Sisters of Mercy in Greater Portland who recently celebrated at least 50 years of service in the Roman Catholic faith include, from left, Sister Annemarie Kiah, Sister Janet Campbell, Sister Mary Columba Staples, Sister Mary Kneeland, Sister Patricia Flynn, Sister David Mary Duncan and Sister Mary Thaddene Barnes (seated).
Eight Sisters of Mercy in Greater Portland are celebrating jubilee anniversaries for completing at least 50 years of service in the Roman Catholic faith.
They are among 78 members of the Sisters of Mercy’s Northeast Community who are being recognized as “jubilarians” in a yearlong celebration. Their extraordinary commitment and accomplishments were honored recently at a special Mass celebrated by Bishop Robert Deeley at St. Pius X Church in Portland, followed by a luncheon with friends and family members at the Italian Heritage Center. The sisters have worked in schools, parishes, hospitals, nursing homes, social service agencies and food pantries across Maine and beyond. They also volunteer, pray for people in need and promote social justice through rallies, vigils and other efforts to end poverty, violence, racism, environmental degradation and injustice to women and immigrants.
Celebrating 70 years of service is Sister Mary Celestine Theriault, while Sister Mary Thaddene Barnes and Sister David Mary Duncan have served 65 years each.
Celebrating 60-year jubilees are Sister Janet Campbell, Sister Annemarie Kiah, Sister Mary Kneeland and Sister Mary Columba Staples. Sister Patricia Flynn is marking 50 years.
Founded in 1831 by Catherine McAuley, the Sisters of Mercy is an international community of Catholic women who have dedicated their lives to God through vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service. The sisters sponsor more than 200 organizations in the United States, Central and South America, Jamaica, Guam and the Philippines.
In Maine, the sisters sponsor Saint Joseph’s College in Standish and Mercy Hospital in Portland. In 2015, the sisters celebrated 150 years of service in Maine, including educational and social service ministries among the state’s Native Americans.