Women and men in consecrated life honored for milestone anniversaries
To mark the World Day for Consecrated Life, Washington Archbishop Wilton Gregory celebrated a Feb. 3 Mass at the St. Ursula Chapel of the Archdiocese of Washington’s Pastoral Center in Hyattsville, Maryland, honoring local women and men in consecrated life marking milestone anniversaries this year. In 1997, Pope St. John Paul II instituted a day of prayer for women and men in consecrated life. The archdiocese’s Office of Consecrated Life compiled the following biographies of local women and men in consecrated life celebrating jubilees this year. According to that office, the Archdiocese of Washington includes approximately 450 women religious and 530 men religious serving in a variety of ministries.
Sister Marian Brady, S.P. [Sisters of Providence of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods] is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee of 70 years in religious life. She was born in Washington, DC, where she attended Immaculata Seminary (Preparatory School). After graduating from Trinity College (now Trinity Washington University), she pursued graduate studies at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana and The Catholic University of America, obtaining a Ph.D. in Philosophy.
Sister Marian has served as a teacher at three high schools in Indiana and on the Boards of Trustees for Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana and St. John’s College High School in Washington, DC. She has also served as Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods College and President of Immaculata College of Washington. After 35 years of teaching in The Catholic University of America’s School of Philosophy, from which she twice received the Dean’s Award, she retired in 2016.
Sister Marie Denis Lucey, S.P. [Sisters of Providence of Saint-Mary-of-the-Woods] is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee of 70 years in religious life. She was born in Brighton, Massachusetts and attended Cheverus Centennial Catholic High School in Malden, Massachusetts. She pursued further studies at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana.
Sister Marie Denis has served as a teacher in Catholic schools in Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Within the Archdiocese of Washington, she taught at St. Ann School from 1974-1979. She has also worked with persons experiencing homelessness and mental illness and with the elderly. She is currently retired.
Sister Megan Rice, S.H.C.J. [Society of the Holy Child Jesus] is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee of 70 years in religious life. She was born in New York City, where she attended Holy Child Academy. She received further education at Villanova University, Rosemont College, and Fordham University. After obtaining a B.S. in Secondary School Biology, she pursued further studies at Boston College and the East African Pastoral Institute in Gaba, Kenya.
Sister Megan has worked in pastoral ministry and catechist formation in West Africa, teacher training in Nigeria and Ghana, and elementary and secondary education in the United States. She has been a longtime advocate for non-violence, peacemaking, and resistance to nuclear weapons and war. In 2017, Sister Megan received, with three other recipients, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage.
Sister Clelia Cecchetti, S.P. [Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods] is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee of 60 years in religious life. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended St. Patrick Academy in Washington, DC. After graduating from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana, she obtained a Master’s degree in Music Education from Ball State University.
Sister Clelia has served as a music teacher at grade schools in Indiana, Washington, DC, and Maryland. She has also served in the business office of her congregation’s motherhouse, as a receptionist at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in the USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship, and as Coordinator of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for the homebound at St. Mary of the Mills Parish in Laurel, Maryland. She is currently semi-retired.
Sister Mary Christine Cremin, R.S.M. [Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Michigan] is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee of 60 years in religious life. She is a native of Bronx, New York and holds a Doctorate in Anthropology from Michigan State University.
Sister Mary Christine has served as a nurse, counselor, and health care administrator in Germany, Rome, and the United States. Prior to coming to the Archdiocese of Washington, she served as Executive Director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Knoxville. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious.
Bishop Francisco González, S.F. [Sons of the Holy Family] is celebrating his Diamond Jubilee of 60 years since final vows. He was born in Arcos de Jalon (Soria), Spain and entered the Sons of the Holy Family Seminary in Barcelona in 1951. He completed his theological studies at The Catholic University of America, and after his ordination, he continued at the university, where he obtained a Master’s degree in Comparative International Education.
Bishop González has served as a teacher and chaplain in high schools and has held a number of parish assignments in the Archdiocese of Washington, New Mexico, and Colorado. He has served as Rector of Holy Family Seminary in Silver Spring, Maryland and as Vice Provincial Superior for the Sons of the Holy Family in the United States. He has served as the spiritual advisor to the Hispanic Charismatic Prayer Groups and the Cursillo Movement in the Archdiocese of Washington. While serving as Episcopal Vicar for Hispanic Catholics, Bishop González was the primary liaison between the Archbishop of Washington and the region’s large Hispanic community. He was honored with The James Cardinal Hickey Award by the Spanish Catholic Center in 2012 for his dedication and service to the Washington area community.
Sister Alphonse Marie Jones, l.s.p. [Little Sisters of the Poor] is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee of 60 years in religious life. She was born in Detroit, Michigan, where she attended Our Lady of Mercy High School. After graduating from St. Agnes Hospital School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland, she pursued further studies at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York and the Regina Mundi Pontifical Institute in Rome, Italy.
Sister Alphonse Marie has served as Director of Nursing Services and/or Administrator at homes of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Maryland, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Ohio. She served as Director of Nursing Services for 19 years at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Washington, DC, where she currently serves as Administrator.
Father Christopher Wyvill, O.S.B. [Order of St. Benedict] is celebrating his Diamond Jubilee of 60 years in religious life. He was born in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, where he attended Upper Marlboro High School. After attending Strayer Secretarial College, he enlisted in the United States Navy. With an NROTC scholarship, he obtained a B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University and continued his Navy service as an Engineering Officer on the USS Bears.
Since entering religious life at St. Anselm’s Abbey in Washington, DC, Father Christopher has served as Guestmaster and as a Science Teacher at St. Anselm’s Abbey School.
Brother Joseph Britt, C.F.X. [Xaverian Brothers] is celebrating his Golden Jubilee of 50 years in religious life. He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and attended Notre Dame High School in Utica, New York. After graduating from Boston College with a B.A. in History, he obtained an M.A. in History from Northeastern University and pursued post-graduate studies at Seton Hall University and Boston College.
Brother Joseph has served as a summer camp waterfront director and as a teacher in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Lithuania. Since 2004, he has served as Director of the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at St. Camillus Parish in Silver Spring, Maryland, and since 2010, he has served as Archivist at the Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Washington, DC. He is the author of The Xaverian Brothers in East Africa and a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award and the St. George Emblem from the Boy Scouts of America.
Father Andrew Buechele, Sch.P. [Piarist Fathers] is celebrating his Golden Jubilee of 50 years in religious life. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he attended DeLaSalle High School. After graduating from The Catholic University of America, his graduate work included studies at Augustinian College in Washington, DC and the State University of New York at Buffalo. He obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Father Andrew has served as a teacher in New York and a pastoral assistant in New York and California. He has also served as a volunteer childcare worker at Covenant House in New York City. Since 1983, he has served as a professor and research staff member at The Catholic University of America. He has had publications in several scientific journals and has given presentations for the American Ceramic Society, the Materials Research Society, the Microscopy Society of America, and the Micro Analysis Society.
Sister Margaret Mary Jerousek, l.s.p. [Little Sisters of the Poor] is celebrating her Golden Jubilee of 50 years in religious life. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Arizona. Entering the Little Sisters of the Poor after graduating from high school, she obtained a Registered Nurse Associate Degree from St. Mary’s School of Nursing (now St. Catherine University) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to her novitiate training and doctrinal training, her language studies have included French and Cantonese.
After a long time of ministry in Asia, including service at mission homes in Malaysia and Hong Kong, Sister Margaret Mary returned to the United States in 1987 due to the nursing shortage. Since that time, she has served as a Director of Nursing, a Skilled Nursing Unit Supervisor, a Certified Dietary Manager, and a Collecting Sister. She currently serves as a Skilled Nursing Unit Supervisor, Director of the Skilled Dining Services, and Volunteer Coordinator at the Jeanne Jugan Residence in Washington, DC.
Sister Brigid Lawlor, R.G.S. [Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd] is celebrating her Golden Jubilee of 50 years in religious life. She was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, where she attended St. Margaret School. She obtained a B.A. in Psychology from LaSalle University, an M.S.W. and M.L.S.P. from Bryn Mawr College, and a J.D. from Temple University.
Sister Brigid has served in childcare work and community organizing, including the Good Shepherd Mediation Program in Philadelphia. Within her congregation, she has served as Provincial Leader for the Washington Province and as Congregational Leader. In addition to giving retreats worldwide, she currently serves her congregation through its National Advocacy Center, committees on formation and governance, and two boards.
Sister Sharon Ann Mihm, C.S.C. [Sisters of the Holy Cross] is celebrating her Golden Jubilee of 50 years in religious life. She was born in Washington, DC, where she attended the Academy of the Holy Cross. After graduating from Dumbarton College of Holy Cross in Washington, DC, she pursued graduate studies at Emmanuel College and Johns Hopkins University.
Sister Sharon’s long career in education has included teaching or administration in Indiana, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Maryland. She planned and started Pre-K programs at St. William of York Parish in Baltimore, Maryland and St. Martin of Tours Parish in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Since 2014, she has served in the Spiritual Care Department for Holy Cross Hospitals (Silver Spring and Germantown, Maryland). She has had an article published in The Religion Teacher’s Journal and was recognized as a 2019 Distinguished Alumna by the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland, for which she currently serves on the Board of Trustees.
Father Mark Escobar, c.s. [Missionaries of St. Charles - Scalabrinians] is celebrating 30 years in religious life. He was born in Quezon, Philippines and received his high school diploma from Holy Child Jesus College. He obtained a B.A. from San Sebastian College-Recoletos in Manila, Philippines. He pursued studies in music and literature, and he obtained an M.Div. from the Maryhill School of Theology in Quezon City, Philippines and an M.A. in Theology and Ministry from Boston College. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Catechetics at The Catholic University of America.
Father Mark has served in parish ministry in Australia, Canada, and the United States. He has also served as Assistant Director and Translator at the Casa del Migrante in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and as Assistant Archivist at the St. Charles Provincial House in New York City. He is the author of Counting My Blessings: An Autobiography and My Priestly Ministry: On Being a Missionary Disciple - A Gift of Perspective. He currently serves as Chaplain at Villa Rosa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Mitchellville, Maryland.
Brother Gerardo Ramirez, S.T. [Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity] is celebrating his Silver Jubilee of 25 years in religious life. He was born in Celaya, Mexico and studied Business Administration in Mexico. He later graduated in Spiritual Direction at the Washington Theological Union and obtained a Master’s degree in Pastoral Theology from the Dominican Study Centre of the Caribbean (CEDOC).
Brother Gerardo has served in ministry to persons living with HIV in Puerto Rico and to migrants in Florida and New Jersey. He has also served as a seminary administrator in Mexico and as a vocations promoter. He currently serves at the retirement residence for the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Sister Lucy Marie Vasile, S.V. [Sisters of Life] is celebrating her Silver Jubilee of 25 years in religious life. She was born in Italy (Sicily) and attended Harrison High School in Harrison, New York. She graduated from Pace University with a B.B.A. in Human Resources.
Sister Lucy Marie is one of five founding members of the Sisters of Life, helping to develop the community’s missions of service to women. She has explored life-giving options with women experiencing unexpected pregnancies or adverse prenatal diagnoses, providing resources and practical support. She has served as Director of Postulants for her congregation, as Respect Life Coordinator for the Archdiocese of New York, and has assisted in retreat works. She currently serves as a prayer intercessor at the St. Clare Eucharistic Chapel in Washington, DC.