The opening Jubilee Mass for the 150th Anniversary Celebration in Thanksgiving for the Founding of the Daughters of Divine Charity was celebrated in our Chapel by Reverend Monsignor Ronald T. Browne, Episcopal Vicar for the Archdiocese of Detroit, and our Chaplain, on the very day of our Founding, November 21, 2017 at 8:00 AM
We were also, blessed to have Sister Rose Marie Kujawa, CSSF of the Office for Consecrated Life in the Archdiocese of Detroit join us, along with other guests, people who come for daily Mass, and our Women residents here at St. Elizabeth Briarbank.
We renewed our Vows after the beautiful homily by Monsignor Browne who brought out so very well, how our Blessed Mother was presented in the Temple and offered her life to God from her very earliest years – giving her total ‘Yes” to the Will of God as did Servant of God Mother Francisca, and as we are asked to do today. Monsignor Browne spoke about the commitment of Servant of God Mother Francisca Lechner even through hardships and difficult times – always trusting in God to be with her and provide for her needs. He spoke about her beautiful motto, “To do good, to make happy, to give joy, and to lead to Heaven.” He mentioned the many countries in which our Sisters serve today and how Servant of God Mother Francisca lived her motto of “All for God. for the Poor. and for our Congregation” – which our Sisters continually strive to live each day. The words of this motto “Omnia pro Deo, et pro Pauperibus, et pro Congregationis “were sung during the Mass in both Latin and English. Other Mass Hymns included: “Now Thank We All Our God” as well as ” I’m a Daughter of God’s Love” and the F.D.C. Jubilee Hymn: “Celebrate this Jubilee, Give Glory to God….”
Sister Bertilla decorated the Chapel beautifully with the Banners made by Sister Concepta, of happy memory: “Rooted in the Past, Responding to the Present, Fashioning the Future” with an additional banner under the picture of Our Foundress, “My Soul Magnifies the Lord with “150” embellished with gold. Beautiful “gold” (yellow) flower arrangements added to this solemn festive occasion, as well as the Infant of Prague “arrayed” in new gold garments sewn by Sister Bertilla for this Jubilee.
There were displays of period Postulant and Sister dolls in the early habit and another display featuring the original F.D.C. medal and our current medal, along with the belt, rosaries, and crown worn at the time of Profession.
As the guests entered the dining room for a wonderful assortment of home-baked cookies, rolls, and a great selection of various doughnuts, they were greeted with a Bulletin Board and other decorations displaying the Joy of this Jubilee Celebration of our Founding by Servant of God Mother Francisca Lechner, F.D.C..
A beautiful leaflet with Servant of God Mother Francisca, along with bookmarks and remembrance cards were available for all.
An article about our 150th Jubilee – with “Congratulations” was displayed on the first page of the “Bridge of MERCY” Newsletter from the Office of Consecrated Life for the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The Michigan Catholic, the Newspaper of the Archdiocese of Detroit, extended apologies for not being present. They were extremely busy with the Beatification of Venerable Father Solanus Casey – which took place at Ford Field in Detroit on November 18, 2017.
Each month, we will be emphasizing one of the offerings of Servant of God Mother Francisca’s Program of Life – starting, this month with “No morning without Fervent Prayer.”
Other activities are being planned throughout this year long celebration. Retreats and Days of Reflection are taking place here in November. In March, 2018, the girls from the Academy of the Sacred Heart will put on a skit about the Life of our Servant of God Mother Francisca Lechner, F.D.C..
We are grateful and happy that we are living at this time in history when we can commemorate and share in the blessings of this graced time.
Our celebration on November 21, 2017, was a true Jubilee Celebration for which we are most grateful to all who participated in any way, and most of all, to our beloved Foundress for her great Faith and Trust in God and the Courage to carry out God’s Will in her life. We pray for the grace to heed the advice of St. John Paul II to us when he said, “Be always Daughters of Divine Charity!”