was delightful thanks to Fr. Morgan and the women of the cathedral parish. Wadhams Hall provided the lodging for our time in Ogdensburg, “thank you” to the diocese for “footing the bill” for our stay.
Grey Nuns have been in the Ogdensburg diocese from even before it was a diocese, late 1800’s. We had two hospitals, an orphanage, 2 nursing schools, sisters who worked at Catholic Charities, at the diocesan level and several schools. Approximately 51 sisters entered our congregation from the North Country. So it is a bittersweet leave-taking for us. We regret not having enough sisters to continue to minister in the area but are grateful that we have a lovely place to retire to in Philadelphia.
Fifteen of our sisters were present from Buffalo, Ogdensburg and Yardley, PA. Sisters Eleanor Martinez, Sheila Stone and Barbara Schiavoni came from Buffalo. The following sisters came from the Yardley-Philadelphia area: Sisters Julia Lanigan, Dawn Gear, Rita Frances Brady, Josephine Patti, Bernadette Marie Lalonde, Anne Boyer, John Helen Main, Mary Lee Farrell, and Mary Elizabeth Looby. Of course, Joan McElwain and Mary Teresa LaBrake were present, too.
We had family, friends and colleagues who traveled in from Plattsburgh, Watertown, Malone and many places in between. It was wonderful to see so many and to connect with them for this occasion. Some have since indicated that they were sorry not to be able to attend the celebration. Many of our priest friends were unable to attend because the timing of the liturgy conflicted with masses in their own parishes.
Many of us still have family and friends in the area and will always call the North Country “home.” You will see us when we come up for family visits. Your welcome is always a treat as you acknowledge our presence.
Click here to view photos from the celebration.
Click here to read Father Morgan’s thank you to the Congregation.