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Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Our Lady of Peace Residence

View our photos from our 10th anniversary celebration of Our Lady of Peace Residence

Address given by Sister Ellen Maroney at Our Lady of Peace Residence, January 15

Good morning, everyone, and indeed, what a good morning this is! I’m delighted to welcome you to this liturgy in celebration of the tenth anniversary of the opening of Our Lady of Peace Residence. I want to thank Father Kilpatrick for being with us today. I would like to read a letter from Sister Mary Persico, who spearheaded this project from beginning to end. She is unable to be here in person, but wanted to share her thoughts and wishes.

My dear Sisters,
The time has flown since January 15, 2006, but I remember it as clearly as though it were yesterday. Sisters Jean, Eleanor, and Mary Kay joined the wonderful IHM Leadership Team and indeed many of our Sisters and Associates along with family, friends, and benefactors to make this a memorable and historic day in the history of our beloved Congregation. In spite of all our hard work and perseverance to make the move from the Marian Convent to Our Lady of Peace Residence, the real heroines of the day were the 113 Sisters and family members who literally weathered the storm and the cold to transition from the familiarity and security of their "home" to face an unknown future in new surroundings.

Although a board meeting keeps me from being with you today, I want to thank the Sisters who moved into your new home that day ten years ago. Your sacrifices have made it possible for us to offer a lovely spot for those who have recently made OLP their home and for future generations of IHMs. I never cease to admire the courage and resilience with

which you modeled the pioneer spirit of Theresa Maxis for so many of us. Even now my heart is overflowing with gratitude.

Enjoy this day of remembering and be assured that I pray always for you and for the leadership of OLP as well as all the staff members and volunteers of the various departments who work together every day to make your home a safe and beautiful place to love and a welcome respite for all who come to visit.

I hope to see you soon. In the meantime, I send my love and humble thanks,

— Mary Persico, IHM

We are full of gratitude for the blessings of God for this magnificent home. We are also celebrating the efforts of so many people who helped, and continue to help, make this home a reality, from the dreamers, the planners, the donors, the architects, the builders, the coordinators, the nurses, the aides, the housekeepers, the maintenance people, the food providers, the administrators of the Marian Convent and OLP, the scores of volunteers and IHMs, and mostly, the sisters who made the move from the Marian Convent that blustery January day ten years ago and all those who have lived and ministered here since then.

I want to acknowledge and thank for their presence here today so many sisters and friends, including those from LIFE Geisinger. I also want to mention and thank members of the Leadership Teams who have served during these past ten years: I mentioned Sister Mary, who could not be here, but with us today are: Sisters Mary Jo Gallagher, Barbara Jablonski, Susan Hadzima, Katie Clauss, Amy Zychal, Terry O’Rourke, Chris Koellhoffer, Jean Louise Bachetti, Ellen Carney, and Rosemary Goulet; and the Development Directors, Sisters Kathy Lunsmann and Ann Monica Bubser, who did and do a yeoman’s work obtaining and handling the pledges for this endeavor and many more.

In truth, there are countless people we celebrate and thank today for so much during these ten years, but on behalf of all of us, I want to take a moment to express our deep gratitude, admiration, and congratulations for the service, support, love, and guidance of our three administrators here at OLP for the past ten years. Please join me in thanking Sisters Jean, Eleanor Mary, and Mary Kay.

I think most of you know that the month of January is named for the ancient Roman god, Janus. Janus was the god of gates and doors, endings and beginnings. He is depicted as a two-faced god, one face looking to the past and the other face looking to the future. It reminds me of what this day is about in many ways: we are celebrating the joys and accomplishments of these past ten years here at OLP and we are also looking forward to the next ten, twenty, and more years as we continue our IHM journey together into the future. The same spirit and vision, courage and perseverance, wisdom and creativity that led us to this wonderful home will continue to inspire and guide us into new endeavors. Author Frederic Brussat wrote, "Our homes often demonstrate what the mystics know: that life consists of connections – with nature, our past, and other people." This OLP home connects us with our wonderful senior sisters who by their example and powerful prayer ministry inspire all of us; it connects us to our neighborhood and our many friends who companion us and one another in their visits here; it connects us to our lay staff who work every day to make this a safe and beautiful home; it connects us to one another. It is a place of respite and God’s peace for all who come here. It is our home.

I close with an adaptation of a  John O’Donohue poem:

This house shelters your life.
When you come... home here,
the weight of the world
falls from your shoulders.
This home is a place of courage,
where healing and growth are loved,
where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience and spirit is prized,
and the sight of the destination is never lost,
though the journey be difficult and slow.
There is great delight around this hearth.
It is a place of welcome...
It is home.