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How Can I Keep From Singing? Farewell Mass of Gratitude in Tipton
Women of the Church Celebrate
Since 1888, Sisters of St. Joseph have served the community of Tipton and many parishes throughout Indiana and beyond. They came to teach the poor, they stayed to live the Gospel.
On Sunday, October 28, St. Joseph Center in Tipton, Indiana was filled with friends whose lives have been touched by Sisters of St. Joseph. More than 400 guests came to worship and celebrate with the sisters one last time before sisters who live at the Center move and the Center closes its doors at the end of December. What a celebration it was!
Several priests with personal ties to the sisters concelebrated Mass with Bishop William Higi, making the day even more special. Father Patrick Keith Hosey broke open the Word in the homily and Bishop Higi offered personal reflections. Each of these men recalled the faithfulness of these vital women of the Church and offered words of comfort, challenge and gratitude.
Intercessions, offered by Sister Veronica Baumgartner, CSJ, expressed thanksgiving and abiding hope for the future. We, Sisters of St. Joseph, are filled with gratitude and joy for all the blessings we have received in this place, for all that has been accomplished through us, and for all that is to come. May future blessings be upon this building and our grounds which we relinquish to others. May new uses for them bring good for people in the Tipton area and beyond.
Additionally, the Offertory Procession highlighted significant traditions and times in the lives of the Community. Sisters, associates, staff and benefactors were involved in remembering the history, ministry, service, faith and visionary leadership of the sisters over the years, and items brought forth during mass as gifts each reflected those traditions and legacy.
Sister Kathleen Durkin, CSJ, member of the Congregation Leadership Team, offered heartfelt remarks on behalf of the Congregation. For us, as a congregation, our Sisters in Tipton have been, and are still, pioneers. They courageously began the conversation which led to our becoming one new Congregation in 2007. And now, with even more courage, they show us what it means to face the future with faith, hope, love and confidence in God’s companioning presence, though certainly not without a sense of pain and loss.
The afternoon social featured history displays as well as slides of sisters and the Tipton Center grounds. Sisters were humbled and overwhelmed by the overflowing of kindness from the hundreds who came to offer good wishes and gratitude for their years of ministry. As Bishop Higi said, This is a bittersweet moment for all of us.
As St. Joseph Center closes its doors and sisters who live at the Center move to other CSJ Centers, sisters currently living away from the Center will remain in their homes and continue in active ministry and prayer with and for the dear neighbor. While this part of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Tipton journey ends, a new path has opened to them and they walk on in faith, hope and love.