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Annual Parish Secretaries’ Luncheon held on May 3

May 20, 2011

by Shirley Pukaite, Commission Member

The Commission for Women honors our Parish secretaries with a yearly luncheon and time away from their daily church responsibilities. This year we met at St Ann’s in Shrewsbury beginning with a Continental Breakfast and some fellowship. Then we quieted for an informative talk by Sr. Jon Julie Sullivan.

Sr. Jon Julie used street signs during her presentation in our journey of life. We started at our earliest ages and were asked the question; what did we want to be? How we got to where we are? We went on to consider where we came from and then being on the road.

Sr. Jon Julie pointed out our journey when we came into the world was a lot different than now and will be more so when we leave this world. We were given examples of early life in the Church and in our families. A major sign was One Way “My way or the highway”. Most of us were young before Vatican ll and discipline in our homes was quite different than it is now. Church and family are now in big upheaval.

We hit a Bump in the road during our high-school years. It is a time of change and more responsibility. Youth now as in the past shoulder work which is a major job in family and the Church. Our youth love to do noble and idealistic things. It shows in their participation in fund raises to help others such as the 30 hour fasts; staying awake rocking all night long. Folks shared many of the different projects the youth in their churches do. These projects are an important part of being Catholic Christians. All religions are doing these types of projects to help others. Our job as adults is watching out for the children. We still have a lot of work to do.

As we mature and make more decisions we may go the Wrong Way. We need to Stop business as usual. Take a leap of faith; Jump into action. Catholic women need to exact change in ourselves; the Church; and Society. We can make choices to end breakdown. We need a safe harbor. We need Sanctuary. Near the end of our journey we reduce pace and prepare for exit. Her sign was a road that narrowed but turned upside down it turned into a wider place.

After our stimulating talk we had a break and then Mass with Bishop McManus. It seemed to pull our morning together as we reflected on Philip the Apostle. We learned his home town was in the north of Israel in a town called Bethsaida. He brought Nathanial to Jesus. He was asked to feed the five thousand and responded “How are we to buy bread so that this people
may eat.” He spoke Greek and served as a contact man for them. He is also known for bringing Gentiles to Jesus. Last of all we are told he was among the number of disciples in the upper chamber before Pentecost. His great gift to us is he was authentic and open to bring people to Jesus. May we pray for his heart to do the same.

Then we had more fellowship and a delicious lunch, catered by Bruce Parker.

Here is a letter from a parish secretary who attended the half day event:

It was a beautiful spring day and we were gathered to have a day to enrich our lives and reinforce that our ministries are so important. We were encouraged by our wonderful speaker, Sr. Jon Julie Sullivan, that our lives took twists and turns to get to where we are today and we’ll probaby have many more in days to come but God does speak to us – we just need to be quiet and listen!

It was an honor to have Bishop McManus celebrate Mass for us and we were fortunate enough to be fed spiritually as well as bodily with a delicious buffet lunch before we said our goodbyes. Why does it always taste better when someone else prepares our food?!

St. Ann’s Parish Center was decorated like Spring – it raised your spirits the minute you walked in. It was great to put names and faces together of women whom you might speak with on the phone throughout the year, too.

Thank you to all the members of the Women’s Commission who made this day possible for us.

God Bless You All!
Pearl Martino, Secretary at St. Mary of the Hills Church, Boylston, MA  (and a member of the Women’s Commission)

Here is a slide show of pictures documenting the successful day.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann Halsing permalink
    May 21, 2011 11:52 am

    Dear Shirley That sounds like it was a great day,I wonder if onyone records her talks,she souns like someone to keep in mind for Gather us in conference.My sister & i attended the retreat when Paula was there she was great also,did anyone record her talk,sometime we need to be reminded of just how God works in our life. Thank You Ann

    • May 22, 2011 5:53 pm

      Unfortunately the talk was not recorded. Sr. Jon Julie was certainly appreciated by many at the luncheon.

  2. Ann Duclos permalink
    May 30, 2011 6:55 pm

    Your list of guest speakers for your conference is very troubling. Have you ever thought of inviting women like Johnette Benkovic? I mean, honestly, isn’t it time to grow up and put childish things – like dissent from Church teaching – behind you?

    Women will never be ordained in the Church founded by Jesus Christ. Time to move on…yes?

    • June 1, 2011 10:43 am

      All of our speakers for the conference were vetted and approved of by Bishop McManus.

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