Section title text:  Archived News.


Each year, some FCJ Sisters celebrate particularly significant anniversaries (fifty years, twenty-five years, e.g.) of profession as Faithful Companions of Jesus. These are occasions for rejoicing and gratitude. We are encouraged by their commitment and fidelity and are grateful for God's generosity and faithfulness revealed in their lives.

On this page, you can read about the 50th Anniversary celebrations, the Golden Jubilees, of two FCJs - Josephine Ruppen (Switzerland) and Philomena O'Grady (England).

Josephine Ruppen, fcJGolden Jubilee, Naters, Switzerland: September 22, 2001

The small FCJ community in Naters, Switzerland.In the year 1951 I made my first vows, in my heart already then forever. In the year 2001 I celebrated 50 years. My feast day celebration took place on the 22nd September, 2001.

The Holy Mass was celebrated in our Home, so that our old people could also take part in our big feast. As it was announced Church, the parish bulletin and the newspaper, loads of people turned up for Mass. For the rest of the celebration we had invited my relations, friends of mine and of the home.

The Mass was really very beautiful and sung by the Jodel club. Eight priests concelebrated. The chapel was beautifully decorated with sunflowers. Father Clausen SJ gave the homily and he spoke beautifully about religious life for the glory of God; our donation to God. God gives us blessings for our generosity – in giving we receive.

Sr. Josephine chatting with one of the guests.Everybody was moved by such a beautiful celebration. My heart was full of joy and gratitude to god and the FCJ Society and to all those people involved.

My deep and special gratitude are to Sr. Ruth Casey our Provincial and to sr. Bred O’Farrell who came from Paris to be with us, but also to my dear companions Dominique and Klara.

After Mass we had an aperitif in the garden of the Home for all the people present. This was a gift from the Home in gratitude for my years of work there.

There were 12 little children of my nieces and friends and they added to the celebration with their joy and happiness. It was a very beautiful, unforgettable day.

Deo Grazias – Vergelts Gott – Thank you – to all who are so good to us.

Philomena O'Grady, fcJGolden Jubilee, Hartlepool, Northeast England: 2002

Sr. Philomena reading at Mass.Round Owton Manor way in Hartlepool, England, they know her as ‘the lady who’s involved in everything’. FCJ sister, Sister Philomena O’Grady would be embarrassed if you praised her face-to-face with that ‘total involvement’ label.

But you only needed to be at the back of a packed St. Patrick’s church hall on July 23, 2002, and witness group after group step up on stage to present Sister Philomena with their thank-you gifts to realise just how much this parish worker is involved in all their lives.

Announcing each group, St. Patrick’s parish pastoral council chairman tony Spellman paid his own tribute to this tower of strength for Owton Manor. He told Northern Cross later: ‘Sister Philomena has made a great contribution to the parish and the community. It seems incredible, but she has been with us here for 17 years. She’s here every day bar Monday, her day off, and is completely involved with practically every aspect of the parish’s life – from preparing the children for their first holy Communion to helping older members of the parish, the sewing group, the flowers and the parish bulletin.

Sr. Philomena with two friends.‘She makes a solid contribution to the pastoral area council and is committed to Hartlepool’s Churches Together group to work with other faith groups in the town.’

Several Priests from the deanery and about 300 local were present for the Mass in St. Patrick’s Church. Sister Philomena’s niece her sister-in-law travelled to Owton Manor for the Mass and party. The FCJs were represented by Sister Philomena’s own community, her Provincial, Sister Jo Grainger who came from Salford, and Sister Mary Galvin who carried to the altar during Mass, a portrait of the Order’s founder Marie Madeleine d’Houet.

The whole evening was a remarkable testament to the reach of the parish and Sister Philomena’s work there.

Article adapted from an article in the Northern Cross Newspaper.

The following poem was written by Tim and Ciaran Jasper. Their mother, Mrs. Julia Jasper, has known Sister Philomena since 1964 when she attended St. Monica’s School in Skipton, England.

Flower decoration.   Words:  Golden Jubilee.


Graphic: angel bringing in a cake with candles.In 1952, Elizabeth became queen
It was also an important year for another, as will be seen
We might not get a day off school to celebrate her jubilee
But she is very special, a good friend to you and me.

Sister Philomena O’Grady is fifty years a nun
She’s always very kind to us and really full of fun
My mummy knew her long ago when she was still at school
In Skipton, now she lives near us, in sunny Hartlepool.

We sometimes go to visit her, she makes a lovely tea
One day we spent the afternoon playing by the sea
She’s been to Sedgefield once or twice when we were both baptised
She brought some friends one February and could hardly believe her eyes.

We had a birthday treat for her, Mum made a party teaGraphic:  Number 0 after number 5 to make 50!Graphic:  Number 5 next to number 0 to make 50!
A chocolate caterpillar cake with candles, one, two, three ...;
She came to Tim’s Communion too, earlier this year
We’re glad she lives in Hartlepool, it’s really very near.

She’s always pleased to see us, Mum says she spoils us too
She loves to read our poems, Dad sends her quite a few
He writes a funny message on the front of the letter
The postman if he’s feeling sad will usually feel better.

She’ll do any thing to help you, she is one of the best
Now on her Golden Jubilee we think she deserves a rest
But do you think she’ll have one? There is little doubt
She’s happiest when she’s helping others out and about.

Congratulations Peggy, we’re sad we can’t be there
To celebrate your Mass with you and in this moment share
We’ll think about you though, on this your special day
We hope to see you very soon, our favourite FCJ.

Graphic: celebration.      Graphic: Joyeux anniversaire.      Graphic: bear holding heart.      Graphic: flowers and card.

Tim and Ciaran Jasper, Sedgefield

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