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Church Honors Jubilarians for Joy-Filled Ministries

Rhode Island Catholic
April 23, 2004

http://thericatholic.com/news/detail.html?sub_id=2095

PROVIDENCE Eighteen women and men religious in the Diocese of Providence are celebrating anniversaries of their ministries this year.

They will be honored on Sunday, April 26, at the 10 a.m. Mass in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, Providence.

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin will preside, and Father W.P. Marquis, O.P. from Providence College will deliver the homily. A reception for the jubilarians and their guests will follow in the Cathedral hall.

The annual jubilee celebration is sponsored by the diocesan Office for Religious and the Council of Religious.

75 years

Sister Noella Departhy, RSM, entered the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 8, 1934, made her first profession of vows on March 12, 1936 and perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1940. She received a bachelor of arts degree from the former Catholic Teachers College, Providence and a master of arts degree from T he Catholic University, Washington, D.C. Sister Departhy taught at the following schools: Tyler School in Providence; St. Edward's, Pawtucket; St. Peter's, Warwick; St. Mary's, Newport; St. Leo the Great, Pawtucket and was one of the founding sisters at Mercymount Country Day School in Cumberland. Sister Departhy was an activities aide at Mount St. Rita Health Centre in Cumberland. She is now retired at the Centre where she is involved in the ministry of prayer.

Sister Ruth Follett, RSM, formerly Sr. M. LaSalette, a native of Providence, entered the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 8, 1934. She professed her first vows in 1937 and her final vows in 1940. Sister Follett began her teaching career in 1937 at the Tyler School in Providence and moved the following year to St. Edward School in Pawtucket. After seven years of elementary teaching, she volunteered for the Mercy Community's foreign mission in Belize, Central America. At that time, Belize was under the control of Great Britain, and later became an independent country. From 1944-1949, she taught on the high school level at St. Katherine Academy and then returned to the United States. Sister Follett taught at St. Xavier Academy in Providence from 1949-1964; Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, from 1964-1965; the former Mt. St. Mary's High School in Fall River, from 1965-1970. She chose to return to St. Xavier Academy in 1970 until it closed in 1983. Sister Follett then taught library science classes at St. Mary's Elementary School in Cranston until she retired in 1992. Sister Follett is presently residing at Franklin Court Assisted Living in Bristol.

Sister Monice Houston, RSM, entered the Sisters of Mercy on Feb. 2, 1934, and made her perpetual vows in 1939. She began her ministry at St. Xavier School. From 1938 until 1994, Sister Houston ministered at St. Vincent's, a group home for children in Fall River. Her commitment was to improve life for the children entrusted to her care. She remained a link in the chain of Mercy from 1938-1994. To this day, a number of those children come back to visit her. In 1994 Sister Houston moved to the sisters' residence at St. Mary-Bay View in East Providence. She retired in 2000 to Mount St. Rita Health Centre, Cumberland, where she is involved in the ministry of prayer.

Sister Helen McCarron, FMM, entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on June 10, 1934, and professed her final vows on Dec. 15, 1939, in North Providence. In 1937, she was sent in mission to Tsingtao, China, where she taught in the International School until 1942. Because of the political situation, Sister Helen was placed in a concentration camp and then sent to Peking under house arrest with 29 other Franciscan Missionaries of Mary sisters until 1945. She returned to Tsingtao, where she taught until 1949 when illness required her to return to the United States. After her recovery, Sister McCarron served in multiple ministries, including hospital laboratory supervisor, superior of communities, novice mistress and in Rome, in the Propaganda Fide and in the Generalate of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. In the United States, she served as the provincial archivist and historian. Her ministry is that of prayer for the Church and the world.

Sister Norma K. Orme, RSM, entered the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 8, 1934, and made her profession of vows on March 12, 1937. She obtained a master of arts degree in Spanish from The Catholic University, Washington, D.C. Sister Orme spent 20 years in Belize (formerly British Honduras) where she taught Latin and was principal at St. Catherine Academy for 17 years. She introduced Spanish at Bishop Feehan High School where she taught for two years. Sister Orme taught Spanish at Salve Regina University for 18 years. From there, she continued to teach Spanish to small groups at St. Mary Academy-Bay View for 16 years. Sister Orme resides at St. Cecilia's Convent in Pawtucket, and is retired

Sister Josephine (Josie) Pappadaniel, FMM, entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on Aug. 5, 1933, in North Providence. She professed her final vows March 19, 1939 in Tientsin, China. Her primary ministry was teaching. As storm clouds gathered, first the Sino-Japanese War, followed by World War II, nine members of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in Tientsin were among the many interned, first in a concentration camp, and then placed under house arrest at a Franciscan Missionary of Mary Convent in Peking, now called Beijing. After the cessation of hostilities, she was missioned in Peking to the International School. Her next mission sending was to Macao. In 1953, she was missioned back to the United States where she ministered to children at the Divine Providence Shelter, Manhattan. After 20 years in the States, Sister Pappadaniel was sent in mission to Papua, New Guinea where she ministered as a teacher. She was missioned to a rural hospital where she helped with the office work and visited families. Sister Josephine returned to the United States in 1975. She now helps her religious sisters in the FMM Assisted Living Center.

Sister M. Hope Warburton, RSM (formerly Sr. M. Flamina), graduated from St. Xavier High School and Bryant College. She did office work for four years before entering religious life. Sister Warburton entered the Sisters of Mercy on Feb. 2, 1934, and professed her final vows in 1939. She began her teaching career and taught until 1984 in the following schools: Tyler, St. Patrick, St. Edward, St. Mary in Pawtucket, St. Teresa, St. Augustine in Newport, Holy Ghost, St. Peter, St. Matthew, St. Xavier and St. Mary Academy-Bay View. Sister Warburton received a degree from the former Catholic Teachers College, and completed additional studies in adult education and nurse's aide training. After retiring from teaching, she continued doing office work and helped out with coverage at Bay View Academy. Sister Warburton was a volunteer at Mount St. Rita Health Centre for over 25 years. She is now a resident of Bristol. Sister Warburton uses a cane but is the healthiest of her group despite her 98 years!

50 years

Sister Maryann Alukonis, FMM, entered the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary on March 15, 1959, and professed her final vows on Sept. 17, 1964, in North Providence. Her mission sendings and ministries include working in the Business Office of Franciscan Hospital for Children, formerly called Kennedy Memorial Hospital, in Brighton, Mass.; caring for children in Divine Providence Shelter in New York City; serving as a Certified Nursing Assistant in the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary Nursing Facility in North Providence; and at St. Michel's Mission, Arizona, where she ministered to the Navajo Indians. Her missionary experience outside the United States was in Nicaragua, where she helped in hurricane relief services. She is a strong advocate for social justice and participates in peaceful demonstrations and in letter-writing campaigns. Sister Alukonis serves as a staff member in the provincial communications office in North Providence, and visits those in nursing homes and in the FMM Assisted Living Center. She collects cans for reimbursement for the sending of packages to a Navajo reservation and to missions overseas.

Brother Marcel B. Brisson, SC, was born in New Bedford, and grew up in Manchester, N.H. He entered the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in August of 1957 in Pomfret, Conn. Brother Brisson made his first profession in August of 1959, followed by his perpetual profession in June of 1965. During the first 10 years of his religious life, Brother Brisson taught elementary school in Massachusetts and Maine. In 1973 he was assigned to the Provincial House in Pascoag as a cook. He started another career in 1980 as a certified nursing assistant. Brother Brisson worked in this capacity at l'Hospice Saint Antoine in North Smithfield. He graduated from CCRI, Flanagan Campus, with a LPN degree in 1984. His nursing career began at Hopkins Health Center, North Providence, where he worked for six months. Brother Brisson then transferred to Mount St. Francis Health Center, Woonsocket, where he was a nurse for 17 years and worked in the purchasing department for five years. Brother Brisson is chaplain of the 158-bed facility.

Sister Regina Coughlin, RSM, entered the Sisters of Mercy on Sept. 24, 1959, made her first profession of vows in 1962 and her perpetual vows in 1965. She taught at St. Mary Academy-Bay View, St. Peter's in Warwick, Sts. Peter and Paul in West Warwick, and Our Lady of Mercy in East Greenwich. Sister Coughlin graduated from Salve Regina College in 1959 and received a master's degree in education from Rhode Island College. She spent 23 years as a guidance counselor at Bishop Feehan High School. In 1993, Sister Coughlin completed a C.P.E. course and became a chaplain for the Visiting Nurses Association in Andover, Mass. Sister Coughlin is retired at Mount St. Rita Health Centre and involved in the ministry of prayer.

Sister Irene Escobar, SSD, a native of Faial, Azores, entered the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Sintra, Portugal, on March 8, 1959. On October 13, 1967, she pronounced her final vows. She completed studies in teaching foreign languages at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and received a bachelor of arts degree in education and a master of arts in religious studies from Providence College. Her first assignment was at St. Elizabeth School, Bristol, where she served from 1961-1963. From 1963-1965 she taught at St. Francis Xavier in East Providence and from 1965-67 she taught at Jesus Saviour in Newport. Sister Escobar also taught from 1967-1972 at the Academy of St. Dorothy in Staten Island, NY, and from 1972-1979 she returned to Jesus Saviour School. Sister Escobar's last teaching assignment was at Our Lady of Fatima High School from 1979-1992. After being assigned to the Sisters of St. Dorothy Communication Center at the General House in Rome until 1997, she was stationed as coordinator of Mt. St. Joseph Spiritual Life Center and continues to minister as a pastoral assistant at St. Elizabeth Parish. She resides at Our Lady of Fatima Convent in Warren.

Brother Leo R. Labbe, SC, was born in Central Falls and raised in Pawtucket, and entered the Brothers of the Sacred Heart on August 25, 1957. He professed first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1965. Brother Labbe received an undergraduate degree in English from St. Michael College, Winooski, VT, and earned a master's degree in counseling at Assumption College, Worcester, MA. He later received a master's degree in school administration from the University of San Francisco. Brother Labbe began teaching at Sacred Heart School, Andover, MA, followed by ten years in the English department of Notre Dame High School, Fitchburg, MA. After serving as headmaster of Sacred Heart Prep for two years in Pascoag, he served from 1974-1984 in the guidance department at Mt. St. Charles Academy. From 1985-1991, Brother Labbe served as Provincial of the New England Province. Upon his term's end, he took on the leadership of Bishop Guertin High School, Nashua, NH, from 1991-2004. The next four years, he served in St. Albans, England as foreign mission development director. In August of 2008, Brother Labbe was assigned as Director of the Provincial House, the New England Province's retirement community in Pascoag.

Sister Ann McKenna, RSM, a native of Providence who grew up in Warwick, entered the Sisters of Mercy on September 8, 1959, at Mount St. Rita Novitiate in Cumberland, and pronounced her first vows on August 16, 1962. She completed her undergraduate degree in English at Salve Regina University and her masters degree in theology at Manhattan College in New York. Sister McKenna taught in schools in Rhode Island, Belize, Honduras and Belgium. In addition to teaching, she ministered in religious education programs in Alaska and served as a member of the team ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in Pawtucket for eight years. Sister McKenna has been involved in many aspects of the work of the Sisters of Mercy including membership on the Central American Coalition, the Mercy Elementary Education Network, the Woman's Ritual group and the Mercy Sponsorship Office which oversees sponsored ministries of the Sisters of Mercy. Sister McKenna was the founding principal of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy, Central Falls. Her present full-time ministry is teaching Spanish at Our Lady of Mercy School in East Greenwich.

Brother John McMahon, FSC, a native of North Adams, MA, entered the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1958 at Barrytown, NY, and pronounced first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964. Brother McMahon graduated from The Catholic University, Washingon, D.C., in 1963 with a bachelor of arts in English Literature and first taught at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY, to which he returned 30 years later as campus minister. Brother McMahon earned masters degrees in religious education from The Catholic University in 1970, and from Salve Regina University, Newport, in holistic counseling in 1986. He served on the staff of Hopestead House of Prayer in Wickford, and ministered at Sangre de Cristo Center, a renewal program for religious in Santa Fe, NM. Presently, Brother McMahon is the manager/innkeeper of LaSalle Center for Education and Retreats, a small retreat house run by his religious community at 40 Noble Street, Narragansett. Brother McMahon has taken several courses in spiritual direction during the past several years and will graduate in May from an Internship in Spiritual Direction program, held at the LaSalle Center and sponsored by his religious community.

Sister Jacqueline Paradis, SUSC, a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, entered the Holy Union Sisters on September 6, 1959, at the Holy Union novitiate in Groton, Massachusetts. She professed her first vows on July 26, 1962, and her final vows on August 15, 1968. From 1962-1978 she was missioned to teach elementary and junior high at schools in Concord, Lawrence, and Taunton, all in Massachusetts. In 1978 she was assigned to her home parish, St. Cecilia in Pawtucket, where she taught junior high. She later worked at the Blackstone Valley Shelter for Abused Children. For many years She presently ministers as a pastoral assistant to the sick at St. Cecilia Parish.

Sister Mary Ann Rossi, CND, entered the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame in 1957, made her first profession of vows in 1959 and final vows in 1965. Her past ministries include: teacher and administrator of schools in Connecticut and New York; and campus minister at Rhode Island College and URI College of Continuing Education. At the present time, she serves as a pastoral assistant at St. Paul Parish, Cranston. In her own words, Sister Rossi said: "I entered the Congregation of Notre Dame 50 years ago because I admired the sisters who taught me in my high school in Waterbury, Connecticut. They were prayerful, lively, joyful, intelligent women who brought the best out of the girls they taught . These women have not disappointed me!!! Sharing life and prayer and service with them has been terrific. Because of my wonderful congregation, I had the support to serve marvelous people in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. These men, women and children have truly shown me the face of Christ. We Notre Dame Sisters try to imitate the life of Mary in her joyful visit to her cousin Elizabeth. I am thankful to all, especially the people of Rhode Island for allowing me to 'visit' with them and find Christ in their blessed lives."

Father Ambrose Wolverton, OSB, entered the Benedictine Abbey at Portsmouth, on August 15, 1958 and made profession of vows on September 29, 1959. He has been at Portsmouth Abbey the entire time, serving variously as choirmaster, novice master, director of vocations, and prior. In the abbey's chief apostolate the Portsmouth Abbey School he has been a houseparent, choral director and accompanist in addition to teaching Latin, English and music. Dom Wolverton has also offered piano lessons and presented many concerts.

25 Years

Sister Colleen Matarese, SSD, a native of Warren, entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dorothy on February 6, 1984, and professed her final vows on August 14, 1994. She completed an undergraduate degree in teaching at Rhode Island College in 1984 and a master's degree in school counseling at Rhode Island College in 2008. Sister Coleen has taught at St. Elizabeth's School, Bristol from 1984-1985; Our Lady of Fatima High School, Warren from 1986-1987, 1988-1995, and 1998-present); Our Lady of Mount Carmel, New Bedford, MA from 1987-1988; St. Joseph's Catholic School, Edinburg, TX from 1995-1996; and Bishop Keough High School, Pawtucket from 1997-1998. She was also the directress of religious education at Sacred Heart Church in Fall River, MA from 1992-1995. Sister Matarese is currently at Our Lady of Fatima High School, teaching religion to grades 7, 8, 11 and 12. She is also advisor to the ninth grade, student council and the Students Against Destructive Decisions. In addition to teaching, Sister Colleen is the directress for the Associates of the Sisters of Saint Dorothy in the New England Region.

Sister Irene Escobar, SSD, a native of Faial, Azores, entered the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Sintra, Portugal, on March 8, 1959. On October 13, 1967, she pronounced her final vows. She completed studies in teaching foreign languages at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and received a bachelor of arts degree in education and a master of arts in religious studies from Providence College. Her first assignment was at St. Elizabeth School, Bristol, where she served from 1961-1963. From 1963-1965 she taught at St. Francis Xavier in East Providence and from 1965-67 she taught at Jesus Saviour in Newport. Sister Escobar also taught from 1967-1972 at the Academy of St. Dorothy in Staten Island, NY, and from 1972-1979 she returned to Jesus Saviour School. Sister Escobar's last teaching assignment was at Our Lady of Fatima High School from 1979-1992. After being assigned to the Sisters of St. Dorothy Communication Center at the General House in Rome until 1997, she was stationed as coordinator of Mt. St. Joseph Spiritual Life Center and continues to minister as a pastoral assistant at St. Elizabeth Parish. She resides at Our Lady of Fatima Convent in Warren.

Brother Leo R. Labbe, SC, was born in Central Falls and raised in Pawtucket, and entered the Brothers of the Sacred Heart on August 25, 1957. He professed first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1965. Brother Labbe received an undergraduate degree in English from St. Michael College, Winooski, VT, and earned a master's degree in counseling at Assumption College, Worcester, MA. He later received a master's degree in school administration from the University of San Francisco. Brother Labbe began teaching at Sacred Heart School, Andover, MA, followed by ten years in the English department of Notre Dame High School, Fitchburg, MA. After serving as headmaster of Sacred Heart Prep for two years in Pascoag, he served from 1974-1984 in the guidance department at Mt. St. Charles Academy. From 1985-1991, Brother Labbe served as Provincial of the New England Province. Upon his term's end, he took on the leadership of Bishop Guertin High School, Nashua, NH, from 1991-2004. The next four years, he served in St. Albans, England as foreign mission development director. In August of 2008, Brother Labbe was assigned as Director of the Provincial House, the New England Province's retirement community in Pascoag.

Sister Ann McKenna, RSM, a native of Providence who grew up in Warwick, entered the Sisters of Mercy on September 8, 1959, at Mount St. Rita Novitiate in Cumberland, and pronounced her first vows on August 16, 1962. She completed her undergraduate degree in English at Salve Regina University and her masters degree in theology at Manhattan College in New York. Sister McKenna taught in schools in Rhode Island, Belize, Honduras and Belgium. In addition to teaching, she ministered in religious education programs in Alaska and served as a member of the team ministry at Sacred Heart Parish in Pawtucket for eight years. Sister McKenna has been involved in many aspects of the work of the Sisters of Mercy including membership on the Central American Coalition, the Mercy Elementary Education Network, the Woman's Ritual group and the Mercy Sponsorship Office which oversees sponsored ministries of the Sisters of Mercy. Sister McKenna was the founding principal of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy, Central Falls. Her present full-time ministry is teaching Spanish at Our Lady of Mercy School in East Greenwich.

Brother John McMahon, FSC, a native of North Adams, MA, entered the De La Salle Christian Brothers in 1958 at Barrytown, NY, and pronounced first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964. Brother McMahon graduated from The Catholic University, Washington, D.C., in 1963 with a bachelor of arts in English Literature and first taught at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY, to which he returned 30 years later as campus minister. Brother McMahon earned masters degrees in religious education from The Catholic University in 1970, and from Salve Regina University, Newport, in holistic counseling in 1986. He served on the staff of Hopestead House of Prayer in Wickford, and ministered at Sangre de Cristo Center, a renewal program for religious in Santa Fe, NM. Presently, Brother McMahon is the manager/innkeeper of LaSalle Center for Education and Retreats, a small retreat house run by his religious community at 40 Noble Street, Narragansett. Brother McMahon has taken several courses in spiritual direction during the past several years and will graduate in May from an Internship in Spiritual Direction program, held at the LaSalle Center and sponsored by his religious community.

Sister Jacqueline Paradis, SUSC, a native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, entered the Holy Union Sisters on September 6, 1959, at the Holy Union novitiate in Groton, Massachusetts. She professed her first vows on July 26, 1962, and her final vows on August 15, 1968. From 1962-1978 she was missioned to teach elementary and junior high at schools in Concord, Lawrence, and Taunton, all in Massachusetts. In 1978 she was assigned to her home parish, St. Cecilia in Pawtucket, where she taught junior high. She later worked at the Blackstone Valley Shelter for Abused Children for many years. She presently ministers as a pastoral assistant to the sick at St. Cecilia Parish.

Sister Mary Ann Rossi, CND, entered the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame in 1957, made her first profession of vows in 1959 and final vows in 1965. Her past ministries include: teacher and administrator of schools in Connecticut and New York; and campus minister at Rhode Island College and URI College of Continuing Education. At the present time, she serves as a pastoral assistant at St. Paul Parish, Cranston. In her own words, Sister Rossi said: "I entered the Congregation of Notre Dame 50 years ago because I admired the sisters who taught me in my high school in Waterbury, Connecticut. They were prayerful, lively, joyful, intelligent women who brought the best out of the girls they taught. These women have not disappointed me!!! Sharing life and prayer and service with them has been terrific. Because of my wonderful congregation, I had the support to serve marvelous people in Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island. These men, women and children have truly shown me the face of Christ. We Notre Dame Sisters try to imitate the life of Mary in her joyful visit to her cousin Elizabeth. I am thankful to all, especially the people of Rhode Island for allowing me to 'visit' with them and find Christ in their blessed lives."

Father Ambrose Wolverton, OSB, entered Portsmouth Abbey on August 15, 1958 and made profession of vows as a Benedictine monk on September 29, 1959. He has been at Portsmouth Abbey the entire time, serving variously as choirmaster, novice master, director of vocations, and prior. In the abbey's chief apostolate the Portsmouth Abbey School he has been a houseparent, choral director and accompanist in addition to teaching Latin, English and music. Dom Wolverton has also offered piano lessons and presented many concerts.

25 Years

Sister Colleen Matarese, SSD, a native of Warren, entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Dorothy on February 6, 1984, and professed her final vows on August 14, 1994. She completed an undergraduate degree in teaching at Rhode Island College in 1984 and a master's degree in school counseling at Rhode Island College in 2008. Sister Matarese has taught at St. Elizabeth's School, Bristol from 1984-1985; Our Lady of Fatima High School, Warren from 1986-1987, 1988-1995, and 1998-present); Our Lady of Mount Carmel, New Bedford, MA from 1987-1988; St. Joseph's Catholic School, Edinburg, TX from 1995-1996; and Bishop Keough High School, Pawtucket from 1997-1998. She was also the directress of religious education at Sacred Heart Church in Fall River, MA from 1992-1995. Sister Matarese is currently serving at Our Lady of Fatima High School, teaching religion to grades 7, 8, 11 and 12. She is also advisor to the ninth grade, student council and the Students Against Destructive Decisions. In addition to teaching, Sister Matarese is the directress for the Associates of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in the New England Region.





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